LeClairRyan's Diversity Plan
I. LeClairRyan’s Commitment to Excellence
LeClairRyan embraces diversity as a core value because the Firm recognizes the contribution a diverse workplace makes to the Firm, its clients, the legal profession and to society as a whole. A diverse work place includes and provides equal opportunity to persons with different characteristics, including race, religion, ethnicity, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age.
LeClairRyan not only affirms its commitment to comply fully with all applicable laws prohibiting unlawful employment discrimination, it also embraces diversity as a core value because its personnel are united in their commitment to excellence in client service, including the delivery of practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ legal needs. LeClairRyan recognizes that (i) it must recruit, hire, retain, develop, promote and reward lawyers, paralegals, assistants, administrators, clerks and other staff who embrace our corporate culture and are the best suited for the Firm’s needs, (ii) all of its personnel must operate and function as a team that embraces, trusts and respects one another and (iii) the team must embrace and possess a wide array of ideas, backgrounds and experiences.
LeClairRyan will be recognized in the legal profession and in the communities in which it operates as a leader in embracing and recognizing the contribution a diverse workplace makes to the Firm, its clients, the legal profession and to society as a whole.
LeClairRyan has set the following goals for its diversity plan:
- Become the employer of choice in the legal markets in which LeClairRyan operates by out performing its peers with a corporate culture that embraces diversity and inclusion.
- Establish a training and mentoring program that sets LeClairRyan apart from its peers and which recognizes the essential contribution people with diverse characteristics make to the effective delivery of excellent legal services.
- Establish a program that retains lawyers and personnel of all levels at a rate 50% greater than the national averages.
- Apply the same standards to all attorneys in promotions and compensation and provide equal opportunities for retention and development, which we believe should result over time in our retaining and promoting men and women attorneys at approximately equal percentage rates.
- Apply the same standards to all attorneys in promotions and compensation and provide equal opportunities for retention and development, which we believe should result over time in our retaining and promoting minority and non-minority attorneys at approximately equal percentage rates.
- Embrace the concept of reduced hours lawyers and a flexible work schedule, including making efforts to ensure that alternative work schedules are an equitable and viable option for all persons at the Firm.
- Have the composition of the Firm’s personnel and leadership reflect the Firm’s core value of diversity.
- Take the lead in establishing and sponsoring associations that seek to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession generally, and law firms, specifically.
- Be recognized both locally and nationally for demonstrating sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys.
- Implement a diverse supplier program that sets a target of spending 15% of all non-fixed expenses with women and minority owned businesses..
The Firm expects all of its attorneys and personnel to embrace diversity as a core value. It encourages its attorneys and personnel to participate in diversity initiatives to become better aware of the essential value people with different characteristics bring to providing the Firm’s clients with excellent service and practical solutions to their legal needs. In order to ensure that diversity remains one of the Firm’s core values, and to achieve the Firm’s diversity goals, the Firm has implemented a formal structure of responsibilities for various persons and committees as set out below:
A. Executive Committee
- Ensure compliance by all attorneys and personnel with the Firm’s Diversity Plan, and take corrective action if deficiencies are noted.
- Ensure the Firm’s progress towards achieving its diversity goals, as set forth in the Diversity Plan.
- Ensure the Firm, through the Budget Committee or otherwise, makes available appropriate funds and resources to accomplish the Diversity Plan.
- Consider the impact of all policies and decisions on diversity and the achievement of the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Establish minority and women-owned business marketing initiatives, including sponsorship and membership in minority and women-owned networking organizations.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures to enhance lawyer development and retention.
- Take into consideration commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan when evaluating shareholders.
- Increase efforts to communicate clearly and fully Firm policies and decisions, especially those related to diversity, compensation and promotion.
- Ensure that all the Firm’s lawyers are trained on the Firm’s Rules of Engagement on an annual basis and hold all lawyers accountable for compliance with the Firm’s Rules of Engagement.
- Ensure that all members of the Executive Committee, Officers Committee and Associates Committee participate annually in a Firm approved training program on federal and state laws regarding employment laws and unlawful discrimination.
- Ensure that the Firm’s President demonstrates a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Ensure that the Firm’s strategic plans, initiatives and priorities reflect the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Actively participate as a member of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.
- Recommend for appointment to the Firm’s Executive Committee only those persons who have demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Appoint as the Chair of the Diversity Committee a Shareholder who has demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Appoint members to the Diversity Committee who have demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Appoint Group Leaders for the Firm’s practice groups who have demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- Recommend to the Executive Committee policies and procedures to enhance lawyer development and retention.
- Appoint Associate and Officer Liaisons who have demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
D. Chief Growth Officer
- Coordinate with the Director of Diversity to actively recruit minority and women partners.
- Seek growth opportunities with groups and firms that accept diversity as a core value.
E. Diversity Committee Chair
- Report to the Executive Committee on recommendations or initiatives to ensure compliance with the Firm’s Diversity Plan and to ensure that diversity remains a core value throughout the Firm.
- Champion diversity throughout the Firm.
