New Survey Rates Big Law Policies to Build Gender Equality

A new survey aims to move forward the conversation about equality in Biglaw by examining which firms are taking key steps to close persistent gender gaps.

Bloomberg Law reports on the survey, which was conducted by Diversity Lab, an incubator for diversity and inclusion in the law, and ChIPs, a nonprofit organization focused on advancing and connecting women in technology, law and policy.

Top scoring firms were Brooks Kushman and Sheppard Mullin.

Read the Bloomberg Law article.



Genhi Bailey Joins Perkins Coie As Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in Chicago

Genhi Givings Bailey has joined Perkins Coie as chief diversity & inclusion officer. Bailey previously led the diversity and inclusion department at DLA Piper for eight years.

“Throughout her career, Genhi has shown a strong dedication to diversity and inclusion, which are core values of our firm,” said John Devaney, Perkins Coie’s firmwide managing partner. “Her exceptional skills, experience, and grasp of diversity and inclusion issues will help us build on the progress we’ve made to date and contribute fresh thinking to further advance our efforts. We are very excited to see what she brings to this role.”

Inn a release, the firm said Bailey, who will be based in Perkins Coie’s Chicago office, will lead the firm in achieving its current diversity and inclusion goals and develop new initiatives that champion diversity as a key ingredient to driving the firm’s success. She will lead recruitment, retention and advancement plans for diverse lawyers and work closely with the firm’s senior leadership and department heads to ensure consistent and effective diversity and inclusion efforts across the firm.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to join a firm like Perkins Coie, which has demonstrated a genuine commitment to embrace diversity and inclusion and embed it into its culture,” Genhi said. “I look forward to collaborating with others at the firm and adding my experience and knowledge to take the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts to the next level.”

Bailey serves as a board member and volunteer for various groups, including the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Umoja Student Development, the Posse Foundation and the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals. Prior to her roles focused on diversity and inclusion, Bailey was a Legal Placement and Diversity Consultant at Ajilon in Minneapolis and a practicing attorney focused on trademark and copyright in the entertainment industry. Bailey received her J.D. from the Mitchell Hamline College of Law and her B.A., cum laude, from Metropolitan State University.



How Should Managers Deal with the Challenges of Building an Inclusive Workplace?

James L. Heskett, a Harvard Business School professor emeritus, reports on some of the responses to a recent column about how best to foster a climate of inclusion in an organization.

In his original column, the author discussed how diversity and inclusion are universal topics among executives. One typical study looking at the issue found “a strong correlation between gender diversity and a company’s bottom line.”

Companies in the top quartile of gender diversity worldwide had a high likelihood of outperforming bottom-quartile industry peers in both earnings before interest and taxes as well as longer-term value creation, according to the study.

Read the article.



Nov. 8 Live Event: General Counsel and Experts Share New Drivers of Diversity

Bloomberg Law’s 4th annual Talent and Diversity Forum brings together industry leaders to share insights on what can actually increase diversity in the legal industry.

The event will be November 8, 2018, 8 a.m. to noon, in the offices of Bloomberg Government, 1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 2005.

With the emergence of new technologies and increased data analysis, the industry has seen significant shifts in recruiting and retention strategies and the emergence of an operations and value-driven business model, Bloomberg says on its website.

The half-day program will bring together corporate diversity champions, general counsel, and industry experts to offer up the newest ideas for bridging the ongoing diversity gap, from using technology to analyze data on prospective attorneys to ways to adapt an organization’s overall diversity initiatives to best suit an in-house legal team.

Key topics will include:

  • Harnessing diversity in the changing business of law
  • Using data and technology to increase diversity
  • Workshopping scenarios to tackle diversity issues

Request an invitation.




Biglaw Practice Leader Encourages Women to Tell Him If They Plan on Becoming Pregnant – For ‘Budgetary Reasons’

PregnantAbove the Law reports that women in the Jones Day Business and Tort Litigation group have been “encouraged” to tell management if they were pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant within the next year.

