Stevens & Lee believes that diversity, inclusion, respect and fair treatment help us harness our different strengths and experiences for the greater benefit of our clients and for the good of our firm.
Stevens & Lee is committed to achieving and promoting cultural, gender and racial diversity, as well as diversity which results from life experience. Because of this commitment, we actively recruit minority attorneys and attorneys who are women, as well as attorneys who have diverse educational and occupational experience and bring unique skills, interests and ideas to our culture.
Our steadfast commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce extends to the retention, development and advancement of both our attorneys and our staff. We offer part-time and flex-time opportunities that allow our team members to succeed both personally and professionally. At present, over a dozen of our attorneys at all levels of seniority, including at the Shareholder level, have such schedules.
Stevens & Lee recruits professionals of all levels of experience without regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability status, status as a military veteran, or other diverse characteristics. When the firm seeks to hire attorneys, we make a deliberate and concerted effort to include an extensive and diverse group of candidates.
We focus our retention efforts on providing all of our associates and junior partners with equal access to work, as well as assignment to qualified mentors to provide support and guidance on a confidential basis. Stevens & Lee has formal systems in place to ensure equitable work allocations among all of our employees. Each department and group maintains a backlog process that ensures each associate or junior attorney is allocated an equal amount of quality work to foster professional growth.
The firm’s mentoring program is led by a veteran legal educator who, among other things, is expressly available to provide confidential advice to lawyers. Each associate or junior attorney is assigned a mentor who also maintains an open-door policy in order to provide advice and guidance to mentees in a confidential environment. The mentor program requires all mentors to meet formally with their mentees on a no less than quarterly basis.
In addition to formal mentoring and with the goal of assisting our junior attorneys to develop the skills they need to advance their careers, Stevens & Lee designs an annual curriculum, which includes both business and legal courses, and presents these courses along with programs on business development and effective networking, among others.
The firm also ensures that at all times an equitable allocation of firm resources, both human and capital, is available to support all attorneys in their client and professional development efforts.
Stevens & Lee uses the same criteria to evaluate both full-time and part-time employees. Although it may take a part-time lawyer longer to gain the necessary skills and experience required for partnership, part-time Stevens & Lee associates are eligible for partnership.
Stevens & Lee’s commitment to diversity extends beyond creating a diverse population within our own firm. We actively participate in the National Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and The Forum of Executive Women, as well as the diversity committees of our state and local bar associations and chambers of commerce, and have sponsored and joined them in their efforts to promote diversity among the legal and business community.
Our attorneys partner with our clients by inviting them to attend diversity-oriented functions. We also host periodic networking events for women in-house counsel and women executives.
We are a long-time sponsor of a bar association program which funds the placement of minority first-year law students in summer internship positions in law firms, and were honored for our participation in this program with The Honorable Clarence C. Morrison Equal Professional Opportunity Award. In addition, we annually recruit a legal intern directly from this program and “share” that intern with a firm client to advance our joint diversity efforts among the legal and business communities. We enter into similar intern-sharing arrangements with a number of other clients as well.