Thursday, January 9, 2003
Pasadena Lawyer Laura Farber Earns ‘Spirit of Excellence’ Honor From ABA
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Pasadena lawyer is among six persons who will be honored this year by the American Bar Association for their contributions to the advancement of racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, the association announced yesterday.
Laura V. Farber, a partner in the firm of Hahn & Hahn and past chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and the others will receive Spirit of Excellence Awards on Feb. 8 during a luncheon at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Seattle.
“The winners are lawyers who have created opportunities for others to succeed as mentors, leaders, path breakers, and role models,” the ABA explained in a release. “The awards recognize the achievements of lawyers who have overcome enormous obstacles to assist in the advancement of lawyers from diverse backgrounds.”
Farber was honored for her work in establishing a diversity program for the Young Lawyers Division during her year as chair, as well as a “Tolerance Through Education” program for schools. That program originated in California and has been implemented in every state, Farber told the MetNews.
The attorney, who does litigation and employment law work at Hahn & Hahn, which she joined in 1992, said she was “really excited” about the award, which she considered “recognition for the good works of the whole group.”
The YLD’s school project worked with the California Hate Crimes Prevention Task Force and educators to prepare a video and CD for young children, Farber explained. Third-graders were targeted, she explained, because “that’s the age we were told that peer norms are starting to come into play” and children may begin to develop prejudice stereotypes based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.
Other aspects of the project included a program for conflict resolution and a program for high school students in which participants watched a video and heard attorney volunteers speak on how to identify and prevent hate crimes.
Farber said she is now working with the General Practice, Solo & Small Law Firm Section of the ABA to make the project permanent.
She added that she was very proud of the work that the YLD had done to encourage diversity within its own ranks and within the profession as a whole during her tenure as chair, through such activities as mentoring, increasing the number of scholarships it gives to minority law students, and outreach to 350 state and local young lawyer groups to which it gave encouragement and assistance in creating their own plans.
The honorees announced by the ABA included one other member of the State Bar of California, LeRoy Wilder, now a lawyer in private practice in Portland, Ore. Wilder, a member of the Karuk Tribe of California, was one of the first two California Indians licensed to practice law in the state and a founding member of what is now the National Native American Bar Association.
The other honorees are Rabb Emison, an Indiana lawyer who has practiced for more than 50 years, during which he has actively supported the advancement of minority lawyers, the ABA said; Stella Kinue Manabe, affirmative action administrator of the Oregon State Bar; Judge Theodore McMillian, the first African-American to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; and Judge Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who is credited with writing much of the text of the briefs in Brown v. Board of Education.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company