F. Director of Diversity
- Develop methods and means for regularly measuring the Firm’s progress towards the goals set forth in the Diversity Plan.
- Identify minority and women-owned business marketing initiatives to be recommended to the Executive Committee.
- Recommend and initiate programs to enhance diversity and eliminate diversity barriers.
- Identify community programs for the Firm to participate in which would give the Firm’s lawyers greater exposure to persons with diverse characteristics.
- Identify associations the Firm should sponsor or establish that have as a primary focus diversity in the workplace.
- Coordinate with the Firm’s practice groups, Director of Recruiting, Director of Human Resources and Associate Recruiting Committee opportunities for the hiring of employees with diverse backgrounds.
- Coordinate with Staff Diversity Committee to develop and promote programs that reflect the Firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Bring to the attention of the Chairman, President and the Executive Committee issues or concerns communicated by the Firm’s personnel related to diversity.
- Annually propose and manage a budget set aside by the Executive Committee to promote diversity and inclusion within the Firm and the recognition of the Firm’s commitment to the greater community.
- In conjunction with Accounting and Operations, administer the Firm’s diverse supplier program
G. Diversity Committee
- Review the Firm’s Diversity Plan and prepare and recommend to the Executive Committee from time to time appropriate amendments to the Diversity Plan.
- Conduct an annual survey of the Firm’s progress toward its Diversity Goals and prepare a written report of the survey to be given to the Executive Committee no later than March 30 each calendar year. The annual report will contain recommendations for new diversity programs and any updated goals to be included in the Firm’s Diversity Plan. The Executive Committee shall publish the annual report to the Firm after acceptance by the Executive Committee.
- Coordinate with others, including the Lawyer Development Committees, Group Leaders, and the Lawyer Retention Committee, to develop training programs on diversity.
- Encourage attorneys and personnel to be involved in diversity activities.
- Develop and Implement a Diversity Awareness training program.
- Set forth a plan, to be presented to the Executive Committee, for local and national recognition for demonstrating sustained commitment to diversity.
- In conjunction with Marketing and Recruiting, develop and implement information materials aimed at attracting diverse candidates to LeClairRyan.
- Establish affinity groups that will bring together employees with similar interest to assist in perpetuation of an inclusive environment.
- Develop and implement informational materials aimed at attracting diverse candidates to LeClairRyan.
- In conjunction with Accounting and Operations, oversee the implementation and operation of the Firm’s Diversity Supplier Program.
H. Group and Client Team Leaders
- Ensure that their practice group or team provides an inclusive work environment.
- Devote individual attention to each lawyer in the practice group to ensure that all lawyers are being given an opportunity to work on challenging and diverse assignments, commensurate with their skill, interests and experience. Group Leaders shall review regularly the assignment of work to each associate, officer and shareholder to ensure the appropriate distribution of work and work opportunity so as to maximize associate, officer and shareholder development.
- Devote individual attention to each lawyer to ensure that all lawyers in the practice group are given appropriate opportunities to develop professionally and to develop professional growth opportunities.
- Ensure that all lawyers and personnel receive adequate mentoring and training that is commensurate with their individual needs, interests and skills.
- Provide an annual report to the Executive Committee setting forth how the practice group supported the Firm’s Diversity Plan throughout the year preceding the report and setting forth the practice group’s plans for supporting the Diversity Plan in the upcoming year.
I. Director of Recruiting
- Work with the Director of Diversity, Associate Recruiting Committee, the Lawyer Retention Committee and the Lawyer Development Committee to develop and implement a plan to recruit, hire and retain a diverse workforce.
- Establish and implement hiring processes that emphasize the importance of diversity.
- Work with schools, professional and community organizations and businesses to help the Firm attract diverse candidates at all levels of the Firm.
- Work with the Lawyer Development Committee to develop and implement mentoring programs for lawyers.
J. Women’s Initiative (W.IN)
- Develop and support initiatives that will promote the retention and promotion of women attorneys.
- Develop and support programming that will assist women attorneys in client development.
- Develop and support initiatives that will prepare women attorneys for leadership positions within the Firm.
K. Lawyer Development Committee
- Work with the Director of Recruiting to develop and implement a plan to recruit and retain a diverse work force.
- Work with Director of Recruiting to develop and implement a mentoring program for lawyers.
L. Lawyer Retention Committee
- In developing programs for lawyer retention, take into consideration the diverse interests of the Firm’s lawyers and provide programs that reflect those varied interests.
M. Officers’ Committee
- Recommend for promotion to shareholder only those officers who have demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- In evaluating officers, take into consideration the officer’s commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
N. Associates Committee
- Recommend for promotion to officer only those associates who have demonstrated a commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
- In evaluating an associate’s performance, take into consideration the associate’s commitment to the Firm’s Diversity Plan.
V. Plan Not An Employment Contract
This Plan is not an employment contract and does not alter the Firm’s policy that all employees are employees at will and that their employment may be terminated at any time with or without cause.
To learn more about LeClairRyan's Diversity Plan, please contact George Braxton, Director of Diversity.