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Diversity

At Carlsmith, diversity and inclusivity are more than aspirational concepts; they are part of the firm's history and culture. In 1888, Almeda Eliza Hitchcock joined Carlsmith as Hawaii's first female lawyer, and today, Michelle Imata is Carlsmith's Managing Partner. Long steeped in Hawaii's melting pot and with offices in California, the firm is inherently diverse. The many languages we speak 1 reflect our varied backgrounds and experiences and support us in our service to clients.

We are a Women and Minority Owned Business

The firm is a Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprise (WMBE) in the State of California. 2

Professional Diversity

Carlsmith Ball believes that the diverse educational and professional backgrounds of our lawyers and staff provide value to our clients. Lawyers and staff at the firm have public and private sector work experience in all regions of the world. Our attorneys have attended law schools across the U.S. mainland such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, U.C.L.A., and University of Southern California, as well as locally at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law. Many of our lawyers have come to us from international law firms such as O'Melveny & Myers, Davis Polk & Wardwell, White & Case, Baker & McKenzie, Coudert Brothers, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Morrison & Foerster and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Our lawyers also have experience as in-house lawyers at Fortune 500 companies, and in the public sector at local, national and international levels. For example, Carlsmith attorneys have served as General Counsel to the Asian Development Bank (based in Manila, Philippines), Assistant U.S. Attorney, Associate Counsel to the President of the United States, Vice Chairman of the Consumer Advisory Council to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Member of the Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and consultant to the United Nations. Carlsmith has also sponsored a foreign visiting lawyer program in its Honolulu office, allowing non-U.S. trained lawyers to gain substantive legal experience with the firm's domestic and international clients.

Recruiting and Professional Development

Carlsmith Ball believes that diversity and inclusivity are integral to its culture and success. We are committed to recruiting, retaining, and promoting a diverse group of lawyers and staff, and to providing a workplace environment in which all attorneys and staff feel welcome, valued, and included.

We focus on recruiting and hiring practices designed to attract and retain the best and brightest lawyers, to continue our historical diversity, and to foster a climate of inclusivity in which everyone feels comfortable pursuing his or her professional goals in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. We are committed to the development and success of our attorneys, legal assistants and professional staff.


1 French, German, Ilocano, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Romanian, Spanish, Tagalog, Croatian, Marshallese and Vietnamese.

2 To be certified as a WMBE, a business concern must establish that it (i) is a women-owned business, (ii) is a minority-owned business, or (iii) has multi-status, i.e., a business enterprise with at least 51% of both women and minority owners. A women-owned business is defined as a business concern that (i) is at least 51% owned by a woman, or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% is owned by one or more women and (ii) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women. A minority-owned business is defined as a business concern that (i) is at least 51% owned by one or more minority persons or groups, or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% is owned by one or more minority groups and (ii) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those minority individuals. Minority persons includes but is not limited to: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and/or Asian Pacific Americans. A multi-status business is defined as a business concern that (i) is at least 51% owned by a combination of minorities and women but whose majority ownership (51%) is not vested with any one of these individuals or groups and (ii) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those persons.