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 managing partner and two other members of the Management Committee are members of, attend and participate in the Diversity Committee meetings.
- The firm’s Management Committee includes Carol Wolff and Ameek Ponda, a woman attorney and an attorney of color, who serve as role models 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.
- 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.
- Several of our associates participate in The Boston Lawyer’s Group (BLG), a Boston-based organization that supports companies in identifying, recruiting, advancing and retaining attorneys of color. BLG hosts mock interview programs, job fairs and other initiatives during the year. In addition, the firm participates in BLG’s hiring fairs focused on law students and lawyers of color and participates in BLG’s first-year law student summer intern program.
- The firm actively recruits in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and participates as a recruiter in the National LGBT Bar Association's Annual Conference and Career Fair.
- In the cover letter for all engagements with legal recruiters, we indicate our interest in diverse candidates.
- Our career development manager helps all of our associates assess their own strengths and areas for improvement and analyze current and future growth opportunities; coaches associates in building and managing relationships; looks for and assesses training opportunities tied to our lawyers' specific substantive development; serves as a liaison between management and associates; works with associates on reduced hours to ensure their progress and development; and generally provides a welcoming resource for all manner of questions and concerns. The position is an invaluable resource to the firm in furthering its diversity goals and in supporting our associates.
- The firm has several mentoring programs for lawyers at all levels.
- 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, which was formally introduced in the Spring of 2007. 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.
- The firm holds a mid-level or senior associate retreat each year. Recent programs have featured business development training and leadership development.
- The firm regularly purchases and presents Webinars focused on diversity and leadership issues for attorneys of color.
Organizations Committed to Diversity
In addition to the BLG, Sullivan & Worcester is an active participant in a number of organizations committed to diversity. They include:
- The Partnership. An organization formed in 1987 in response to racial tensions and the under-representation of people of color in Boston's civic leadership, the Partnership has a portfolio of programs and services designed to strengthen Boston's capacity to attract, retain and develop talented professionals of color.
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). This is New England's leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
- 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 Scholarship Fund 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.