Diversity Equity & Inclusion

At Donahue Fitzgerald, we believe embracing different perspectives, experiences, identities, and cultures is what makes us a stronger firm. Diversity enhances our ability to better partner with our clients by providing creative and effective solutions. Diversity allows us to cultivate a safe and positive work environment where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to the workplace. Diversity also gives us the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact in our communities. There is more work to be done in creating a culture of equity, positivity, acceptance, and respect; and we welcome your involvement with our journey.

DEI Committee

The firm understands commitment is more than just something we talk about, it needs to be demonstrated through thoughtful, deliberate, and sustained action. To that end, in 2020, the DEI Committee was formed to lead the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy and initiatives. Our dedicated diversity team who collaborates with other firm committees such as the Management, Hiring, and Marketing Committees is comprised of both professional staff and attorneys to ensure all voices within the firm are represented.

  • Dawn Newton, Partner
  • Israel Martinez, Director of Operations
  • Livca Shin-Kim, Marketing Manager
  • Mary Holland, Director of HR
  • Michelle Hernandez, Associate
  • Steven Lee, Partner

DEI Strategy Design Teams

Successful and innovative teams are a result of diverse minds and unique views. When we saw what was happening in our community and in the United States, we felt it was necessary for us to reflect on our ideals and principles, and what Donahue Fitzgerald could become. As a result, we created an inclusive team-based process using DEI Strategy Design Teams. The teams are comprised of 20 professional staff and attorneys committed to collaborating with the DEI Committee in developing initiatives around three priority areas of focus:

  1. Recruitment of diverse attorneys and staff;
  2. Retention of diverse attorneys and staff; and
  3. DEI education and discussions in a learning environment.

Through these teams, we hope to improve in the following areas:

  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity among attorneys and staff, especially underrepresented groups, including at the partnership and leadership levels and in key decision-making roles.
  • Increase gender diversity at the partnership and leadership levels and in key decision-making roles. Expand the circle of inclusion in the firm, including (1) more inclusion of staff; (2) increasing opportunities for people to interact across differences within the firm.
  • Expand the lens of diversity (generational, religion, mental health, nationality).
  • Build proficiency in DEI, including understanding implicit bias and the subtle ways bias can impact employees, and create opportunities for discussion.
  • Improve our mentoring programs to be more inclusive and intentional.
  • Make enhancing DEI a sustained priority of the firm.
  • Support DEI efforts in the local community in sustainable ways that go beyond financial support.

Women’s Initiative: Women’s Affinity Network

In 2019, WAN (Women’s Affinity Network) was created to provide our firm’s female attorneys support in their success and well-being in three areas – career advancement, support, and DEI. The network has four main objectives which are,

  1. to increase business development/generation of each of its members;
  2. to create a mentorship program to educate inform and empower members;
  3. to create a community of trust, respect, and awareness among its members as well as among all firm attorneys/staff; and
  4. to leverage its work to benefit the firm by increasing business opportunities and sparking companywide culture of awareness and inclusion.

Organizational Involvement and Support

Our attorneys are actively involved in local and national diversity-oriented organizations including:

  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom
  • LGBTQ+ Law Section, Federal Bar Association
  • Diversity Outreach Advisory Committee, California Lawyers Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
  • Association of Latino Professionals for America
  • Orange County Asian American Bar Association
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel
  • Asian Advisory Committee on Crime
  • Clausen House
  • Women Lawyers of Alameda
  • Inner City Advisors
  • Oakland Community Benefits Districts
  • Legal Access Alameda

We also support many community and charitable organizations by serving on their boards, making generous financial contributions, and providing pro bono legal services. To learn more, visit our Community page.