ATL executive editor Elie Mystal writes:

We’re told that partner Stephen Sozio, who is co-leader of the firm’s health care practice and chair of the firm’s litigation department in Cleveland, added that he understood if women who were in their first trimester were uncomfortable talking to him. He encouraged those women to contact his administrative assistant and tell her about their plans.

The women were told that the information would help the group plan its budget.

Read the Above the Law article.



IBM Sued for Age Discrimination After Thousands of Older Workers Laid Off

IBM sign

Image by Patrick

USA Today reports that a class-action lawsuit was filed Monday against IBM on behalf of three former employees alleging age discrimination.

Reporter Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy explains: “The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs are among thousands of IBM employees to be laid off recently as the result of a shift in IBM’s focus to recruit millennials ‘in order to make the face of IBM younger, while at the same time pushing out older employees.'”

“IBM has discriminated, and continues to discriminate, against its older workers, both by laying them off disproportionately to younger workers and by not hiring them for open positions,” the lawsuit alleges.

The three name plaintiffs are 55, 59 and 67, and have worked for IBM for periods ranging from 15 to 34 years.

Read the USA Today article.



Former Partner Hits Biglaw Firm With Explosive Gender Discrimination Charge

A former partner at Manatt has filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, on behalf of herself and those similarly situated alleging gender discrimination and retaliation at the Biglaw firm, reports Above the Law.

Rebecca Torrey’s filing details allegations of a “boys’ club” an environment that weighs “heavily in the favor of male partners.”

Torrey also alleges the compensation structure for partners is dictated by a group hand-selected by outgoing firm managing partner, William Quicksilver, and who rarely challenge his recommendations.

Read the Above the Law article.



Greenberg Traurig Co-President Hilarie Bass Steps Down to Focus on Diversity Venture

Hilarie Bass, co-president of the powerhouse Miami legal firm Greenberg Traurig, will step down from her position to start an organization that will address issues critical to women and minorities, she and the firm jointly announced Wednesday.

She will leave at the end of 2018, reports the Miami Herald.

Bass will found the Bass Institute on Diversity and Inclusion. The nonprofit aims to advance gender parity across industries and develop new policies for employers to make the workplace more hospitable to diverse employees, according to reporter Dylan Jackson.

Read the Miami Herald‘s article.




JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $24 Million to End Lawsuit From Black Advisers

JPMorgan Chase has reached a settlement with financial advisers who say they were treated poorly because they’re black, reports Bloomberg News via the Chicago Tribune.

Reporter Max Abelson explains: “Six current and former employees at the largest U.S. bank filed what they asked to be a class action, alleging discrimination that’s ‘uniform and national in scope.’ Instead of fighting it in court, the bank agreed to pay $19.5 million to the members of the class, according to Friday filings. It will also put $4.5 million into a fund that will back recruitment, bias training, a review of branch assignments and a coaching program for black advisers.”

In the settlement, the bank denied any “wrongdoing of any kind whatsoever.”

Read the Bloomberg article.



Day Pitney Ranks Among Top 20 Law Firms for Gender Diversity in The American Lawyer

Day Pitney LLP announced that the firm has been ranked among the top 20 Am Law 200 firms for gender diversity, specifically, the percentage of female equity partners, in The American Lawyer‘s annual A-List ranking.

The newest metric included in the A-List ranking is a score based on the percentage of female lawyers in a firm’s equity partnership ranks. Equity partnership, or law firm ownership, is considered to be among the most important indicators of a law firm’s enduring diversity achievements.

This year, Day Pitney was also ranked among the top 50 law firms in the National Law Journal (NLJ) 500: Women’s Scorecard. Only the largest 350 firms in the nation are eligible for a Women’s Scorecard ranking, and the “score” is determined by adding the percentage of the firm’s female attorneys with its percentage of female partners.



