Bryan Cave

Diversity






"Promoting and embracing diversity is a core value at Bryan Cave, and each of us is responsible for fulfilling this commitment. Diversity at Bryan Cave means a professional home where people of all backgrounds and perspectives can achieve personal success and contribute meaningfully to the success of the firm. Diversity brings depth and richness to our individual professional experiences, binds us to the communities where we practice, and makes our firm a better place. In the following pages, you will find highlights of our diversity initiatives, a summary of recent news and events, and information about our affinity groups, recruiting efforts and Diversity Committee."
 
   – Don Lents, Chair of the Firm

 

DIVERSITY NEWS & EVENTS

Bryan Cave Hosts Annual LCLD Fellows’ Reception at NBA Convention


Bryan Cave hosted the second annual Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows alumni reception at the 2014 National Bar Association (NBA) Convention in Atlanta. Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation's oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges. 2011 Fellows Wesley Fields and Joseph McCoy, 2012 Fellow Craig Jeffrey, 2013 Fellow Katie Schwarting, and 2014 Fellow Arindam Kar invited LCLD Fellows attending the convention to this informal gathering to refresh relationships, renew bonds, and build new relationships. The event was well attended and received. Inaugurated in 2011, the LCLD's Fellows program is an ambitious, highly structured mentoring program designed to increase diversity at the leadership levels of the nation's law firms and corporate legal departments.



Women in Law Empowerment Forum 'Gold Standard Certification' 2014


Bryan Cave LLP has earned WILEF 2014 Gold Standard Certification. WILEF – the Women in Law Empowerment Forum – is an organization exclusively dedicated to advancing the careers of women at the largest law firms and corporate law departments in the United States.

WILEF provides Gold Standard Certification to law firms with 200 or more practicing lawyers in the United States that “successfully demonstrate that women represent a meaningful percentage of their equity partners, of their highest leadership positions, of their governance and compensation committees and of their most highly compensated partners.” For 2014 WILEF Certification, a “meaningful percentage” means the number of women equity partners satisfies four or more of the following criteria:
 
  • Women account for at least 20 percent of equity partners or 33 percent or more of the attorneys becoming equity partners during the past 12 months.
  • Women represent at least 10 percent of firm chairs and office managing partners.
  • Women make up at least 20 percent of the firm’s primary governance committee.
  • Woman represent 20 percent or more of the firm’s compensation committee.
  • Women make up at least 25 percent of practice group leaders or department heads.
  • Women represent at least 10 percent of the top half of the most highly compensated partners.

"We are pleased and proud to receive this recognition of the firm’s commitment to diversity," said Bryan Cave’s Chief Diversity Officer Lisa Martin. "Diversity is a core value at Bryan Cave, and we are committed to creating a firm culture where women thrive and succeed at the highest levels.

The WILEF Gold Standard Certification initiative, launched in 2011, has become the centerpiece of the organization’s push to help women in law firms rise as business developers and leaders. The WILEF 2014 Gold Standard Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at The Yale Club of New York City. Click here to view the full list of WILEF 2014 Gold Standard firms.



High Energy and Full Agenda at Atlanta Lawyers of Color Meeting


The Lawyers of Color Affinity Group recently gathered in Atlanta for its second firmwide meeting. The packed agenda included sessions on business and client development, networking, and associate engagement. Affinity group co-leaders Arindam Kar and Katie Schwarting served as co-conveners for the meeting, along with co-conveners in training Holly Lopez and Rod Perry. Kar, Schwarting and chief diversity officer Lisa Demet Martin presented an overview and state of the affinity group. An engaging roundtable discussion was moderated by D.C. partner Donna Rodney and included Executive and Management Committee members Bob Boone, Chris Cesare, Dennis Fleischmann, Paula Pace, and Peter Van Cleve. They dove into a variety of strategic and frank discussions that focused on leadership priorities for diversity within their sections including retention, development, and promotion of lawyers of color, and achieving greater diversity in firm leadership. Another important discussion focused on how to leverage the impressive breadth of talent in the affinity group for business development purposes and innovative approaches to effectively partner with our clients on diversity issues. Participants came out of Steve Sunshine’s lively business development program with practical and useful strategies to implement in their own business development plans.

In addition to the substantive programming, affinity group members had the opportunity to network with local Atlanta Bryan Cave lawyers at a reception in the Atlanta office. Attendees left the meeting reenergized with a renewed purpose and direction.



LGBT and Benefits Lawyers Partner on DOMA Related Client Presentations


The LGBT Lawyers Affinity Group and the Employee Benefits CSG collaborated on a series of client CLE programs in St. Louis (April 29), Chicago (May 7) and Denver (May 21).  This unique partnership developed a substantive presentation on recent developments related to the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Defense of Marriage Act with a specific focus on the impact on employee benefits. The program insights from ACLU-MO Legal Director Tony Rothert as a guest speaker, in addition to the panel presentation by Sarah Sise, Carrie Byrnes and Carrie Bechtold.  Feedback from clients was uniformly enthusiastic, with several clients asking for follow-up sessions.



McMillion Receives BWLA Top Honors for Service


Chicago associate Brandy McMillion was honored by the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. (BWLA) with the President's Award for Outstanding Service. This award is given to BWLA members who worked tirelessly to take BWLA to the next level during the 2013-2014 bar year. Brandy has been a longtime BWLA member and increased her leadership role over the past year, helping to organize BWLA’s spring fundraiser.  Brandy’s leadership played a key role in the event’s success, enabling BWLA to award three spring scholarships to law students.  Brandy was presented with the award at the  BWLA's Awards and Installation Ceremony held earlier this month. To read more, click HERE.