Commitment to Diversity
Clark Hill PLC is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in our firm, fostering a collegial and respectful working environment in which each person is encouraged and supported to reach his or her highest potential. We recognize that utilizing the talents of people with a wide range of characteristics, backgrounds and experiences positively impacts every aspect of our firm - first and foremost - our ability to deliver quality legal and professional services to our clients which exceed their expectations. Understanding that a diverse workplace is critical to the firm's ongoing success, we have emphasized diversity and inclusion in our strategic plan.
Diversity itself is an inclusive concept and encompasses a respect for and valuing of many different characteristics of our people , including but not limited to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, veteran's status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other personal characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance. We strive to have a workplace that is comfortable and welcoming for everyone.
The Firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee
We are committed to attract and retain a diverse population at our firm. To lead us in this commitment, we formed a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to work with our firm leadership and recommend changes and new initiatives to improve the diversity and inclusion efforts of our firm. The representation of women and minorities in our Firm, including management and firm leadership, has grown substantially over the years and is an important goal as we continue to implement our strategic plan. In addition, our firm sponsors numerous events for diverse organizations and our attorneys and staff are involved in a wide array of organizations and associations. The Firm has added domestic partnership benefits and has made modifications to parental leave, reduced work arrangements and career-pathing, to positively impact the career prospects for our people and the retention of diverse personnel.
The thirteen members of our Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee are diverse on many levels. The Committee is made up of over 50% women and minorities. The members of the Committee are from different offices and areas of the Firm, including attorneys, staff, administrators and those in management and leadership positions. The Committee meets on a regular basis and has developed a mission statement and goals, as well as sub-committees to assist in achieving those goals.
Women's Business Network
Clark Hill's Women's Business Network is a committee within the firm that encourages the professional growth of female professionals through training, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Clark Hill is committed to recruiting women for positions in all departments and levels and to cultivating their leadership skills for promotion within the firm. Women hold many leadership positions within the firm including practice group leadership, operational department leadership, office Members-in-Charge and Executive Committee membership.
The Women’s Business Network has hosted many educational and social events in recent years. Nationally-known speakers have been brought in to discuss the unique challenges of women in the workplace and overcoming gender bias. Social events including cocktail parties, fundraisers and golf outings facilitate networking among Clark Hill’s women professionals and those throughout the business communities we serve.
Recruiting Diverse Attorneys
The firm increased its minority representation significantly while increasing the breadth of minority representation in a majority of our practice groups. This progress was achieved through participation in minority recruiting events such as the Cook County Bar Association Minority Job Fair and National Black Law Students Association Midwestern Recruitment Conference, as well as through focused lateral hiring efforts. We have increased the number of female and openly gay attorneys and representation of minorities in leadership positions. To promote diversity in hiring, a member of our Diversity Committee also sits on our firm’s Recruiting Committee.
Involvement in Diverse Organizations
Clark Hill’s philosophy on diversity and inclusion does not stop at the office door. Clark Hill professionals are involved in a wide variety of external activities and associations, including charitable and volunteer organizations, bar associations and other groups to foster the success and support of minorities, and cooperative associations that support the communities in which we work and live. Examples of these associations from our various offices include:
- American Association of Retired People
- Chicago Task Force on LGBT Aging
- Detroit Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services
- Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers
- Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund
- Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Legal Aid Defenders Association
- Los Abogados
- Michigan Minority Women's Network
- Michigan Women Lawyers' Association
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- National Bar Association
- Native American Bar Association of Arizona
- Paiute Legal Clinic
- South Asian Bar Association
- Swedish American Chamber of Commerce-USA, Inc.
- Wolverine Bar Association
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
Clark Hill attorneys and staff also participate in the “Clark Hill Cares” program, a community involvement effort. Through service projects and donations, Clark Hill Cares aims to make a difference in the communities it serves, with regularly organized fundraising events, sponsorships and an official Service Day, in which all employees and their families are invited to participate.
Additionally, Clark Hill directs a portion of its philanthropic and marketing budgets to support and sponsor minority, community, volunteer and charitable organizations. Recent sponsorships include:
- Barristers Ball
- Baxter Community Center
- Black Family Development, Inc.
- Federation of Women Contractors
- Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Lawyers for Diversity
- Michigan Community Action Agency Association
- Royal Oak Women's Club
- Senior Neighbors
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
- Women’s Caring Program