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Schnader Hosts National Roundtable on Diversity in the Legal Profession

On September 10, 2013 by Schnader in Litigation

On September 10, 2013, Schnader’s Diversity Committee and the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Office of Diversity hosted a day-long diversity event in the firm’s Philadelphia offices. Schnader lawyers were guests of an informal panel discussion with a group of local and non-local general counsels and in-house attorneys. Afterwards, Schnader and the Philadelphia Bar Association presented the National Roundtable on Diversity in the Legal Profession.

 

The informal panel discussing what diversity initiatives their companies expect from their outside legal counsel was moderated by Schnader Partner and Chief Diversity Officer, Albert S. Dandridge, III, and featured Michael K. Tucker, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Avis Budget Group, Jannie K. Lau, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of InterDigital, and Robin H. Sangston, Vice President Law and Policy, and Chief Compliance Officer with Cox Communications, Inc. 


Jannie K. Lau and Albert. S. Dandridge,III   


Michael K. Tucker and Robin H. Sangston

During the National Roundtable on Diversity in the Legal Profession, chief legal officers, law firm managing partners and diversity thought-leaders from across the country discussed the business case for diversity and inclusion, benchmarks to measure success, cultural competency, subtle and unconscious bias, and the best practices for the retention and advancement of women and diverse attorneys. The presentations included:

 

Opening Address

Thomas L. Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, DuPont Legal

 

The Current State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

LeaNora Ruffin, Past President, NALP: The Association for Legal Career Professionals; Assistant Dean, Career Development, Widener University School of Law.


Thomas L. Sager 


LeaNora Ruffin

National Diversity Roundtable I

Local and non-local chief legal officers and law firm managing partners discussed the business case for diversity and inclusion; benchmarks to measure success; and best practices for the retention and advancement of women and diverse attorneys.

 

Moderator
Ramona E. Romero, General Counsel, United States Department of Agriculture

 

Speakers
Douglas Gaston, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Comcast Cable

Robert J. Grey, Jr., Executive Director, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

Valerie I. Harrison, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Lincoln University

Ava E. Lias-Booker, Managing Partner, McGuireWoods LLP

Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation and President, Comcast Foundation

C. Anthony Mulrain, Managing Partner, Gordon & Rees LLP

Karl A. Racine, Former Managing Partner, Venable LLP

Thomas L. Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, DuPont Legal

Robin Sangston, Vice President, Law and Policy, and Chief Compliance Officer, Cox Communications, Inc.

David Smith, Chairman, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Grace E. Speights, Managing Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Mark S. Stewart, Chairman, Ballard Spahr LLP

Michael K. Tucker, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Avis Budget Group, Inc.

Leslie M. Turner, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, The Hershey Company

Benjamin F. Wilson, Managing Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC

Samuel S. Woodhouse, Managing Partner, Woodhouse LLC


National Diversity Roundtable I  


 

Mark S. Stewart

 

 

 

National Diversity Roundtable II

Diversity thought-leaders, in house counsel and law firm partners discussed cultural competency, subtle and unconscious bias, myth of the meritocracy, gender disparities in law firm compensation and the experiences of women of color in corporate legal departments.

 

Moderators
Naomi K. McLaurin, Director of Diversity, Philadelphia Bar Association

Lilton R. Taliaferro, Jr., Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Independence Blue Cross

 

Speakers
Theodore Furman, Vice President of Consumer, Stiefel, Ophthalmology Global Patents, GlaxoSmithKline plc

Robert J. Grey, Jr., Executive Director Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

Anthony K. Greene, Executive Vice President, Herbert L. Jamison & Co., L.L.C.

Bert Jennings, III, Senior Counsel, Head of Intellectual Property, Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc.

Charles S. Johnson, III, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Pedro Ramos, Partner, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

LeaNora Ruffin, Past President, NALP: The Association for Legal Career Professionals;

Assistant Dean, Career Development, Widener University School of Law

Nate Saint-Victor, Executive Director, Legal and Compliance Division, Morgan Stanley

Michaune D. Tillman, Vice President, Litigation & Employment Law, RICOH U.S.

Steven C. Tolliver, Sr., Corporate Litigation Counsel, Aetna Life Insurance Company

Gerry L. Williams, Partner, DLA Piper

Samantha J. Wilson, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Operations-GMS, GlaxoSmithKline


Pedro Ramos    


 

Robert J. Grey, Jr.

 

 

 

Closing Remarks

Albert S. Dandridge, III

Chair, National Roundtable on Diversity in the Legal Profession; Partner, Chief Diversity Officer, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, LLP


Albert S. Dandridge, Charisse R. Lillie, Douglas Gaston, Lilton R. Taliaferro. Jr  


 

David Smith, Albert S. Dandridge, Naomi McLaurin, Bert Jennings, III

 

 

 

Schnader was both host and sponsor for the National Roundtable on Diversity in the Legal Profession. Co-sponsors of the event included Cozen O’Conner, Fox Rothschild, Avis Budget Group, Cox Communications, H.J. Russell & Company, Institute for Inclusions in the Legal Profession, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and Philadelphia Diversity Law Group.

 

More on Schnader’s Diversity Committee

Throughout Schnader’s successful history, the firm’s mission has remained central and unifying: commitment to excellence in practicing law, responsiveness to clients, adherence to high ethical standards, pursuit of truth and fairness, and service to the communities in which our attorneys and clients work and live. Our Diversity Core Values reflect the Firm’s mission and its dedication to diversity and inclusion. The principles of Truth, Integrity, Respect and Fairness are demonstrated in all that the firm does: 

  • Culture – We foster a culture where everyone feels valued, supported, comfortable and included in an environment that creates opportunity to contribute, advance and thrive.
  • Firm Leadership – We integrate the values of diversity and inclusion into the Firm’s vision, policies, practices and overall strategic plan.
  • Hiring – We recruit from a diverse pool of candidates, both for our summer program and for lateral attorney positions.
  • Attorney Development – We take a proactive and structured approach, providing continuous opportunities and support to attorneys of color, women, LGBT, and other underrepresented groups, to ensure they reach their full potential as attorneys.

 

More on Philadelphia Bar Association
The Philadelphia Bar Association, founded in 1802, is the oldest association of lawyers in the United States. It is a keystone in the ongoing developments of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania legal systems. The Bar Association’s Office of Diversity strives to ensure greater opportunities for the inclusion of diverse attorneys in the legal profession. Objectives for the Office include partnering with hiring partners and managers at law firms, legal departments and public agencies to develop educational and community outreach activities. In doing so, the Office guides, supports and leads the diversity and inclusion efforts for the entire Association, including the Board of Governors, the Association’s Sections and Divisions, Committees, task forces and external efforts. The Office also serves as a resource for affinity bar associations, law firms, corporate legal departments and law schools that seek support advancing diversity and inclusion. The Director is tasked with providing the expertise, vision, knowledge and leadership in advancing the goals of the Association and the Office of Diversity. She works strategically at all levels to encourage diversity and inclusion within the legal community.