Raymond L. Ocampo Jr. Receives ABA Spirit of Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity in the Legal Profession

American Bar Association

Raymond L. Ocampo Jr., a determined advocate for diversity in the legal profession during his three decades-long career, will receive a 2010 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

“Ray Ocampo has been a tireless champion of diversity throughout his career and has encouraged other leaders in the profession to embrace and promote diversity as well.  He worked to increase the pool of diverse lawyers in such ways as personally funding scholarships, and was a visible leader in making opportunities available for diverse individuals once they became lawyers,” said Fred Alvarez of Palo Alto, Calif., commission chair.  “Ray was a vocal leader during a time when silence about inequities was the professional norm. He went against the grain time after time and, as general counsel for Oracle Corporation, he demanded that outside counsel assign women and minorities to Oracle’s cases. A true leader, Ray took risks in the name of creating a fair and impartial workplace. As his nominators said, Ocampo embodies the ‘spirit of the Spirit of Excellence Award.’”

The commission will present the award to Ocampo Feb. 6 during the 2010 ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The son of a U.S. Navy sailor, Ocampo emigrated from the Philippines before he was 10 years old. Ocampo, whose parents had no more than a grade-school education, worked throughout college and law school to support himself financially. Obtaining his undergraduate degree in three years, Ocampo’s relentless work ethic became evident from a young age. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkley.

Following the receipt of his law degree and several years of practice as an antitrust lawyer, Ocampo became the first minority director of the Legal Educational Opportunity Program at Hastings College of Law. He touched many lives while at Hastings, influencing a generation of racially and ethnically diverse lawyers, some of whom would later become leaders of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California.

Among other achievements, Ocampo advanced corporate diversity efforts as general counsel at Oracle Corporation, requiring outside counsel to assign women and minorities to the company’s cases. Ocampo also co‑founded and served as executive director for a leading intellectual property program, the Berkley Center for Law & Technology. Ocampo also is the author of several articles and books, including “Drafting and Negotiating Software Consulting Agreements” and “On Hiring Women and Minorities: One Counsel’s Perspective.” He has served as a keynote speaker for various programs, conferences and meetings. Additionally, Ocampo is the principal founder of the Filipino Bar Association.

Ocampo is active in his community, having served on the boards of several nonprofit and charitable organizations, including chairing the Asian Pacific Fund. He has been the recipient of countless awards throughout his career. They include the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California’s Jose Rizal Award for service to the Filipino community, the National Asian Pacific Bar’s Trailblazer Award, the Distinguished Corporate Executive Award from the Asian Business League of San Francisco and a Pioneer in the Profession Award from the California Minority Counsel Program.

The ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is a catalyst to change the legal profession to reflect the society it serves.  It helps racially and ethnically diverse lawyers advance their careers and standing in the profession.  Its leadership, programs and information help the profession understand and eliminate racism, bigotry and discrimination.  The commission works to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, and thus enrich it. 

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.