Dickinson Wright is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace and is a recognized leader among law firms for our diversity initiatives. For decades, Dickinson Wright has been a pioneer in all aspects of diversity – both within the firm and in the communities where we do business. From the associate level up to management, we are committed to recruiting and supporting diverse candidates. We know that a diverse team enables us to offer our clients a variety of mindsets when approaching complex legal issues.
Diversity Mission Statement:
We follow an established set of policies, practices and programs to demonstrate measurable progress towards a genuinely open, transparent, fair and inclusive workplace. In support of our diversity mission, the firm has adopted the following Diversity and Inclusion Statement:
Diversity in the workplace and respect for persons having different backgrounds and varying perspectives are highly valued in every aspect of Dickinson Wright’s work environment and professional culture. Dickinson Wright is dedicated to the active recruitment, retention, development and promotion of diverse lawyers and staff members, reflecting the clients that we serve and the communities in which we live and work. Dickinson Wright believes that our success in delivering legal services of the highest quality, our contributions to the legal profession, our community involvement as a good corporate citizen, and our commitment to a respectful and supportive work environment for all lawyers and staff members, are tied to the success of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion. At Dickinson Wright, all persons – without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, marital status, gender identity, family status, or cultural background – are welcomed. In our delivery of professional services to our clients, and in the management of our own internal business functions, we develop and implement programs to provide the highest level of opportunity for all within Dickinson Wright, including fostering leadership skills in connection with client development, community service, and key internal responsibilities. While justifiably proud of our heritage of diversity and inclusion (for example, Dickinson Wright partners included the first African-American to serve as president of the American Bar Association and the first woman to serve as president of the State Bar of Michigan), our programs are continuously monitored and improved to guide future success.
The firm resolves to achieve its mission by:
- Recruiting law students of the highest caliber;
- Aggressively seeking to increase the number of diverse lawyers at the firm through recruitment, retention and promotion;
- Providing a discussion forum for topics that present unique challenges to lawyers from a wide range of backgrounds in the practice of law;
- Facilitating the support and mentoring of diverse lawyers;
- Arranging social, professional development and networking opportunities for lawyers with diverse backgrounds on a frequent basis;
- Managing and monitoring the allocation and quality of work assignments provided to diverse lawyers to maximize access/exposure to a wide variety of the firm’s clients and to the partners and the leadership of the firm; and
- Ensuring that lawyers from a wide range of backgrounds are represented in leadership positions and other significant decision-making roles within the firm.
Learn about the Dickinson Wright Women’s Network.
The overall goal of the Diversity Committee is to ensure that Dickinson Wright’s corporate culture is one of inclusion – at every level and in every aspect of the firm. Through the Diversity Committee, the firm’s leadership recommends and implements strategies and practices consistent with our commitment to diversity. The Diversity Committee includes the chairman of the firm, a member of the Management Group and several equity members with key client relationships. In addition, a member of the Diversity Committee serves on each of the firm's standing committees to ensure a continued focus on advancing our diversity goals.
We offer training and education throughout the firm on the importance of diversity and the role of each person in promoting an inclusive work environment that allows everyone to succeed.
Supporting Diversity in the Community
Our commitment to diversity goes beyond internal initiatives; we support diversity in the legal profession and in the community in general. In particular, we are committed to funding scholarships and supporting academic programs to recruit minority and female students into the legal profession. We firmly believe that it is our duty to look outside the firm and promote diversity: in bar organizations, community activities, with our clients and anywhere else where we can have an impact.
As part of our collaboration in the legal profession we signed the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative Agreement between the Grand Rapids Bar Association and 12 other law firms to begin discussions on how to promote diversity and inclusion in our law firms and the Bar. The action plan will address these initial challenges:
- Increasing the number of lawyers of color in our organization.
- Improving the rate of retention and advancement of female lawyers and lawyers of color.
- Expanding the pipeline of persons of color who enter law school and the legal profession.