Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
By definition, diversity is broad and far-reaching. Clark Hill values the differences and strengths that each person brings to our firm, our clients, and our communities. We are focused on promoting inclusion and what makes people the unique individuals they are, including racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, disabilities, life experiences, education, career choices, family responsibilities, hobbies, personal values, personality profiles, politics, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and much, much more.
We are committed to ensuring equity, providing opportunities for growth and advancement for a diverse workforce and promoting strategies and initiatives to increase the representation of women, minorities, and others at every level of the firm, including in management and attorney leadership.
Inclusion Begins at Home
Insisting on creating our own strong, diverse workforce is the most powerful way to demonstrate our commitment to these principles.
Allyship at Work—This program is powered by 20 skilled Allyship Trainers who volunteered from various levels of the firm to be trained in a comprehensive, 1.5-day program with a goal of leading and conducting firm-wide workshops on allyship. The workshops are designed to educate colleagues on what it means to be an ally and provide tools for how to be an ally. The Trainers work together to educate firm employees by promoting transformational change through introspection and awareness, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as unconscious bias and micro-aggressions. The 2 hour, once-per-year training is required for all firm employees to ensure a psychologically safe, inclusive and equitable work environment for all.
21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge—This voluntary program is held annually and offered to all firm employees. The program is an extension of our commitment to stand together against racism and injustice, with a focus on education. The challenge, conceived by Dr. Eddie Moore Junior, helps facilitate effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of power, privilege, supremacy, and leadership.
Clark Hill’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee directs four core programs that serve as the cornerstones of our effort to make the firm a welcoming workplace and to effectively prepare the leaders of the future:
- Clark Hill THRIVE, emphasizing the value of multiculturalism
- Clark Hill BOLD, preparing and promoting women for leadership
- Clark Hill PRIDE, elevating and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) lawyers, professionals and staff
- Clark Hill Veterans’ Group, encouraging the retention, advancement, and recruitment of veterans
The strategies and initiatives within each of these core programs work together to increase the representation of women, minorities and others at every level of the firm, including in management and attorney leadership. Examples of these initiatives include the addition of domestic partnership benefits, updates to our parental-leave and reduced-work arrangements, and career-path alternatives to positively impact the long-term professional prospects of our people.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession
To promote the values of inclusion, we partner with a number of organizations throughout the legal profession and at law schools across the country that foster the success of lawyers from varied backgrounds and with diverse interests.
Clark Hill is engaged in the following programs to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession:
Mansfield Rule Certification Program—Clark Hill has achieved Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification in recognition of the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and its initiatives and programs designed to increase diversity in leadership roles within the firm. Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification requires that law firms consider at least 30% women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and senior lateral positions.
The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 1L Scholars Program—This program is designed to identify diverse talent at the 1L level, with the purpose of having students return as 2L summer associates and then as a first-year attorneys. Selected LCLD 1L Scholars participate in the firm’s Summer Associate Program and receive real-life experience on a broad range of projects including research and writing assignments, opportunities to attend court hearings, client meetings, depositions, and other office events. In addition, LCLD Scholars have the opportunity to attend a summit, along with other LCLD Scholars, that provides training, professional development, and networking opportunities.
Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP)—This program is specifically focused on women of color. DAPP aims to diversify the legal profession by expanding opportunities for women of color law students to secure summer positions at law firms and corporations following their first year of law school. DAPP scholars also participate in the firm’s Summer Associate Program and receive the same type of assignments and opportunities. In addition, DAPP Scholars attend weekly sessions that consist of everything from teaching legal writing concepts, drilling black letter law, reviewing multiple choice and practice essay questions, and cultivating high-quality resume writing, interviewing and professional development skills. Similar to the LCLD Program, our goal is to have DAPP students return as 2L summer associates and then as a first-year attorneys.
Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA)—Clark Hill is one of 125 law firms that have joined this organization that seeks to address not just individual assaults on equality and social justice, but the structures in place that allow those inequalities to propagate. The stated purpose of the Alliance is to leverage the resources of the private bar to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to better use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color, and to promote racial equity in the law and in government institutions. The LFAA hopes to coordinate its efforts via a network of social and racial justice organizations that already have the institutional knowledge of what needs to happen to affect meaningful change.
At the firm and office levels, we regularly sponsor these organizations’ networking, fundraising, volunteer and charitable initiatives. These groups include the following:
- American Association of Retired People
- Barristers Ball
- Baxter Community Center
- Black Family Development, Inc.
- Chicago Task Force on LGBT Aging
- Dallas Women Lawyers Association
- Detroit Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services
- Equality Texas
- Federation of Women Contractors
- Human Rights Campaign
- Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers
- Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Lawyers for Diversity
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
- Legal Aid Defenders Association
- Los Abogados
- Michigan Community Action Agency Association
- Michigan Minority Women’s Network
- Michigan Women Lawyers’ Association
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- National Bar Association
- National Black Law Students Association
- Native American Bar Association of Arizona
- Paiute Legal Clinic
- Royal Oak Women’s Club
- Senior Neighbors
- South Asian Bar Association
- Swedish American Chamber of Commerce-USA, Inc.
- Texas Minority Council Program
- Travis County Women Lawyers Association
- Wolverine Bar Association
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
- Women’s Caring Program