Tuesday, September 8, 2009
State Bar Announces Recipients of Legal Services, Diversity Awards
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The State Bar of California on Friday announced this year’s recipients of the Loren Miller Legal Services Award and other awards, including Los Angeles attorney Ann Park, who will be honored with a Diversity Award for promoting equal access to justice.
The State Bar said Park, a partner at Pond North LLP, was being honored for her efforts over more than 20 years to diversify the legal profession.
She will receive her award along with other honorees this Friday at the State Bar’s annual meeting in San Diego.
As an active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity in the Profession, Park helped draft guidelines to increase the number of women and minority lawyers in local law firms and departments. She also founded the State Bar’s youth mentoring program.
Park was admitted to the State Bar in 1987 after attending Harvard University and UCLA School of Law.
The State Bar said that it will present the Miller award—its most prestigious honor—to Berkeley attorney Robert Gnaizda in recognition of his commitment and significant work in extending legal services to the poor.
Created to commemorate the State Bar’s 50th anniversary in 1977, the award is named for the African-American lawyer and judge who was a leader in the civil rights movement.
Ontario attorney Heather McGunigle is similarly scheduled to receive the Jack Berman Award of Achievement for Distinguished Service to the Profession and the Public for her work on behalf of disabled people in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the State Bar said.
Created in 1992, the award recognizes the public service of a young or new lawyer. It was renamed in 1994 to honor the extensive pro bono work of San Francisco lawyer Jack Berman, who was killed in the 1993 mass shooting at 101 California Street.
The law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish LLP of Palo Alto and the Folsom campus of the legal department for semiconductor chip maker Intel will each receive the State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, the State Bar said, while the Southern California Edison law and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area will join Park as recipients of the Diversity Award.
The State Bar said the Southern California Edison law department was being honored for leading a “call to action” coalition focusing on using minority-owned law firms as outside counsel, tracking the use of women and minority lawyers in outside firms hired by Edison and emphasizing diversity within the department.
The State Bar also announced on Friday that the Pacific McGeorge Educational Pipeline Initiative will receive an Education Pipeline Award for providing mentoring, academic support, law-themed enrichment activities and guidance for academic achievement.
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