In furtherance of the firm’s goal of providing world class legal service, we recognize that diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and experience are essential to meeting that goal. Our commitment to diversity is one of the firm’s most important core values. We aspire to recruit, retain, and promote talented individuals representing the full spectrum of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and physical ability. The firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee has been tasked with recommending specific action, educating, and monitoring the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
The mission of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs includes:
- Creating an inclusive environment in which attorneys and staff are respected, supported, and provided with opportunities to succeed
- Creating programs and opportunities to support, mentor, and sponsor diverse attorneys, as well as educating our attorneys and staff on diversity issues
- Continuously seeking opportunities to increase the number of talented diverse attorneys and staff through targeted recruitment, retention, and promotion programs
- Ensuring that the firm’s professional development programs, evaluation, and feedback processes, assigning processes, and business development efforts are inclusive at all levels
- Ensuring that attorneys and staff of varying backgrounds and perspectives are represented in leadership positions within the firm
- Assessing the firm’s efforts and evaluating new initiatives to improve our performance in this field
Recruitment & Retention
At Sullivan, we understand that diverse teams benefit from perspectives that non-diverse teams lack. We are focused on attracting and recruiting a range of talented candidates to the firm. We take the following concrete steps to ensure that diversity and inclusion is a priority:
- In all engagements with legal recruiters, we indicate our interest in bringing in diverse candidates
- The firm attends diversity job fairs, conducts outreach to affinity groups within law schools, and attends bar-sponsored programs
- 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 our attorneys’ and the firm’s needs
- Our Director of Strategic Talent Management works with all associates to assess their strengths and areas for improvement, as well as increasing current and future growth opportunities. She coaches associates in building and managing relationships, looks for and assesses training opportunities tied to each attorney’s specific substantive development, and serves as a liaison between management and associates. The Director of Strategic Talent Management works to provide a welcoming environment and is available for all manner of questions and concerns. This role is viewed as an invaluable firm resource in furthering diversity goals and supporting our associates
Organizations Committed to Diversity
Sullivan is an active participant in a number of organizations committed to diversity. They include:
- The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity ("LCLD") The firm is a member of the LCLD, an organization of more than 250 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. As part of our membership, the firm nominated Ashley Brooks in 2016, Nicole Crum in 2017, Arinze Onugha in 2018 and Natalie Lederman in 2019, to complete the year-long LCLD fellowship learning program that includes in-person conferences, training in the fine points of legal practice, peer-group projects to foster collaboration and build relationships, and provides extensive contact with LCLD’s top leadership, including the managing partners and general counsel of member organizations
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) The firm has worked for the past several years with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), New England's leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression. We acted as tax counsel for GLAD in its filing of the first concerted, multi-plaintiff legal challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) Our attorneys have written and filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association on a 2013 DOMA case (United States v. Windsor) as well as the Proposition 8 case that was mooted for lack of standing (also in 2013). Since then, we have written and filed amicus briefs for GLMA in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits, and the Supreme Court
- The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights The firm has an ongoing working relationship with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association. For more than a decade, at least one of our partners has been a member of the steering committee, and we have acted as co-counsel with the committee on numerous important civil rights cases involving such matters as racial discrimination, bilingual education, housing integration and public transportation
- The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP) Named in honor of the legendary civil rights attorney and Legal Defense Fund (LDF) founder, Thurgood Marshall, and iconic civil rights litigator Constance Baker Motley, the MMSP is a groundbreaking commitment to endow the South with the next generation of civil rights lawyers trained to provide legal advocacy of unparalleled excellence. Paul Summit is a member of the selection committee, which includes current and former LDF attorneys, renowned civil attorneys and leaders in the legal profession.
- ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund The firm has supported the Scholarship Fund, which has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to minority law students at American law schools
- Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) The firm has joined the LFAA with other member firms in an effort to promote racial equity and to utilize legal services and intelligence to aid communities and individuals oppressed by racism.
- The Boston Lawyers Group The firm is a Member Organization of the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG). The mission of the BLG is to support the efforts of its member organizations to identify, advance, and retain attorneys of color. BLG members are ultimately responsible for turning their organizations’ objectives into action. Each member gathers information through the consortium and takes steps independently to achieve the goal of greater diversity.
- Hispanic National Bar Association The firm is a sponsor of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Region 1, representing Hispanic attorneys Massachusetts. The HNBA is the National Voice of the Hispanic legal community. The mission of the HNBA is to improve the quality and the administration of justice by advocating for the interests of the Hispanic attorneys. Our associate, Elke Trilla, is the HNBA, Region 1 Vice President.
- Boston Bar Association Beacon Awards The Beacon Awards recognizes individuals, organizations and corporations who are forging innovative paths toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession and greater community.
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For further information about Sullivan's diversity initiatives please contact our Diversity Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.