The Frank Crandall Community Service Award for 2016 has been presented to the firm of Hollister & Brace. The award was named in honor of the late Frank Crandall, a highly regarded Santa Barbara attorney, well-known for his civic activities and generous contributions to worthy causes.
This award honors a local law firm’s efforts in carrying on the spirit of Frank Crandall’s efforts by its involvement in civic activities and by providing pro bono services to community non-profit organizations. Factors considered in bestowing this award include the existence of a firm policy or attitude encouraging pro bono services, the percentage of firm attorneys performing pro bono work, the nature and quality of pro bono work, the firm’s and the member attorneys’ display of leadership in community projects and the services provided for the benefit of low-income persons. Hollister & Brace has excelled in all of these areas and has displayed an ongoing, long-term commitment to pro bono work for the benefit of the Santa Barbara community.
The firm of Hollister & Brace was established in 1966 by William A. Brace and the late J.J. Hollister, based on a practice centered on the California Central Coast that offered a comprehensive range of legal services. Today the firm consists of thirteen attorneys with a practice that extends to state and federal courts throughout the United States. The firm’s practice areas are diverse, and its attorneys are committed to serving its clients, the legal profession and our community. In doing so, Hollister & Brace exemplifies the high standards of the Frank Crandall award.
This tradition of civic involvement and community service was initiated by its founders. J.J. Hollister’s family owned the 782 acre Arroyo Hondo Ranch on the Gaviota Coast. Through the family’s generosity, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara was able to purchase the property in 2002. It is now operated and maintained by the Land Trust for use by the people of Santa Barbara County. It was the Hollister family that made the preservation of the ranch a reality.
William A. Brace began his support for and involvement with the Santa Barbara Zoo many years ago, and has served there in many capacities, including as president of the zoo. He has been so active in his support that the zoo now prominently displays a plaque at its entry arch recognizing him for his years of contributions.
With the examples established by the firm’s founders, the firm of Hollister & Brace consistently demonstrates a depth and breadth of service, both to the legal profession and the Santa Barbara community in general. The firm and its members have long supported the less fortunate in our community. The firm’s support has taken many forms: leadership roles in and substantial firm contributions to agencies focusing on those in need (e.g., the United Boys and Girls Club and the United Way) and legal services for the underserved (via Legal Aid and the Lawyer Referral Service).
The firm became the first major law firm contributor, in 2008, to Computers for Families. Computers for Families was a $4 million fund-raising effort whose goal was to make Santa Barbara the first community in the country to provide a working computer and internet connection to every needy fourth grade student in the city. That goal was reached, with Hollister & Brace being key to achieving it. To date, over 10,000 computers have been donated locally. The Computers for Families Program is still going strong today, with 600 to 700 computers being donated annually by local law firms and businesses. It is Hollister & Brace’s ongoing policy that when it replaces or upgrades its computers, the older computers are revamped and donated to low income students and their families.
Hollister & Brace attorneys have established a tradition of service to the local legal community. Shareholder Michael Denver, specializing in complex business litigation at Hollister & Brace since 2004, will be the next President of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. Four other members of the firm (Bill Brace, Steve Kirby, Brad Ginder and Sue McCollum) have also been extremely active in the legal community, each serving as Santa Barbara County Bar Association President, with Sue McCollum also serving as President of the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers. When the Courthouse Legacy Foundation (CLF) launched its initiative a few years ago for much needed renovations to the courthouse, firm member Brad Ginder led the effort as President of CLF. Numerous Bar Association sections, initiatives and committees have been chaired by firm members.
Partners and associates in the firm are encouraged to select non-profit activities and organizations in which they have a personal interest and then to demonstrate that interest by committing time and effort to that endeavor. All members of the firm are involved in at least one such activity. Community service is encouraged for all attorneys at the firm and is considered as a part of the firm’s annual review process.
Firm members have served in officer, director and/or trustee positions in many local non-profit organizations, including the Trust for Historic Preservation, Hillside House, the Boys & Girls Club, Angels Foster Care, Garden Court, the YMCA, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Santa Barbara Visiting Nurse & Hospice. At various times, a member of the firm has served as president of the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Santa Barbara Nautical Museum, the Downtown Organization and the United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County.