Led by Naomi K. McLaurin, Esq., the Office of Diversity strives to ensure greater opportunities for the inclusion of women and diverse attorneys in the legal profession. The Office of Diversity serves as a key resource to law firms and legal departments that have or seek to develop diversity and inclusion programs, and serves as a unifying agent among Philadelphia's many dynamic minority, LGBT and specialty bar associations as well as to the Association's own Diversity in the Profession Committee. The Office of Diversity guides, supports and leads the diversity efforts for the entire Association, including the Board of Governors, the Association’s sections, divisions, committees, task forces and external efforts.
The groundbreaking National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession brought together chief legal officers, law firm managing partners and diversity thought-leaders from across the country to discuss best practices for the recruitment, retention and advancement of women and diverse attorneys; benchmarks to measure success; successful pipeline initiatives and mentoring programs; generational diversity and its impact in the workplace; a legal update on diversity initiatives; and the roles white men can play to advance diversity and inclusion in corporate legal departments and law firms. Nearly 400 attendees filled the historic Union League of Philadelphia on November 8, 2011.
Robert J. Grey, Jr., Executive Director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and past president of the American Bar Association, delivered the keynote remarks. Additional speakers included Joseph K. West, President and Chief Executive Officer, Minority Corporate Counsel Association; JoAnne A. Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law; James G. Leipold, Executive Director, NALP: The Association for Legal Career Professionals; Sandra S. Yamate, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession; Ramona E. Romero, General Counsel, United States Department of Agriculture; Sherry D. Williams, Senior Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Halliburton; Michael K. Tucker, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Avis Budget Group, Inc.; Mark Hershey, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Armstrong World Industries, Inc.; Robin Sangston, Vice President, Legal Affairs, Cox Communications, Inc.; H. Eric Hilton, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, H. J. Russell & Company and Concessions International, LLC; Thomas E. Cabaniss, Managing Partner, McGuireWoods LLP; Karl A. Racine, Managing Partner, Venable; Robert A. Nicholas, Partner and Global Director of Legal Personnel, Reed Smith LLP; Alan J. Hoffman, Co-Chair and Managing Partner, Blank Rome LLP; Mark S. Stewart, Chair, Ballard Spahr LLP; David Smith, Chairman, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP and Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr., Partner and Chief Diversity Officer, Duane Morris LLP. Curtis L. Mack, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP served as Chair of the National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession.
The Office of Diversity will ensure the dialogue on diversity is expansive and inclusive at the same time.