SAN FRANCISCO, August 11, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP announced today that it is underwriting, organizing and co-sponsoring the first Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, to be held on August 12-13 in San Francisco. This is the first career fair of its kind in the Bay Area. Orrick is organizing and cosponsoring the event with The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF).
The Bay Area Diversity Career Fair will give law firms and government legal departments in the San Francisco Bay Area the opportunity to meet highly qualified, diverse, second-year law students who will be considered for summer associate programs. Each firm can interview up to 11 candidates during the fair.
The fair will begin with a cocktail reception for employers and applicants at the World Trade Club on August 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. followed the next day by a breakfast panel—at which prominent Bay Area lawyers from diverse backgrounds will speak about their experiences using diversity as a strength to succeed in the legal profession—and interviews from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Neel Chatterjee, an IP partner in Orrick’s Silicon Valley office and a member of the firm’s diversity committee, heads the organizing committee for the Bay Area Diversity Career Fair. “The career fair’s goal is to promote the recruitment of attorneys from all backgrounds,” said Chatterjee. “This, in turn, allows for a wider range of perspectives in the legal profession. It also helps firms meet their objectives in hiring diverse lawyers.”
Martha Whetstone, Executive Director of BASF added, “We are delighted to be able to bring together these students with potential employers with the goal of encouraging more students of diverse backgrounds to consider working in the Bay Area.
Improved diversity has become an important goal for law firms throughout the United States. In San Francisco, for example, under the leadership of BASF, more than 100 law firms and corporate legal departments adopted a set of goals and timetables for minority hiring and advancement, and, as of August 2004, 76 law firms and corporate and government legal departments in the Bay Area have committed to the goal of the No Glass Ceiling Task Force to break the barriers to women serving in leadership positions within the legal profession.
Law firms view the retention and advancement of minority lawyers as a critical management and professional imperative. By creating opportunities for women, people of color, people with disabilities, gays and lesbians, and people of different socioeconomic backgrounds, it becomes possible to not only enrich firms through the many contributions of lawyers with diverse backgrounds but also enable firms to better serve their communities and their clients.
Although Orrick originally expected to have approximately 20 firms participating in the fair, approximately 40 have registered. More than 300 resumes were submitted, including students from nearly every major law school in the country, including several locally prominent schools.
Orrick also participates in other minority diversity programs. For example, the firm has participated in the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program in the past. Orrick also interviews students at a number of Black Law Student job fairs, as well as at the Hispanic National Bar Association Job Fair, the Southeastern Minority Job Fair and others. Members of Orrick’s Diversity Committee regularly meet with minority student groups at law schools, and give on-campus presentations about interviewing techniques and other subjects.
About Orrick’s Diversity Committee
Since 1990, Orrick’s Diversity Committee has advised management on a broad range of issues to ensure that Orrick is successful in hiring and retaining diverse lawyers. The committee oversees a diversity committee in each domestic office, and takes action to ensure that Orrick’s attorneys are diverse and to ensure that all Orrick lawyers are positioned to thrive personally and professionally. The firm-wide and office diversity committees assist in the firm’s lawyer recruiting efforts, associate orientation, the summer program, attorney training and development, the attorney mentoring program, pro bono work and community activities, and numerous other aspects of firm life. All attorneys are encouraged to support and participate in community bar associations and other organizations whose goal is to promote diversity in the legal profession.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is an international law firm with more than 700 lawyers in North America, Europe, and Asia. The firm focuses on litigation, complex and novel finance, and innovative corporate transactions. Orrick clients include Fortune 100 companies, major industrial and financial corporations, commercial and investment banks, high-growth companies, governmental entities, start-ups, and individuals. The firm’s 15 offices are located in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Orange County, Pacific Northwest, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Taipei, and Tokyo.