In the Orange County Business Journal’s inaugural Embracing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion special report, Frost Brown Todd (FBT) was recognized as one of the companies whose innovative ideas are reshaping how DEI is practiced and seeing real impacts in both the workplace and community.
“The companies featured in [this] special report are paving the way for others in OC looking to further their inclusionary efforts and reap the benefits of a more diverse yet cohesive organization,” noted the Orange County Business Journal, singling out this year’s honorees as ones to model as others seek to expand their organization’s DEI efforts.
Along with FBT, 62 other companies caught the attention of the Orange County Business Journal, which credited their leaders for prioritizing DEI both within and beyond the workplace. The list of companies is notable for the breadth of industries represented, ranging from health care and education to technology and finance.
In regard to FBT, the journal offered this: “Frost Brown Todd has consistently been at the forefront of the legal DEI space for nearly two decades…. In addition to longstanding initiatives, such as mandatory DEI training for new hires and bimonthly inclusion workshops, the firm has been intentional about foregrounding DEI in its recruiting, retention, and advancement practices and corporate social responsibility efforts.”
This recognition comes less than a year after FBT expanded to the California market through a merger with AlvaradoSmith, one of the largest and oldest minority-owned firms in the state. Both firms cited their shared DEI values and actions as significant factors in their decision. The merger, which went into effect January 1, 2023, has only served to amplify FBT’s commitment to being a leader among law firms when it comes to advancing DEI.
Long regarded as a strategic imperative, DEI has taken on even greater importance as FBT pursues growth opportunities that will strengthen core practices and allow it to better meet the evolving needs of clients in an increasingly intersectional economy. Attorneys in FBT’s Orange County office have been practicing in the region for more than 30 years and have strong local roots and a solid foothold in the Latin American and AAPI business cultures.
“As a diverse firm located in a diverse region, we have a deep understanding of the people in our market. We can better connect with Latino and other diverse business clients because we understand their unique issues, enabling the firm to facilitate stronger interactions with current and prospective Latino clients nationwide,” said Raúl Salinas, one of the founding members of AlvaradoSmith, now serving as partner-in-charge of FBT’s Los Angeles office.
While this recognition in California is for company-wide DEI efforts, FBT’s Orange County office is commended for spearheading initiatives at the local level, some of which have been game-changers in terms of diversifying the region’s legal pipeline. Ruben Smith, partner-in-charge of FBT’s Orange County office and co-chair of the firm’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Belonging Committee, is a founding member and 30-year supporter of the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, which has provided nearly $3 million in scholarships for Hispanic students to inspire, enhance, and improve access to higher education. FBT is also a founding member of the University of California Irvine – Orange County Alliance for a Latinx Thriving University.
Visit FBT’s Orange County office page to learn more.