February 2014

First Latino State Bar President and Gap’s General Counsel to be Honored at SCU Law Diversity Gala Feb. 27

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 13, 2014 —The  California Bar Association’s first Latino president, Luis Rodriguez, and Gap General Counsel Michelle Banks, one of the few top women lawyers in the Fortune 500, will be honored at the tenth annual Diversity Gala at Santa Clara University School of Law on Feb. 27.  The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan also will be honored as Organization of the Year. 
The event, which also will include the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Summit, will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Paul Locatelli, S.J., Student Activities Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. 
The Summit will feature a panel discussion about diversity in the legal profession, moderated by Santa Clara Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. Panelists will include:
*Tony Estremera, directing attorney at Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County:
*Honorable Rise Pichon ’76, judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County;
*Karen Robinson, director of litigation at Adobe Systems;
*Cristina Rubke ’04, counsel of Shartsis Friese 
Honoree Rodriguez ’92, president of the State Bar of California and, and Michelle Banks, executive vice president and general counsel at Gap, will each receive the Santa Clara Law Social Justice and Human Rights Award. 
Rodriguez works with indigent clients as division chief the Law Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Banks is on the board of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and United Way of the Bay Area, and was named one of the most influential women in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times. 
The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan will be honored as the Santa Clara University Diversity Gala Organization of the Year, for its demonstrated commitment to diversity in their legal department, workforce and community.  
Founded by alumni in 2005, the Diversity Gala aims to address the issue of diversity and to foster an atmosphere of inclusion for future young minority lawyers. As one of the top ten most-diverse law schools in the country, Santa Clara Law’s annual Diversity Gala provides opportunities for lawyers to form relationships that develop into mentorships. The Gala also aims to recognize the contributions that prominent members of the legal profession have made to further the interest of minority groups.
Over the last decade the event has grown and now attracts approximately 400 attendees including students, attorneys, judges, and local business leaders. It also raises funds for the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Scholarship, which is awarded to law students who demonstrate a commitment to equality, inclusion, and social justice for diverse ethnic social groups. This year, generous sponsor support has raised more than $50,000 towards this fund.
For more information on supporting the the Diversity Gala or the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Scholarship Fund, please contact Assistant Dean for Law Career Services  Vicki Huebner at vhuebner@scu.edu or call (408) 551-1896. 
Registration and other information about the event, including biographies of panelists and honorees, is at http://law.scu.edu/careers/diversity-gala-2/.
About Santa Clara University School of Law
Founded in 1911 on the site of California’s oldest operating higher-education institution, Santa Clara Law is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead, with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. One of the nation’s most diverse law schools, Santa Clara Law offers its 875 students an academically rigorous program. Some of these programs include graduate degrees in international law and intellectual property law, a combined J.D./MBA degree, a combined J.D./MSIS degree, and certificates in high-technology law, international law, and public interest and social justice law. Santa Clara Law is located in the world-class business center of Silicon Valley, and is distinguished nationally for its top-ranked program in intellectual property. For more information, see law.scu.edu.
Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121


Kaiser Foundation Health Plan,Michelle Banks,Luis Rodriguez,law school