COSTA MESA, California, December 11, 2013 – A large conference room at the headquarters of Rutan & Tucker, LLP recently became a classroom of sorts for at-risk high school students who were on a field trip to visit Orange County’s largest full-service law firm. Rutan hosted more than 30 juniors and seniors from Mendez High School, which is located in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Alejandro S. Angulo, a partner in the firm’s Trial Section, arranged the visit through Communities In Schools (“CIS”), a national non-profit organization that is devoted to ensuring that all children graduate high school. He supports CIS as a member of the Professional Circle for CIS of Los Angeles. Following a guided tour of the firm led by Director of Marketing Cynthia Kaiser and HR/Marketing Coordinator Dana Ross, the students engaged in a lively discussion with a panel of Rutan attorneys and staffers from diverse backgrounds that was moderated by Kaiser. The group talked about their education and professional duties, along with sharing a few foibles and life lessons while the students enjoyed pizza and salad.
Attorneys on the panel along with Angulo were Hani Sayed, a partner in the Intellectual Property Section; Lindsay Hulley, senior counsel in the Corporate Section and Intellectual Property Section; Caroline Djang, a senior associate in the Corporate Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Group and a member of the Business Litigation Group; and Allina Hightower, an associate in the Trial Department.
Also on the panel were paralegal Francine Sanders; Edgar Morales, accounting, and Francisco Mata, the firm’s Ricoh representative. Angulo began the discussion by talking about setting goals and keeping commitments to yourself no matter how hard the challenges might be. “We have all worked hard to get here,” he said. “Every job in a law firm is important, from the attorneys to the secretaries. If we did not work well together, the firm would not run smoothly and we would not be as successful.”
Each student received a backpack filled with Rutan items, including a notebook. In which Angulo encouraged them to write down their goals. “I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit,” he said. “But I kept going back to my goals and stuck to them. You can, too.”
“We are pleased to set a good example for these students who are up against many challenges through no fault of their own,” said Kim Thompson, the firm’s managing partner.
About Communities In Schools, Los Angeles
The mission of Communities In Schools, Los Angeles is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. We believe that every student deserves every opportunity to remain in school and gain the tools they need not just to survive, but to thrive. More information is available at www.cislosangeles.org.
About Rutan & Tucker LLP
Rutan & Tucker is Orange County’s largest full-service law firm with offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto. Primary practice areas include corporate and securities law, business, real estate and intellectual property litigation, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, government and regulatory law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.