We believe that the presence of diverse cultures and experiences strengthens and enriches our practice. Our commitment to diversity is one of the firm’s most important core values. To further our mission, we have created a Diversity Committee, which creates and implements initiatives to encourage a balance of race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, age and physical ability within our firm. Examples of our commitment to diversity include the following:
- The firm’s Management Committee includes Carol Wolff, who serves as a role model to other partners and to associates.
- The firm has a vibrant Women’s Initiative, which assists women lawyers with professional development and business development and fosters a firm culture that is supportive of women in the profession.
- The firm holds a mid-level or senior associate retreat each year. Recent programs have featured business development training and leadership development.
- We are a signatory to the Statement of Diversity Principles of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
- One of our New York City partners was the 2009 Recipient of the City Bar’s Diversity Champion Award.
Recruitment & Retention
- The firm strives to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of people of diverse backgrounds.
- In all engagements with legal recruiters, we indicate our interest in diverse candidates.
- The firm attends diversity job fairs, conducts outreach to law student groups and attends bar-sponsored programs.
- The firm has group mentoring program. The program is a great way for participants to get to know each other across departments and offices, and to help foster personal and professional development on a regular but casual basis.
- The firm has a flex-time policy, and several associates and partners at the firm have successfully adopted flex-time schedules by working with the firm’s Department Directors to determine the best way to meet both the lawyer’s and the firm’s needs.
- The firm’s Marketing and Professional Development Departments sponsor a Business Development Training Program. The Program focuses on developing a baseline understanding of S&W practice areas; periodic interactive workshops and panels to enhance our lawyers' networking, service and sales skills; and intensive one-on-one coaching for a handful of participants.
- Our career development manager works with all associates to assess their strengths and areas for improvement, increasing current and future growth opportunities. She coaches associates in building and managing relationships, looks for and assesses training opportunities tied to a lawyer’s specific substantive development and also serves as a liaison between management and associates. The career development manager works to provide a welcoming environment and is available for all manner of questions and concerns. This role is viewed as an invaluable resource to the firm in furthering its diversity goals and in supporting our associates.
Organizations Committed to Diversity
Sullivan & Worcester is an active participant in a number of organizations committed to diversity. They include:
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). The firm is a member of the LCLD, an organization of more than 250 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. As part of our membership, the firm has nominated Ashley Brooks as a Fellow of the LCLD. Each year Fellow groups of high-potential attorneys from diverse backgrounds pursue a year-long series of learning programs to foster collaboration and build leadership skills.
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). The firm has worked for the past several years with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), New England's leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression. We acted as tax counsel for GLAD in its filing of the first concerted, multi-plaintiff legal challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). Our lawyers have written and filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association on a 2013 DOMA case (United States v. Windsor) as well as the Proposition 8 case that was mooted for lack of standing (also in 2013). Since then, we have written and filed amicus briefs for GLMA in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits, and the Supreme Court.
- The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. The firm has an ongoing working relationship with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association. For more than a decade, at least one of our partners has been a member of the steering committee, and we have acted as co-counsel with the committee on numerous important civil rights cases involving such matters as racial discrimination, bilingual education, housing integration and public transportation.
- The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. The Commission presents the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Distinction Awards and supports issues of interest to women lawyers.
- Direct Women Project. The DW Project works to increase the number of women lawyers on the Boards of Directors of major U.S. corporations and institutions. The DW Project operates the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Awards and the Direct Women Board Institute.
- ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund. The firm has supported the Scholarship Fund, which has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to minority law students at American law schools.
For further information about Sullivan & Worcester's diversity initiatives please contact our Diversity Committee at email@example.com.