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Our Diverse History

A Higher Calling: Our History of Diversity, Inclusion and Public Service
Schnader is proud of its history of commitment to diversity, inclusion and public service, which are rooted in the Firm's beginnings. Leading the way for diversity in the Philadelphia legal community, William A. Schnader and Bernard G. Segal, attorneys of different religious backgrounds, which at the time, were unwelcome by most of the well-established law firms in the city, along with Francis A. Lewis, founded the firm of Schnader and Lewis. In addition to having religious diversity at its core, Schnader attorneys have long fought against prejudice, including those rooted in politics, race and gender.

Schnader has been active in the civil rights movement since the early 1960s. For example, at the urging of President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Bernard Segal organized and co-chaired the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, under whose auspices lawyers were sent to Mississippi to defend civil rights workers. Former partner, Jerome Shestack, worked with Segal in the formation of the Lawyers' Committee and served as its first executive director. Earl Harrison served on the board of trustees of Howard University and actively participated in civil rights cases seeking to establish complete equality before the law. William H. Brown, III was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as the fourth chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and served in that position from 1969 to 1973. Under Mr. Brown's leadership, the EEOC tackled workplace issues related to adverse impact, job-testing validation and national origin discrimination and Mr. Brown won national recognition for his fairness and diligence. He joined the Firm in 1974 as its first African American partner.

The Firm was a pioneer in promoting gender diversity and inclusion. Schnader was one of the first major law firms in Philadelphia to hire a woman attorney, Josephine Klein, in 1954. In 1969, Margaret M. Powers became the first woman to be elected partner at the Firm. Since that time, women regularly have been elected partner, and have been appointed or elected to key leadership roles in the Firm. Marilyn Z. Kutler was elected as the first woman member of the Firm's Executive Committee and she now serves as chair of the Firm's Higher Education Practice Group. Diana S. Donaldson served as the Firm's managing partner from 2002 to 2009. Theresa E. Loscalzo serves as the Firm's co-managing partner. M. Christine Carty served as managing partner of the Firm's New York office from 1995-1998 and 2003-2016 and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Lisa Rodriguez serves as the managing partner of the Firm's New Jersey office. Nancy Winkelman served as co-chair of the Litigation Department and currently serves as the Firm's hiring partner.

Today, Schnader remains committed to an environment where people of diverse backgrounds work together and thrive professionally and, in so doing, we are better able to serve our clients' needs.