The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms held its Annual Meeting virtually on October 13, 2022. Member law firm attorneys and diversity professionals attended the Meeting. The Board Chair, Sharon Hwang (McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.), spoke about the successful objectives of 2022 and a look ahead to 2023. The agenda included a review of 2022 by the Board Vice Chair, Steve Flores (Winston & Strawn LLP), and Associate Board Chair, Takayuki Ono (Sidley Austin LLP). Lane Vanderslice (Volta Talent Strategies LLC) and Board Secretary, Malaika Tyson, gave a preview of the upcoming Mentorship Academy.
Board Treasurer, Ernesto Palomo (Locke Lord LLP), presented the 2022 Diversity Awards. The Chicago Committee recognized five law firms for their effort in advancing diversity and inclusion within their firms based on their answers to our Diversity Questionnaire. In evaluating the responses to the Diversity Questionnaire, the Chicago Committee considered a number of factors, including, hiring and retention of diverse law students and attorneys, racially and ethnically diverse attorneys in firm leadership and partnership ranks, work allocation systems, programming and training for diverse attorneys, diverse relationship partners, client teams, and billing attorneys for the firm’s top 20 clients, and the top compensated equity partners. The Chicago Committee believes these factors show a meaningful commitment to the advancement of diversity within the firm. Cooley LLP (for firms of 500 or more attorneys) and McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd. (for firms with less than 500 attorneys) received the Commitment & Investment Awards. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP received the Law Firm Leadership Award. Winston & Strawn LLP received the Change Agent Award. Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP received the Delivering Diversity Award. Associate Board Vice Chair, Meredith Eng (Polsinelli PC), moderated a panel with representatives from the Award-winning firms. Stephanie Hosler (Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP), Sylvia James (Winston & Strawn LLP), Yvan-Claude Pierre (Cooley LLP), Keyonn Pope (Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP), and Bob Surrette (McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.) shared their experiences and insights about their successful programs. We congratulate these firms for their continued work in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
This year, we would also like to mention notable firms that were top firms in one or more award categories. These firms are making significant strides at their firms and in the legal profession. These notable firms are Baker McKenzie, Banner Witcoff, Chapman and Cutler LLP, Jenner & Block LLP, Reed Smith LLP, Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
Many thanks to all our member firms and attorney volunteers for all their support and hard work this year!