At BakerHostetler, we embrace people of all backgrounds as essential to the conduct of business in today’s world. We recruit and develop diverse lawyers because we know it promotes the best in community, depth and leadership. Our commitment is demonstrated through targeted recruiting of minorities and women at law schools and lateral lawyer interviews, active participation in minority job fairs, the appointment of minority and women lawyers to our Hiring Committees, the Paul D. White Scholarship program, our Diversity Fellowship Program, and through support of diverse professional and community activities and organizations. Our longtime support of veterans and military service dates to the firm’s inception when co-founder Newton D. Baker made the difficult decision to take a leave of absence and accept President Woodrow Wilson’s request to serve as Secretary of War during World War I.
Diversity throughout the firm and in our leadership provides role models for our young lawyers and enhances our ability to provide diverse staffing at an experienced level on client projects. Embracing these differences and fostering a supportive, inclusive environment allows us to bring together a variety of perspectives and experiences to provide creative solutions for the challenges our clients face. It also helps our attorneys find balance among their careers, families and community activities. Having a greater understanding and appreciation for issues of race, gender and culture makes us better attorneys, a stronger firm and a more inclusive, respectful place to work.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
One of our most successful strategies in retaining minority attorneys has been our commitment to listen, learn and act upon their suggestions. Our Diversity Task Force, established in 1994, evolved into a standing committee in the firm. It includes minority and non-minority members of the Policy Committee, Office Managing Partners, Partners, and Associates. Subcommittees focus on five key topics: lateral recruiting, law school recruiting/Paul D. White Scholarship, the Diversity Conference, marketing and retention. Exemplifying the goal of true diversity, the Diversity Committee includes minorities, non-minorities, men and women, lawyers, and staff members from across the firm.
BakerHostetler’s Women’s Committee is dedicated to the support, promotion and advancement of women at the firm. The Committee is currently led by partner Emily Crosby.
Women attorneys participate in every level of firm management. A quarter of the firm’s Policy Committee are women, and our fastest-growing office is led by a female managing partner. It is a testament to our commitment that the firm was recognized by Working Mother magazine as one of the 2018 “Best Law Firms for Women.”
In 2018, the Women’s Committee introduced a personalized New Parent Program that encompasses customized resources, expertise and creative support. Each female attorney is paired with a partner or “power” mentor and a peer mentor who provides information, support and advocacy for new moms before, during and after maternity leave. Among their duties, mentors may meet with the new mothers’ supervising attorneys regarding transition to leave, alternative work schedules and remote work options as well as return to work project pipelines and opportunities.
In 2018, the Women’s Committee engaged a nationally recognized expert, consultant, best-selling author, and public speaker on careers, workplaces, women and law in order to facilitate a customized four-part series for BakerHostetler attorneys on topics relevant to women in law. These were broadcast live from the firm’s Cleveland, New York, Houston and Atlanta offices and provided to all other offices via webinar. These sessions also featured male and female clients and BakerHostetler partners and associates as panelists, sharing personal perspectives about the importance of these issues in supporting and advancing women attorneys.
We also recognize that women attorneys need opportunities to build and cultivate strong networks. In 2019, the firm joined Ellevate, a professional community for high-achieving women around the world, and became an Ellevate Corporate Champion. Ellevate membership benefits for participating BakerHostetler women attorneys include in-person networking events; mentoring meetups; leadership workshops; access to a professional development resource library, including Ellevate Playbooks; access to Ellevate Squads; and thought leadership opportunities. In addition to the firmwide Ellevate initiative, our local women’s committees provide numerous professional client and community networking opportunities for women attorneys. Events such as a FEED Supper with Lauren Bush Lauren, an “Evening with Tina Brown” and an “Evening with Christina Tosi” are designed to help our women attorneys build client relationships as well as engage and lead on issues benefiting the legal profession and the communities in which they live and work.