Michelle Brauer Abidoye, a partner in FordHarrison’s Los Angeles office, is a successful litigator and a firm leader, as well as liaison for the FordHarrison School in Cambodia, a primary school the firm funded and built in partnership with World Assistance for Cambodia. Over the past two years, she has successfully represented clients from various industries in complex multimillion dollar employment lawsuits, including three class action cases.

While a student, she founded the Evening Women’s Law Association at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and received the Dean’s Service Award for her efforts. She served as student liaison for Women Lawyers of Los Angeles and currently serves on that organization’s board of governors and executive committee. Abidoye also served on the board of governors and executive committee for California Women Lawyers from 2012–2016 and chaired CWL’s annual conference.

She is deeply committed to helping others and to advancing the role of women in the legal profession and society. Through her involvement in women lawyer associations and in serving as a mentor, she consistently promotes the advancement of women both in law and in life.

Regarding diversity, Abidoye has this to say, “I believe the most important element of any diversity effort relates to inclusion. While it is important for an organization to have diverse members, it is critical that all members of an organization feel included. This requires people of different backgrounds to make an effort to develop genuine relationships and develop trust with each other.” She goes on to explain, “The United States is a patchwork of individuals with different life experiences and perspectives. A successful organization must embrace those differences and recognize that unconscious bias is a real obstacle that must be addressed.”

Abidoye offers professional women on their way up this advice, “Network with as many people as possible, especially outside of your immediate office or organization. If you develop a curiosity about people that translates into genuine friendships, you may learn things that can take your career in a direction you never imagined.”