Dorna Javanfard

Dorna Javafard
Los Angeles Office
Education: University of Paslazi (Siraz, Iran), University of California, Los Angeles – Southwestern University Law School
Member: California State Bar
Joined BM&M in 2016

For most, the road to becoming a successful Workers' Comp defense attorney is one of many turns. For Dorna Javanfard it was more of a journey through diverse cultures. Make that really diverse cultures.

Dorna was born in Iran. The daughter of Jewish parents, she was in the minority and had to work hard to become one of the top students graduating from high school. She studied her subjects in both Farsi, her native language, and English, which she learned initially from her mother.

"My mother introduced me to English and encouraged me to learn more about the west," she recalls. "It wasn't long before I set my sites on coming to America and becoming a citizen of The United States."

After a year at the University of Paslazi in Siraz, Iran studying information technology, she made the first move.

"It was difficult, but I used my minority status to gain a visa to Vienna, Austria, where I worked as a translator for an organization that helps refugees. It was there that I first got interested in becoming an attorney."

Always a self-starter, Dorna applied and eventually received a visa to The United States. She recalls landing in Los Angeles, where she immediately enrolled in college.

"I landed in LA on a Wednesday, and by Friday I was registered at Santa Monica College and the next week I was attending classes."

She later transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where she made the Dean's List and graduated with a degree in business accounting. Her first career choice was to become a Certified Public Accountant, but then because of her experience in Vienna with the refugee organization, she thought about becoming a lawyer.

She attended and then graduated from South Western Law School in Los Angeles. After passing the bar, she worked as general council on a contract basis for a firm in Los Angeles learning the ropes of litigation. Her next career stop was with one of the largest Applicant Workers' Comp firms in Los Angeles.

"I worked for two years on the applicant's side and learned a lot about how that side works. There were certain aspects of it that I didn't like, and I thought I'd give the defense side a go."

Today, she is a member of the Los Angeles Office of Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight, where she is taking her self-starting ability to a new level.

"The difference between the applicant firm and here is like night and day," she says. "From my first interview on I knew it was where I wanted to be. The energy and the genuine smiles on people's faces made all the difference for me. I feel like a new person."

Dorna says she enjoys both going to trial and participating in negotiations to reach the best resolution for her clients.

"As a defense attorney, I pursue each case on its merit. If there is a way to negotiate a positive outcome, I will try it. If it's a case that needs to go to trial, I'm ready. I'm always looking for the best, and most time-efficient resolution."

She says her favorite part of the job is "the entrepreneurial aspects of moving a case forward."

Away from work, Dorna enjoys hiking and biking with her husband and being "a mom." She recently became the proud mother of a young son, which takes most of her time now.

"I really just like hanging out with my husband and son. We used to ride and hike a lot and travel, which I still like to do, but now I'm really having fun with my family."