Tonkon Torp partner Parna Mehrbani was honored with the 2021 Multnomah Bar Association (MBA) Diversity Award in recognition of her commitment to fostering and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the legal profession. The award was presented virtually at the MBA’s Annual Meeting.
In her remarks after accepting her award, Mehrbani stressed the sense of urgency to name, address, and correct historical inequities in the legal field and beyond. Speaking about her approach to DEI work she said she is “looking at the way we do things in this profession, in law firms, in the Bar, in the business community and just asking, ‘why do we do things this way?’ And if I’m not satisfied that the answer is equitable, then I’ve tried to change it […] If you just look at how we do things and ask, ‘how does it affect everyone, and not just those with the most privilege, and not just how we intend it to affect everyone,’ then you are using a lens of equity in deciding how to proceed.”
Mehrbani recognizes that a commitment to DEI requires more than just policies and procedures – it requires action, accountability, and hard work. Her participation in Tonkon Torp’s DEI Steering Committee and her work as Chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee result in actionable plans, strategies, and activities to advance DEI initiatives at Tonkon Torp. This award also comes as recognition of Mehrbani’s significant DEI work in Portland’s legal and business community. She is the current Chair of the Partners in Diversity (PID) Leadership Council, a program of the Portland Business Alliance (PBA) Charitable Institute, and she sits on the PBA board in an ex officio seat to serve as the PID Representative. Mehrbani is frequently invited to deliver talks and participate in panels focused on diversity topics for law students, legal professionals, and the business community.
Mari Watanabe, Executive Director of Partners in Diversity shared her thoughts about Mehrbani in a letter to the MBA awards committee saying, “Her passion and understanding of why this work is a business imperative and not a ‘nice to have’ was impressive […] A diverse workforce is the key to success. Not many in the legal job sector really understood the business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion, but Parna did and still does.”
Mehrbani’s practice is focused on intellectual property, trademark registration and enforcement, and advising and litigating trademark portfolios for local, national, and international companies at all stages of growth.
About Tonkon Torp - Tonkon Torp LLP is a leading business and litigation law firm serving public companies, substantial private enterprises, entrepreneurial businesses, and individuals throughout the Northwest. For more information, visit tonkon.com.