SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 31, 2013) - On February 1, 2012, Farella Braun + Martel LLP celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a dedication to community service. The firm announced its 50th Anniversary Gifts, $500,000 in direct gifts to community-based organizations and launched its 50 Hour Challenge, which encouraged all firm attorneys and staff to volunteer at least 50 hours of service to community organizations of their choice. By the end of the year-long celebration the firm logged more than 5,000 hours of service.
"This has been the most rewarding and engaging year for our firm. We approached this year with appreciation and gratitude, focusing our energies on giving back to our community with donations and volunteerism," said firm chairman Steve Lowenthal. "We are very proud of the impact we've had on various community organizations -- big and small."
The 50th Anniversary Gifts included a donation to the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks to purchase new hybrid-fuel delivery trucks and to fund several food pantries. The firm also partnered with ConnectEd to establish the Farella Braun + Martel Law and Justice Credit Recovery Curriculum at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco's Bay View/Hunters Point community. Launched in September 2012, this ground-breaking and innovative curriculum infuses law-related themes into the school's credit-recovery program, helping a diverse student population get back on track to graduation and exposing them to the wide array of career options in law and justice fields.
Farella achieved its 50 Hour Challenge goal of 5,000 hours of community service. To support and facilitate this initiative, the firm offered a Special Volunteer Time-Off Program for staff and a Special Billable Hours Credit for attorneys and paralegals. Throughout the year, employees pursued service projects that reflected their own passions, and the firm impacted the regional environment and thousands of underprivileged children and families in a variety of ways.
Farella practice groups, functional departments and affinity groups looked for impact opportunities that offered true benefits to the community while having fun and strengthening teamwork. For example, at the annual partner retreat, Farella partners broke into teams and built 14 bikes for underserved children. The Environmental Law Department participated in a habitat restoration project at the Presidio Hills Restoration Site and the Construction Group jumped on the opportunity to build a home for Habitat for Humanity in Oakland. The Women's Leadership Committee hosted volunteer outings to San Francisco's Raphael House, preparing meals for the 15 families living on-site and for an upcoming event. A donation drive was led by a team of legal secretaries, and Loved Twice received more than 2,000 items of new and gently used baby clothing and related essentials for underprivileged newborns and moms. Across the firm, attorneys and staff participated in a Rebuilding Together event project over two weekends at the Bayview Beacon Center in San Francisco. More than 20 Farella volunteers are participating in Innovations for Learning's Online Tutoring program, helping 1st and 2nd grade students at Oakland's Global Family School. In total more than 75 local charitable organizations benefitted.
"It was wonderful to see all of the creative and ambitious service projects from individuals and groups, attorneys and staff," added Lowenthal. "The volunteer challenge also proved to be an excellent team-building exercise, with many of the practice and administrative groups choosing to give back together. Farella's 50th anniversary will go down in the record books as one of my most gratifying years as an attorney and manager. Farella is a truly special firm."
Farella is a San Francisco-based law firm representing clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. In 1962, the founders set out to create a firm based on a set of core values including excellence, client service, dedication, creativity, community service and trust. Throughout the last 50 years, Farella has remained true to these values, while growing the firm from three lawyers in 1962 to more than 130 lawyers today.