Foley & Mansfield Adopts Mansfield Rule 2.0 to Drive Diversity in Leadership Roles and Lateral Hiring

The national defense firm of Foley & Mansfield announce that the firm has signed on to Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 2.0, an initiative designed to help law firms diversify candidate pools for significant leadership positions. It measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women, LGBTQ+, and minority lawyers – at least 30% of the candidate pool – for promotions, senior level hiring, and significant leadership roles in the firm.

In a release, the firm said Foley & Mansfield’s adoption of the Mansfield Rule is an integral part of the firm’s heightened focus on stimulating diversity and inclusion in its ranks. Evidence of the firm’s recent progress in this arena include being named a 2018 Top Firm for Diversity in the American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard, and earning the ranking of #11 on the National Law Journal 2018 Women’s Scorecard, the firm said.

“We are proud to be a part of the Mansfield Rule 2.0 initiative. It’s not just lip service at F&M. The Mansfield Rule 2.0 provides a concrete framework that emphasizes our commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion,” said Joseph Rejano, co-chair of the firm’s nationwide Diversity Committee and a partner in the firm’s Chicago office.

The rule, named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States, was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School.

Click here for more information on Diversity Lab.




Biglaw Partner Suspended After Accusing Small-Firm Litigator of Using Pregnancy to Delay Trial

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has suspended a Miami lawyer after he objected when a pregnant opposing lawyer sought a continuance because her due date coincided with a trial date, reports the ABA Journal.

According to a statement provided by the law firm’s administrative managing partner, Paul Reid has been suspended pending further review by firm management.

Christen Luikart of Murphy Anderson in Jacksonville, Florida, is the opposing lawyer who sought the delay.

Reid argued his client had been injured five years ago and “parental leave is not a compelling circumstance justifying the severe prejudice” that will be caused by delaying the trial.” The court overruled his objection.

Read the ABA Journal article.



S.H.E. Summit in Dallas Aug. 16 Will Focus on Gender Equality

Nationally recognized business leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs will meet in Dallas August 16 for S.H.E. Summit Bacardi Dallas, a full-day program that convenes female and male leaders to network and accelerate the global advancement of women with a goal of reaching gender equality by 2030.

The event will be at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Dallas-based Munck Wilson Mandala partnered with S.H.E. Summit and Bacardi’s Women in Leadership Initiative to bring the event to Dallas for the first time. Keynote speakers include Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, who is revamping the team’s corporate culture; fitness expert Ellen Latham, creator and co-founder of Orange Theory Fitness; local WFAA news contributor and former anchor Shelly Slater; and S.H.E. Summit CEO and founder Claudia Chan.

Informative workshops, thought-provoking panel discussions, and keynotes will cover everything from ascending to leadership, to building a network, to breaking barriers in male-dominated industries. Attendees from large and small corporations, including AT&T, Kendra Scott, Bacardi, Southern Glazers, Tiff’s Treats, and many others will hear inspiring stories and meet exceptional leaders.

“S.H.E. Summit is an event that invites everyone, men and women, profit and non-profit, community and corporate organizations to join forces and help raise women to their highest potential,” said Munck Wilson Mandala attorney Jessica Spaniol, a moderator for the program.

Learn more at For more information, contact Shannon Tipton at 972-628-4500 or



Employers at Higher Risk of Age-Discrimination Litigation with Changing Worker Demographics

Diversity - employmentAccording to a report released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are at an increased risk of age-discrimination litigation due to changing workforce demographics, according to a Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone post.

“The State of Age Discrimination and Older Workers in the U.S. 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act” highlights a number of important considerations for employers with regard to older workers.

“The report notes that older workers, specifically those in the 65+ category, are expected to remain in the workforce for longer, at greater numbers, and are the segment of the workforce expected to grow the fastest through 2024,” the post reports. “As a result of the increased presence of older workers in the workforce, the EEOC report warns against employment discrimination based on age, representing that ‘[u]nfounded assumptions about age and ability continue to drive age discrimination in the workplace.'”

Read the article.