When a company commits to truly creating a workplace where everyone feels they belong, amazing things happen.
Global law firm Orrick is committed to becoming the most innovative and inclusive organization in their industry. A significant part of that vision is how they create spaces for their team and clients that drive experience, culture, and connect to their broader communities.
Through our Unispace Art for Impact program, we partnered with Orrick to uniquely reimagine their LA office by combining art and physical space with community engagement to catalyze experiences and culture while supporting local partners.
We worked with the Orrick team at all levels, alongside their Racial, Social & Economic Justice Fellowship Program for over a year workshopping what Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging means to them and how it could manifest in a new Orrick workplace. This deep level of engagement right from the beginning was imperative in shaping out an office that was truly inclusive and the Art for Impact program that was aligned to their culture and goals.
At Orrick LA, Art for Impact is a 3-legged stool of business, people, and community. This program takes the DEIB goals of the organization and matches that with local artist talent in a way that benefits community non-profit groups. This led to a set of anchor murals painted by famous LA-based mural artist Robert Vargas in the reception area. These murals represent the work of A New Way of Life (ANWOL), a community group that Orrick works with who help formerly incarcerated women reincorporate back into society. In addition to this, throughout the space, there are curated artworks by other artists that represent a range of different ethnicities, orientations, socio-economic backgrounds, and cultures.
When team members and clients walk into Orrick’s office they are able to see themselves and other people in the art to create a more shared sense of understanding – both of welcoming all people, and understanding Orrick’s values.
“In this space, we are intentionally using artwork to capture Orrick’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as a primary component of design – not as an afterthought. We wanted to create a space in which the Orrick team and Orrick’s clients could really see themselves reflected, and Robert Vargas’ work is representative of the diverse population of downtown Los Angeles.” - Chely Wright, Chief Diversity Officer
This mural by Robert Vargas, “It’s All About Love,” in the reception highlights the work of ANWOL and their founder Susan Burton. The mural depicts re-entry into the community - in this instance a mother is re-bonding with her child, sparking their connection the way they did at birth. Overlaid are California poppies, the state flower that can bloom anywhere, representing the resilience of these women.
As a nationally acclaimed re-entry program for women, ANWOL’s model is expanding nationally and poised to transform the U.S. approach to criminal justice. In addition to the murals in the space, Robert will also be painting another mural out in the community that speaks to the work that ANWOL does.
“It’s exciting to connect businesses to non-profits in a new way, which goes beyond simply writing a check. At Unispace, our goal with AFI is to create a sustainable ecosystem of engagement between non-profits, artists, and corporations. This project is reflective of that.” - Chely Wright, Chief Diversity Officer
We are working with Orrick on Art for Impact projects in other locations like Portland and Seattle and identifying other local artists and community groups.
Art for Impact at Orrick is only part of this story. Orrick has also implemented a world-class hybrid workplace that was a major transformation from their previous work environment. Equality is inherently designed into the layout of the space to promote collaboration and innovation, and is a model for law firms in our new era of working.
“We are delighted to be working out of this inspiring space. The Unispace team did an incredible job of joining the vibrant culture of the city we love with our culture and values, and provided the amenities, tools and collaborative space our hybrid team needs to deliver the best results for our clients." - Alyssa Caridis, Deputy Leader of Orrick’s global Intellectual Property practice, who led the LA office design project