INTERVIEW WITH PARTNER DAVE CAROTHERS REGARDING CDF'S PARTICIPATION IN THE DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM THROUGH THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION.
How long has your firm been a DFP employer?
I am proud to say that I am a member of the Diversity Fellowship Program’s Committee. My firm, Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, is a Founding Participant in the DFP and has continued its support of the program since its inception.
Describe a stand-out moment when thinking about one of your DFP fellows.
Over the years of our participation in the DFP, our firm has experienced many stand-out moments. Each year we have the pleasure of hosting a diverse first-year law student at CDF. The one fellow that comes to mind when I think of a stand-out moment is our current associate attorney, Kim Carter. Ms. Carter was a fellow at our firm during the summer of 2010, while attending Thomas Jefferson School of Law. We hired her right out of law school and she is now a seasoned labor and employment law attorney at our firm representing employers with workforces in California in employment-related claims. It has been a stand-out moment each and every time she crosses a hurdle, from passing the bar, to taking her first deposition, to assisting in trials. It continues to be an amazing experience mentoring her into the experienced employment lawyer she is today. Ms. Carter has also served on the DFP Committee since 2013 to help those that helped her excel in her legal career.
How does diversity and inclusion better your firm’s business and culture?
Diversity and inclusion have been at the heart of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP since its inception in 1994. Having a firm that has had a focus on diversity and inclusion from the beginning, we have shaped CDF to recruit, develop and retain the best and brightest from all walks of life and backgrounds to support our growth and serve the needs of our diverse clients. Our firm benefits from this focus by having a collaborative atmosphere where individuals with different life experiences and backgrounds can come together with the common goal of providing our clients with excellent legal services. Since we serve California employers spanning all industries, this diverse collaboration allows us to work with our clients, from small mom-and-pop employers to Fortune 100 companies, and their disparate workforces to provide employment advice and counseling and representation in employment-related litigation that assists them in navigating their unique legal problems.
While the DFP fellows are employed to learn from you and their DFP experience, what have you learned from them?
My continued experience with participating in the DFP reaffirms by belief in the value of mentoring. I had the unique experience with a mentor, Norma Epstein, at the very beginning of my own legal career. At the time, Epstein was a Los Angeles Superior Judge. He was troubled by the lack of presence of African-American lawyers in the courtroom and started his own mentoring program where he had pre-law students attend trials in his chambers. I was fortunate enough to intern for Judge Epstein from 1981-1982. The DFP allows me the honor to mentor young diverse lawyers and give them the same opportunity. There is no better experience a young lawyer can have than to have a mentor that is invested in their future. Year-after-year, our participation in the DFP confirms this sentiment.
As appeared on the San Diego Lawyer webisite at https://sandiegolawyer.atavist.com/diversity-fellowship-program-fostering-growth-through-diversity-clone-cmt27.