Our firm is committed to the goal of strengthening our diversity through recruiting and retaining minority and women attorneys and staff personnel from all backgrounds. Our commitment is consistent with our recognition that it is the outstanding people within Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P., with their diversity of backgrounds and ideas, who have always been the source of our strength and who are the firm’s greatest assets. We have long embraced the principles of equal employment opportunity and were, in fact, one of the first Dallas law firms to hire women attorneys. We recognize that continuing to promote diversity is important to our culture and is important to our clients, and it is, therefore, an integral component of our commitment to strive for excellence as individual attorneys and as a firm.
As part of the effort to advance our commitment to diversity throughout the firm, the Executive Committee has established a Committee on Diversity to explore, propose, and implement initiatives to strengthen diversity throughout the firm. Following this Committee’s leadership, the firm is pursuing the following:
- We actively recruit outstanding minority and women law students who will thrive in our firm culture and environment. As part of our minority recruitment efforts, we have established mentorship programs for students in law school minority association groups, worked with such on-campus minority groups to host social and educational events, and sent targeted mailings seeking to enlarge the pool of clerkship applications from qualified minority candidates. We also participate in minority job fairs each year. We are pleased to report that 29% of our 2007 summer clerks were women and 29% were minorities.
- We strive to provide women and minority lawyers with the experience, mentoring, and other tools necessary to advance to partnership. Between 2002 and 2007, 60% of the firm’s new partners have been women and 20% have been minorities.
- We also strive to provide women and minority lawyers with opportunities and resources for developing and maintaining clients. The firm supports various women-to-women networking opportunities, including providing funding for women’s networking events. Women are encouraged to join and have joined – with the firm’s monetary support – “women’s organizations” such as the Dallas Women’s Foundation and Attorneys Serving the Community. The firm also pays the membership dues for any minority lawyers wishing to join minority bar associations or affinity associations such as the National Bar Association, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, and the J. L. Turner Legal Association.
- We have encouraged our lawyers to create affinity groups or common interest groups tailored to meet the needs of individuals at the firm and have committed to support those groups financially and with other firm resources. The firm is also continuing to grow its collection of library resources focused on issues facing our women and minority attorneys.
- We participate in diversity initiatives outside the firm with clients, bar associations, and minority organizations. Our firm has sponsored and our lawyers have participated in programs such as the Texas Minority Counsel Program, the NALP Diversity Summit, the Diversity Management Series for Law Firm Leaders, the Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference, the Dallas Bar Association’s “Dinner and Dialog,” and the Dallas Bar Association’s annual minority clerkship lunch. In addition, the firm is committed to:
- Continuing to improve the diversity of those holding firm leadership positions, serving on firm committees, and participating in practice development issues.
- Continuing to improve the retention rate and job satisfaction of diverse employees.
- Continuing the firm’s long-standing policy encouraging the reporting of any discrimination or harassment based on sex, race, national origin, or any other protected status.
Of course, each and every member of the firm must accept responsibility for and do his or her part to fulfill our firm’s commitment to diversity. We want all of our lawyers and staff to feel that our firm is a place where they are appreciated for the diverse talents and points of view that they bring to our team and that they are treated with consideration and respect.