Santa Clara, CA – Santa Clara University School of Law will hold its tenth annual Diversity Gala and the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Summit on Friday, February 27, 2014, from 5-8 p.m. at the Paul Locatelli, S.J., Student Activities Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050.

The Summit will feature a panel discussion about diversity in the legal profession, moderated by Santa Clara Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. Panelists 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 Inc.; and Cristina Rubke ’04, Counsel of Shartsis Friese LLP.

The Gala will honor two outstanding individuals as well as one organization. This year, The Santa Clara Law Social Justice and Human Rights Awards will be given to Michelle Banks, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Gap Inc., and Luis Rodriguez ’92, President of the State Bar of California and Division Chief of the Law Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Santa Clara will also honor Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. as the Santa Clara University Diversity Gala Organization of the Year.

Founded by alumni in 2005, the Diversity Gala aims to both address the issue of diversity as well as foster an atmosphere of inclusion for future young minority lawyers. As one of the ten most diverse law schools in the country, Santa Clara Law has continued to host their annual Diversity Gala to provide opportunity for lawyers to form relationships that develop mentorships. The high value of diversity is emphasized to representatives from participating organizations. The Gala also aims to recognize the contributions that prominent members of the legal profession have made to further the interest of minority groups.

In the last decade, this event has grown, and now attracts approximately four hundred attendees including students, attorneys, judges, and local business leaders. The event 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 the diverse ethnic social groups that Justice Marshall worked diligently to protect throughout his career as a lawyer and a jurist. This year, generous sponsor support has raised more than $36,000 towards this fund.

Please contact Assistant Dean for Law Career Services, Vicki Huebner at vhuebner@scu.edu or call (408) 551-1896 for more information on how you can support the Diversity Gala or the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Scholarship Fund.

For more information, including biographies of panelists and honorees, as well as registration details, see 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.