Sheppard Mullin

Bridging differences - maintaining diversity and providing legal services to the French-Amererican community Christine Hoefliger, Partner at Sheppard Mullin

Can you introduce Sheppard Mullin in a few words?

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw Global 100 firm with 875 attorneys in 11 domestic offices located in California, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C., as well as 4 international offices in Shanghai, Seoul, London and Brussels. Our clients include 50 of the Fortune 100 companies. Our ability to attract the most dynamic companies is supported by a truly diverse practice and also rests on our attorneys’ capability to understand and convert our clients’ business objectives into creative, sophisticated and cost-efficient legal solutions.

What kind of clients do you have?

We have both domestic and international clients, which come from a variety of industries including aerospace and defense, communications, energy, entertainment and digital media, financial institutions, food and beverage, healthcare, private equity and venture capital.  We not only represent emerging companies, SMEs, but also large and global corporations in the U.S. and abroad.

Can you tell us more about the “French Desk”?

The French Desk of Sheppard Mullin consists in several bilingual attorneys with dual French-American legal qualification assisting French companies or French founders in connection with their U.S. transactions. To that end, the team advises in French and English, thus bridging differences in the ways of conducting business in the U.S. and in France. In addition to its pure legal activity, the French Desk is also an active member of the French-American community by regularly organizing and sponsoring French-American business events across the U.S. (through the FACC networks in SF, NY and DC in particular).  The French Desk also runs a blog delivering constant legal updates to the French business community operating in the U.S., as well as a biannual newsletter showcasing the latest French-American transactions and events conducted by the team.

Congratulations! The law firm received an award for Excellence in diversity and inclusion: can you share more details with us about the culture of the firm?

At Sheppard Mullin our goal is to maintain a culture in which diverse approaches are applauded. We know that it is the differences, as well as the similarities, that help make us strong. Sheppard Mullin focuses tremendous resources on every phase of an attorney’s career with the Firm, all the way from the first year of practice through the equity partner selection process. In addition, the Firm is radically transparent with both associates and partners regarding Firm finances, strategy and statistics as well as the criteria for partnership. We have internal affinity groups for diverse attorneys that play an essential role in helping us to retain and develop diverse associates as they advance through the Firm.  We have also been recognized by our clients for our commitment to diversity and recently were awarded by Starbucks with its Law & Corporate Affairs 2018 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award, which recognizes one law firm annually that "demonstrates true leadership in diversity and inclusion". In addition, Sheppard Mullin has achieved Mansfield Certification from Diversity Lab and is one of just 27 to earn the Mansfield Certified Plus designation for 2018 which is awarded to firms that in addition to considering diverse candidate pools, have achieved actual representation of at least 30 percent women and lawyers of color in key leadership roles.

Can you share with our community your best memories at La Soiree? 

I really enjoyed last year’s edition. La Soiree took place on a day the air quality in SF was one of the worst due to the CA fires, but then the Garden Party theme was perfect and felt like a little oasis for a couple of hours. The exhibitors were very diverse in the products presented and I have to say that I still remember all the deserts presented by One65! Finally, if you ever wonder if you should buy raffle tickets at La Soiree, the answer is definitely yes! I was one of the lucky winner of two plane tickets last year!   

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