We ask ourselves several questions about diversity every day. Are we a diverse firm? Do we try our hardest to recruit and retain talented and diverse lawyers? Are our diverse lawyers included as equal partners and colleagues in every way? To ensure that the answer to these questions is "yes," we focus on doing everything we can to foster diversity and promote inclusion both within Schiff Hardin and in the legal and greater communities in which we live and work.
We measure our success in two ways: by judging ourselves and by paying close attention to how others judge us. First, we challenge ourselves to make our diversity aspirations a reality within the firm. All young lawyers participate in a mentoring program to ensure that they benefit from the experience and wisdom of more senior lawyers who can "show them the ropes." Another example of our commitment: all attorneys prepare annual individual business plans that help us focus on our professional goals and how we might achieve them. These plans ask all partners whether they include diverse attorneys on their client service teams; if they make sure diverse lawyers are equal participants in meetings with potential and current clients; how they include diversity as part of their individual goals. We are judged by our plans and our commitment to them. We work in other ways as well to make our diversity commitment real.
The second way we measure our success in creating and maintaining diversity is by how others judge us. We are gratified and empowered by the recognition we receive from individuals and organizations that, like us, are committed to making diversity a reality. It is gratifying because it reminds us that our work and commitment to a diverse and inclusive firm means something to the community. The people who judge us can see that what we do to further diversity is an honest expression of our values. It is empowering because being recognized by our peers reminds us that we are on the right track and energizes us to do better today and tomorrow than we did yesterday.
Just recently, several national organizations have recognized Schiff Hardin for our commitment to diversity and inclusion:
- Top Ten Law Firms with Women in Equity Partnership — Ranked #9 on the 2012 "Women in Equity Partnership" list by The National Law Journal and The American Lawyer magazine, based on percentage of women equity partners within the firm.
- Law Firm Rankings 2012: The Best Law Firms For Diversity — Ranked #25 by Vault.com's Law 100 Vault Ranking for Overall Diversity.
- Perfect Score in Corporate Equality Index — Received a 100% score in the 2012 and 2011 Corporate Equality Index based on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace policies and benefits, from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization.
- Thomas L. Sager Award — Honored by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for our diversity achievements in 2012 with this award for the Midwest region.
- MultiCultural Law Magazine — Named a "Top 100 Law Firm for Women" and "Top 25 Law Firm for African-Americans" in 2012