Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Bids Farewell To An Angel

May 24, 2001

On Thursday, May 17, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP said goodbye to an angel.

Angels decorated by Southland artists began appearing in streets and parks around the city, Hollywood, Westwood, Santa Monica and Pasadena in February. Standing six feet tall with the sun strapped to her chest and vibrant red and yellow rays bursting out across her outspread wings, "Guardian Angel of the Skies" was installed this past February at Arco Center at 333 South Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. The angel sculpture, sponsored by Sheppard Mullin, will be one of the 80 angels auctioned to the public at a black-tie affair this Thursday.

"Guardian Angel of the Skies" was one of the first angels to be put on public display as part of A Community of Angels, a public art project conceived and coordinated by Volunteers of America. The large fiberglass sculpture was hand painted in Hollywood by local artists Lura Schmiedeke and Jeannette Hay, who are members of the Visual Artists Association of Celebrity Centre International. Sheppard Mullin became the angel's sponsor when the firm selected this design out of 2,000 other angel concepts submitted to the project coordinator.

This public project was inspired by the highly successful public art project first introduced in Zurich and later similarly created in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Orlando, St. Paul, Toronto and Lexington. Last year, for example, Chicago’s was a highly publicized project featuring colorfully decorated fiberglass cows. The purpose of the L.A. project is to support the arts and build a spirit of goodwill among the many diverse communities in the County.

Sheppard Mullin’s "Angel Team" chose "Guardian of the Skies" because of its attractive celestial concept, coupled with the bold and expressive colors chosen by the artists. The Angel has been warmly received by many pedestrians on Hope Street – some stop to photograph her, some leave pennies at her feet as they would throw in a wishing well, some just stop to contemplate.

When asked why they became involved in A Community of Angels, artist Schmiedeke said, "It sounded like a wonderful project where the artists and the community would all benefit from working together. On the front of ours, we chose vibrant colors for the sunburst with the planet earth cupped lovingly in her hand. On the back, we used cool colors to show the calm, limitless wonders of the creation of new things, which to us reflects the same elements that can be found in Los Angeles."

"Whenever people see her, no matter what type of day they have had, they immediately smile and want to come over to touch her," added artist Hay. "She creates her own magic."

The first 80 angels were auctioned on May 17 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The remaining angels will remain on display during the month of June while they are auctioned over the internet. Proceeds will go to the Volunteers of America and Catholic Big Brothers to fund mentoring programs for youth. More information on the projects and auction is available on the web at A Community of Angels has a studio and store at 901 7th Street at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. For more information about the "Guardian Angel of the Skies" work, please contact Lura Schmiedeke at Schmiedeke’s artwork can be seen at her website at

Sheppard Mullin supports countless community programs and charitable activities throughout the year. The Los Angeles office supports the March of Dimes throughout the year and was recently honored by the organization for becoming the first downtown L.A. business to surpass $100,000 in support. Staff members have raised thousands of dollars in the past year to support the Good Shepherd Shelter, the Bienvenidos Children's Center, the Belize Hurricane Keith Relief Fund, the University of Southern California's Violence Intervention Program, day programs provided by the Ketchum Downtown YMCA. Dozens of firm members participated in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women to support women battling breast and ovarian cancer. In May the firm is participating in the American Heart Association's American Heart Walk and in June will sponsor Hope for Firefighters Day to benefit the Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association. In addition, the Orange County office has been supporting United Way, Goodwill, and Human Options (assisting abused women and their children). The Los Angeles and Orange County offices also donated dozens of computers and computer monitors to area schools and Goodwill this last summer and fall.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is the eleventh-largest law firm in California with more than 300 attorneys in four offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Orange County. Sheppard Mullin is a full-service firm specializing in corporate and securities, banking and finance, labor and employment, litigation and antitrust, intellectual property, tax and estate planning, and real estate.