Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy (San Francisco, CA)

Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy (San Francisco, CA)

2004 Sager Award Winner

Western Region

Garner Weng
Garner Weng

One of San Francisco's oldest and most respected firms, Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy, a regional general practice firm of approximately 120 attorneys, strongly contends that creating and sustaining diversity is a continuing, worthwhile challenge that it embraces.

Led by Mike Moye, Chair of the firm's Diversity and Associate Mentoring Committee, Andrew Giacomini, the firm's managing partner, and Garner Weng, a member of the firm's management committee, Hanson Bridgett's baseline numbers continue to rise. Out of all attorneys, 16.3 percent are minority and 44 percent are women. At the associate and senior-counsel ranks, 22 percent are minority and 61 percent are women. Its most recent summer associate class was 62.5 percent minority and 50 percent women. At the partnership level, Hanson Bridgett's partners are 10.5 percent minority and 26.3 percent women-numbers that rank in the top handful among large law firms in California.

Hanson Bridgett's commitment to diversity begins with the law schools from which it recruits its diverse classes of summer associates. The firm also supports the needs of minority students through the Gerald Marcus Fellowship, launched in 2002 and awarded to law students on the basis of financial need, with priority given to underrepresented minorities.

The firm is involved in achieving the goals and timetables set forth by the Bar Association of San Francisco and the No Glass Ceiling Initiative; it also participates in pro bono activities that protect the rights of underrepresented minorities.

Veta Richardson, Garner Weng, James Potter
(L to R): Veta Richardson, MCCA; Garner Weng of Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy; and James Potter, Del Monte Foods

Among the management and leadership ranks, Hanson Bridgett's gains are equally impressive. The firm's governing body is the management committee. The attorneys on the management committee are 42.9 percent minority and 28.6 percent women, and 41.2 percent of the practice groups at Hanson Bridgett are headed by minority and women attorneys.

Among the firm's other diversity initiatives are an institutional commitment to mentoring, underscored by its Mentor of the Year award; internal diversity education projects; and a written reduced-time policy that spells out exactly how reduced-time associates progress toward partnership. This policy has been so successful that in the last three years, three different women have made partner while working on a reduced-time schedule.

Hanson Bridgett has also been recognized as one of the 50 best places to work in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. It has received numerous honors for its pro bono legal work and community service, and was the 2003 recipient of the California Minority Counsel Program's Drucilla Stender Ramey Majority Law Firm Diversity Award.

From the November/December 2004 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

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