Simao “Sim” Avila J.D. ’83 was named a Diversity Champion Finalist in the 2012 Bay Area Corporate Counsel Awards publication, a joint production of the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.
Avila became a lawyer to create social justice in the world around him. It was a natural outgrowth of his years studying philosophy and existential phenomenology at St. Patrick’s College and law at Santa Clara University. In October 2011, he earned the Santa Clara Law Social Justice and Human Rights Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals in the cause of equality, social justice, and human rights.
Born on St. George Island in the Portuguese Azores, Avila worked for the National Labor Relations Board in Puerto Rico before coming to California. He practiced law as a partner at Littler Mendelson. Then as the labor and employment counsel for the University of California.
He joined Kaiser in 2007 and serves as senior counsel at the Oakland-based health giant and as an attorney in the labor and employment department. The medical foundation has more than 8.8 million members and 14,000 doctors and is one of the largest nonprofit managed health care systems in the United States.
Avila, 57, oversees all of Kaiser’s employment issues, including claims of discrimination. He ensures the company’s compliance with affirmative action laws and policies. He also serves on the Kaiser Permanente diversity committee. Avila frequently teaches at Stanford Law School and U.C. Berkeley. He is also an active volunteer in the California Minority Counsel Program. In September, Avila received the Social Justice and Human Rights Award from Santa Clara School of Law.