SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Klinedinst PC will officially recognize Juneteenth as a firmwide holiday. As Juneteenth falls on a weekend this year, the firm will observe the holiday on Friday, June 18, 2021.
Juneteenth marks the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. The day will be recognized across all five of the firm’s West Coast offices, and accompanies the firm’s continued efforts to help ensure justice is within reach regardless of skin color, nationality, or creed.
The recognition of Juneteenth as an official holiday follows the firm’s Call to Action, first published in 2020, that established the firm’s commitment to supporting Black-owned businesses, while fostering diversity and inclusion of communities of color.
“Juneteenth being recognized by Klinedinst is one step in our advancement of freedom and equality for all,” said Natalie P. Vance, who chairs the firm’s Diversity Committee. “Klinedinst pausing to reflect on the importance of Juneteenth is only an initial step, as we have much work to do in creating opportunities for underrepresented communities.”
What started out as a Texas state holiday has become the oldest nationally-recognized celebration of the ending of slavery in this country. But what Juneteenth can teach us – and what many communities of color are still grappling with – is the difference between the law of the land and how those laws get carried out.
Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery in the states that had rebelled against the Union, but it did not abolish slavery everywhere. In fact, between the time of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and Juneteenth in 1865, an estimated 250,000 slaves could still be found in this country. When the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in December 1865, legal slavery finally came to an end. But the Amendment did not put the brakes on racial injustice, which continues on in various forms to this day.
“Juneteenth speaks powerfully to the reality that we, as a nation, have to continue to evolve democratically, humanely, and morally,” added Vance. “We have much work to do, and hope other law firms and clients will join us in putting action behind our words.”
Klinedinst has committed to identifying meaningful ways to build an inclusive environment and lead the legal profession. As part of its diversity initiative, the firm is expanding resources dedicated to recruiting, training, retaining and promoting personnel and attorneys from different cultural, social, and economic backgrounds.
Building a diverse workforce and supporting underrepresented communities are not new initiatives for the firm. Klinedinst was an original signatory to the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s 2005 Statement of Diversity Goals and Principles. Klinedinst encourages participation in organizations that promote diversity within the community, and actively supports organizations including, but not limited to, California ChangeLawyers, the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington Initiative for Diversity. The firm has been recognized for its efforts in the past. In 2016, Klinedinst was awarded the Corporate Diversity Award from the Earl B. Gilliam Foundation for their continued efforts in promoting diversity in the legal and business communities.
“While we appreciate being recognized for our efforts, we cannot rest on them,” concluded Ms. Vance, who oversees the firm’s Northern California office. “Overcoming racial injustice requires respect, understanding, empathy, and action. We are listening, learning and actively working to bring meaningful change.”
Please join Klinedinst in recognizing the importance of Juneteenth, and honoring it as an official holiday. To learn more about our efforts in improving Diversity in the legal community, as well as the community as a whole, please visit: klinedinstlaw.com/about/diversity
Klinedinst is the go-to firm for clients looking for litigation, trial experience, transactional representation, and legal counsel. The firm’s offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Irvine, and Seattle service the West Coast. What sets Klinedinst apart is the relationships our attorneys foster with each and every client. Klinedinst lawyers are indispensable strategic partners to business leaders, helping to achieve objectives and create proactive solutions to resolve the many legal challenges that businesses are confronted with every day. Whether vigorously advocating for clients in court, or guiding business transactions and negotiations, Klinedinst is the trusted legal advisor to have by your side.