First Firm in History to Receive Distinguished Award, Highest Honor Awarded by SCCBA
January 22, 2010 (Mountain View and San Francisco, CA) – Fenwick & West LLP is pleased to announce that the Firm has been recognized for its outstanding contributions to the community by the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) with its prestigious 2009 Salsman Award, the highest honor awarded by the SCCBA. The lifetime service award, named after Bryl R. Salsman, the late Appellate Court Justice from Santa Clara County, was presented at the Association's Annual Installation Ceremony and Reception on January 20, 2010. Patrick Premo, Chair of the Firm's Pro Bono Program and Litigation partner, accepted the award on behalf of the Firm.
"We are delighted to be recognizing Fenwick & West with one of the Association's most prestigious awards. Fenwick has provided so much support in so many different ways and for all of the Association's most important initiatives—diversity, pro bono and professionalism—that it was the only way to publicly acknowledge the Firm's contributions," said Christine Burdick, Executive Director & General Counsel at the Santa Clara County Bar Association.
The SCCBA recognized the firm's sponsorship of and participation in diversity issues, including service of Chair of the Firm, Gordon Davidson, on the 2005 Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity, comprised of over 60 firm and government leaders from around Silicon Valley, as well as Managing Partner Kate Fritz's chair of the SCCBA's diversity committee in 2008 and 2009.
The Firm was also recognized for its involvement with The Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program (BAMSCP), under which minority first year law students obtain employment during the summer after their first year of law school. Litigation partner Felix Lee, who co-chairs the Firm's Diversity Committee, served as co-chair of the BAMSCP this year, which placed eighteen first year law students from various law schools with summer clerkships at local law firms, companies, government organizations and non-profits.
In addition, the SCCBA honored the Firm for its pro bono efforts. Under the leadership of Patrick Premo, who chaired the SCCBA's Pro Bono Committee in 2008, the SCCBA launched a series of educational and training seminars for attorneys in Silicon Valley. This effort included an initiative to offer a guardianship training, a workshop on representing petitioners in domestic violence restraining order hearings and a poverty law boot camp. The Firm is committed to providing pro bono legal services to low-income individuals in the areas where we live and work. In collaboration with the SCCBA's Pro Bono Committee, our firm is grateful to have had the opportunity to respond to this need with increased training, increased collaboration with non-profits and an outreach program targeting in-house corporate counsel to enlist more volunteer attorneys to assist some of the most vulnerable members of our local communities.
In 2006, Fenwick & West was honored with the award for "Excellence in Firm Diversity Efforts" for its service on and support of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity.
Established in 1972, Fenwick & West works closely with clean technology, life sciences and other technology companies that are changing the world through innovation.
For more than 30 years, Fenwick & West has served its community by offering legal services to persons and organizations that could not otherwise afford effective legal counsel. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community. As a result of programs like these, our firm has broadened the number of attorneys participating in our pro bono program. In the last fiscal year, Fenwick & West has donated nearly 8,000 hours of pro bono work, or more than $3.2 million in legal services, and have been recognized for both the volume and the quality of their work. To encourage pro bono legal services, Fenwick & West recognizes all approved pro bono work as "billable" hours for all purposes for non-partner attorneys.