Downey Brand Joins McGeorge’s Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective

April 1, 2021

Downey Brand is proud to be a member of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law’s Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective. Launched in December 2020 to advance diversity within the legal profession by exposing young students and prospective attorneys to well-known legal organizations, the program connects 30 of the largest legal employers in Sacramento with McGeorge School of Law to establish new and strengthen existing networks between the university, local schools, and legal employers.

The Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective consists of four main components: a pipeline initiative dubbed the “Pathways Program,” that exposes middle and high school students to the legal profession at an early age; a recruitment and retention program centered specifically around diversity and how to lower the historically high attrition rates that attorneys from certain backgrounds face; a cross-employer mentoring program that pairs young attorneys with experienced mentors at different organizations and, ideally, from similar backgrounds; and a survey initiative to help McGeorge reshape its current curriculum to ensure that graduates possess the evolving equity and inclusion skills employers seek when hiring.

Downey Brand is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace and is helping progress the conversation furthermore by taking direct action. Currently, attorneys Annie Amaral and Wiemond Wu, alongside recruiting director Maureen Cooper, represent Downey Brand in one or more of the four main areas of the Collective. Partner Annie Amaral, a member of the firm’s complex business litigation practice and Downey Brand’s mentoring partner, is taking part, fittingly, in the mentoring subcommittee. Wiemond Wu, an associate in the firm’s litigation practice, is involved in the “Pathways Program.” And lastly, Maureen Cooper is serving on the recruitment and retention subcommittee as well as the diversity, equity, and inclusion survey subcommittee.

“I am looking forward to working with the Pathways subcommittee,” Wiemond said. “The goal of the committee is to encourage students to pursue a career in law. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have lawyers encourage me to enter the legal profession. I am now excited for the chance to work with students from a diversity of backgrounds as they consider a legal career.”

To learn more about the McGeorge School of Law’s Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective, please visit their website here.