Newly Created Role Aligns with the California Firm’s Commitment to Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity Firmwide and Fight Racial Inequality
Hanson Bridgett LLP, a leading California law firm advising clients nationwide, is pleased to announce that partner Jennifer M. Martinez has been named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO), effective January 1. In the newly created position, Martinez is charged with spearheading Hanson Bridgett's diversity, equity and inclusion programming; developing diversity hiring and retention goals and policies; and coordinating the firm’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal community and those in which its attorneys work and live.
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Jennifer Martinez, Hanson Bridgett's new Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. (Photo: Business Wire)
"While a focus on diversity has been central to the growth of Hanson Bridgett since our founding, the tragic events of 2020 were a wake-up call. We know we can be doing more to increase racial and ethnic diversity within the firm and to fight racial inequality in our communities," said Managing Partner Kristina Lawson. "We conducted a national search for our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, but it turned out the very best person for the job was already in our midst. Jennifer has been a relentless champion for equity and justice in her work as a labor and employment lawyer, within Hanson Bridgett, and in her life outside the firm. I couldn’t be happier to welcome her to the firm's executive leadership team, and I am excited to work alongside her as we take concrete action to achieve real change in 2021 and beyond."
Martinez has headed Hanson Bridgett’s Real Action Calling for Equality (RACE) Task Force since its creation in June 2020 as part of the firm's commitment to re-evaluate and improve its investment in and commitment to justice and equity. In the role, she spearheaded the development of an action plan which includes re-examining the firm's internal policies and practices with an eye toward rooting out unconscious bias and inequity; empowering attorneys to forge new and stronger relationships with public interest organizations for increased pro bono services related to racial justice and equity; increasing racial and ethnic diversity within the firm, especially in its leadership ranks; identifying opportunities to support minority-owned businesses as vendors, suppliers and prospective clients; and pivoting the firm’s community investments to substantially increase financial support for organizations working to advance equality, end police brutality and right the historical wrongs visited on Black Americans.
"My experience as a Latina attorney, a member of the firm’s recruiting committee, and a mentor to many diverse law students and young attorneys has shown me firsthand the challenges that confront diverse attorneys, and the need for law firms to play a more active role in addressing those challenges. I’m excited to have the opportunity to help Hanson Bridgett realize its unique and ambitious goals," said Martinez. "I was drawn to Hanson Bridgett by its reputation for having an inclusive culture in which the whole person is not merely accepted but appreciated, and where there’s zero pressure to fit into a certain mold. I feel fortunate to begin my work as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer with such a strong foundation, and with the support of a strong leadership team."
Alongside Martinez on the firm’s executive leadership team are Lawson, who became the firm’s first female managing partner on January 1, 2021, following a year as Managing Partner-Elect; James Nichols, Chief Operating Officer; Laura Long, Chief Financial Officer; and Bradford Hise, General Counsel.
In her practice, Martinez, who joined Hanson Bridgett in 2013 and was named partner in 2018, has focused on representing private and public employers in federal and state court litigation and before administrative agencies regarding discrimination (including race, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, and disability), harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, wrongful termination, and numerous other types of employment law matters. She has been an active member of La Raza Lawyers in San Francisco since becoming an attorney, and serves as the liaison for Hanson Bridgett with La Raza student groups across the Bay Area. While earning her J.D. at Stanford, she served as Co-President of the Stanford Latino Law Students Association, Co-president of the Women of Color Action Network, Member Editor of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and President of Stanford Street Law, which aimed to empower incarcerated and at-risk Bay Area youth by educating them about the law with a focus on criminal procedure and a juvenile’s legal rights. She graduated from Stanford Law School with Pro Bono Distinction.
Martinez will transition her substantive legal work over the first half of 2020 in order to focus her attention full-time on her new role, and will remain a partner in the firm.
About Hanson Bridgett LLP
Founded in 1958, Hanson Bridgett is a multidisciplinary law firm that thrives as a center for legal excellence serving all of California with more than 180 attorneys throughout the state. Our clients range from multinational Fortune 500 corporations to individuals and include a number of public agencies in California.
Hanson Bridgett is a dedicated supporter of diversity and inclusion. Our commitment to diversity begins with the recruitment of our workforce. Currently, our firm's attorneys consist of 46 percent women, 27 percent people of color, and 4 percent self-identified LGBTQ+ individuals. Our firm's partners are 40 percent women, 21 percent people of color, and 6 percent self-identified LGBTQ+ individuals.
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