At Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., we believe that diversity in the workplace enhances the quality of the legal services we provide and enables us to bring a broader perspective to the problems our clients face. Diversity also enriches the work atmosphere itself.
The BWM&S diversity committee, formed in 2006, is responsible for developing, monitoring, and evaluating Firm strategies and progress in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. Chaired by the Firm's managing partner, Jeffrey D. Warren, the committee is comprised of male and female members with various backgrounds, including associates, partners and staff. Members share a commitment to increasing the Firm’s diversity. Each uses his or her unique experiences and background to support and further that goal.
Summer Associate Committee
The Firm seeks to recruit summer associates with strong legal skills and diverse backgrounds. The Summer Associate Committee, chaired by John Kobus, works with the Firm's Diversity Committee in the recruiting and evaluation of potential candidates. It is the expectation that Summer Associates will join the Firm upon graduation. The Summer Associate Committee is comprised of 80% women. Over the last three years, 75% of the Firm's summer associates have been women.
A Call to Action
In 2006, the Firm became a signatory on two Chicago Bar Association diversity initiatives. The first commits the Firm to increase the number of women in leadership positions. The second commits the Firm to increase the diversity in its hiring, retention and promotion of attorneys.
Success with gender diversity as of 2006
We believe that the quality and depth of women attorneys in particular at our Firm is an indication of our commitment to diversity:
- More than 25% of Firm attorneys are women;
- More than 50% of Firm associates are women;
- Over the last three years, 75% of Firm summer associates, the primary source of new attorney hires, have been women;
- Over the last three years, more than 40% of lateral hires have been women;
- Karen MacKay is one of the only female name partners among large and mid-sized Chicago law firms;
- Other women at the Firm have attained important leadership positions, including LeAnn Pope who chairs one of the Firm's most significant practice groups;
- The Firm has responded positively to every request received for more flexible hours and working arrangements. Currently over 25% of our female attorneys work flexible schedules to better allow for work/family balance.
A comparison of Firm results: January 2006 vs. Today
- Women partner representation has grown from 24% to 35% through promotions and lateral hires;
- The number of women participating in flexible work arrangements has doubled – the majority of whom are partners;
- The number of women associates at the Firm has grown from 50 to over 60%;
- African American representation has grown from zero to 10% of our associates;
- Asian American representation has grown from zero to 10% of our associates.