Snell & Wilmer has a deep and longstanding commitment to developing, maintaining and fostering an inclusive and accepting environment rich in diversity. By hiring and retaining a diverse group of attorneys whose collective talents and creativity are drawn from a broad cross-section of backgrounds and outlooks, we enhance our ability to offer superior legal services to our clients.
To boost our efforts, Snell & Wilmer’s Attorney Development, Hiring, and Diversity Committees will ensure that the firm continues to value and promote diversity through focused hiring, development and community efforts.
Commitment to Students
Snell & Wilmer believes that its efforts to reach out to students at every level will increase diversity within the legal profession. Snell & Wilmer is committed to fostering relationships with students.
In our Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Denver offices, Snell & Wilmer hires diverse law students as interns in connection with the firm’s support of area law schools’ diversity legal writing programs. Current diverse attorneys are involved with the selection of the students and in the administration of the program. The intern is assigned several written projects and receives feedback from assigning attorneys. The intern also is paired with mentors at the firm who coordinate social meetings with partners from various practice groups throughout the internship to assist in developing the intern’s understanding and exposure to various types of legal work. Interns also have opportunities to attend hearings, depositions, and meet clients.
For the past several years, Snell & Wilmer has led the efforts in Arizona for the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Judicial Internship Opportunity Program. This nationwide program enables diverse and economically-disadvantaged second-year law students to obtain a judicial internship during one summer. A large component of the program includes mentoring and administrative efforts to offer social activities throughout the summer. Snell & Wilmer attorneys participate in this program as mentors, as social programming coordinators, and as the lead contacts for questions from the Phoenix students.
As part of its focus on encouraging diverse students to pursue legal careers, Snell & Wilmer’s attorneys engage in multiple in-person activities with high school and elementary students. For example, Snell & Wilmer hosts high school students interested in a legal career and their families for a reception and tour of the firm. Additionally, attorneys attend career fairs at local high schools that have a major concentration of ethnically diverse students in an effort to encourage interest in a legal career. Snell & Wilmer also has partnered with a Phoenix elementary school to provide math and reading tutors and to invite the students for a day at the office.
Several attorneys also participate in the MentoRing program in association with the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law. The MentoRing program partners minority undergraduate and law students with practicing attorneys in an effort to provide multi-layered mentoring.
Snell & Wilmer’s Diversity Committee is working to establish and implement the Snell & Wilmer Pre-Law Program targeted at diverse undergraduate students. In 2009, the Diversity Committee implemented the LSAT Scholarship component of the Pre-Law Program and awarded three scholarships to diverse students to attend an LSAT preparation course of their choosing. The Diversity Committee looks forward to growing this program in 2010.
Commitment to Community
As a corporate member of the Diversity Leadership Alliance ("DLA"), Snell & Wilmer participates in promoting and furthering diversity in the work place by exchanging ideas regarding diversity initiatives with other businesses. Membership in DLA allows Snell & Wilmer to participate in monthly seminars focused on diversity topics.
Snell & Wilmer is also a signatory to the Colorado Pledge to Diversity. In 1993, as a result of the collaborative efforts of twenty-three Denver law firms, a plan was launched to significantly increase the number of racially and ethnically diverse attorneys recruited, hired and promoted by law firms in Colorado. These law firms signed a Pledge to Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Colorado Law Firms and meet regularly to determine the means in which to achieve the goals set forth in the pledge. Some programs and activities have been: (1) hiring a first-year diverse law student as a summer intern; (2) co-sponsorship of annual Diversity in the Work Place Reception; (3) award of four book scholarships to local diverse law students; and (4) sponsorship of the annual Rocky Mountain Minority Legal Career Fair.
Snell & Wilmer attorneys personally involve themselves with organizations dedicated to diversity, including Women Lawyers groups, Minority Bar Associations, and Human Rights groups dedicated to the LGBT community. Additionally, attorneys are actively involved with area volunteer lawyer groups and organizations that address legal issues affecting minorities and under-represented groups, including the Judicial Council Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Criminal and Juvenile System.
Commitment to Professional Development
All associate attorneys are provided with a Coach (mentor) to guide them through all stages of their associate careers - from first-year challenges to partnership consideration. Coaches are provided materials designed to support them in their role. Coaches are expected to check-in with associates on a regular basis and engage in discussions with the associate concerning firm culture and the practice of law. Coaches also are responsible for fostering connections with other partners throughout the firm and various practice groups. The firm encourages informal mentoring among its attorneys and promotes various social events, both firm-wide and practice group-specific, to develop and strengthen interpersonal relationships and relationships with families. Additionally, the Attorney Development Manager checks-in with attorneys to assess the firm’s efforts of inclusion and whether changes to the mentoring relationship are necessary.
Named for Snell & Wilmer’s first woman partner, the Mary Leader Women in Leadership Program aims to promote women inside and outside of the firm through events in each of our offices. Examples of past events include afternoon lunches, a spa day, networking events with clients, golf clinics, and an annual holiday party.
Commitment to Family
Snell & Wilmer is committed to providing our attorneys with a meaningful opportunity to balance professional and personal demands. The firm offers 12 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave to attorneys for the birth or adoption of a child. The firm recognizes that, at times, attorneys may have family obligations or personal needs that may merit either adjusting or reducing their work schedules. As a result, the firm considers alternative work arrangements on a case-by-case basis. The consideration of proposals will take into account the needs of the attorney, the practice group, the firm, and our clients.
Domestic Partner Benefits are provided to same-sex couples of both attorneys and staff.
For additional information about Snell & Wilmer’s diversity programs, initiatives and efforts, please contact the Chairperson of Snell & Wilmer’s Diversity Committee, Monica Limón-Wynn.