Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
We believe in opportunity, justice, and equality for all, and we believe we share in the responsibility to advance these ideals.
We believe that embracing people of a different culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic background is the foundation to building a better community, and one that fosters justice and equality for all. We believe that what makes people different produces a better and stronger society, and helps to refine and sharpen each individual’s creativity, talents, and growth.
We are firmly committed to creating a workplace, courtroom, and community environment that celebrates our differences and encourages the active participation of every individual regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic background.
We are individually and collectively committed to taking deliberate action to dismantle systemic and structural barriers to equality.
Much like juries evaluate our credibility in the courtroom based on what we do and not just what we say, we invite you do the same. Our work is far from done, and we are constantly working to improve as a firm. Here are some of our ongoing commitments.
Our commitment in the workplace. Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment begins with how we recruit talent. We expressly seek out a diverse array of candidates for all of the firm’s hiring needs. We use selection criteria beyond the interview, such as mock exercises, to create protection against implicit bias.
We hire partnership-track associates. We support our associates’ development towards partnership by creating deposition and courtroom advocacy opportunities early and often, and by supporting their business development efforts. Our Associates Committee, mentoring initiative, and evaluation process are all geared to protect against bias and discrimination, tune in to the specific needs and preferences of our associates, and identify the best ways to help them develop.
We believe our staff and paralegals are essential members of our team. We solicit and incorporate input from attorney and non-attorney team members alike, and we expect that our attorneys treat all team members with utmost respect. For many, this firm is like a family, and we endeavor to treat each other as such.
Our commitment in the courtroom. Excellence in the courtroom is not created in a vacuum. Nor does it come from a single place. To achieve it, a trial team weaves evidence and law into a compelling story. But without varied and disparate perspectives breathing life into that story, a trial team will never persuade the varied and disparate judges and juries who decide their client’s fate. As a result, we work to recruit a diverse trial team and actively involve each member in everything we do in the courtroom.
Our clients expect justice and fairness in courtrooms, and justice and fairness begin with us. We strive to treat each other, our colleagues, and our adversaries with dignity and respect in the courtroom, so that we may exemplify for others the fair and just treatment we desire to see and receive.
Our commitment in the community. We believe that our responsibility for the advancement of justice and equality for all must extend into the communities we serve. We partner with local organizations like Advocates for Community Transformation and Human Rights Initiative to support the members of our community who need legal assistance. We also participate in, lead, and sponsor equal justice initiatives of the Dallas Bar Association, such as WE LEAD, the Diversity Summit, and Inspiring Women X programs. And to advance equal access to educational opportunities for all, for more than five years we have awarded scholarships to high school seniors interested in a career in the law. The Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet administers the scholarships, whose namesake, Judge Sanders, issued the key desegregation opinion for Dallas schools.
A few of our other diversity and inclusion community efforts include sponsorship of and participation in the following programs:
- - The J.L. Turner Legal Association’s Trial Advocacy CLE course.
- - Racism and the Role of Corporate Counsel for Texas Lawbook.
- - Dallas Bar: “Tales of True Allyship During Trying Times.”
- - The Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Gala.
- - ABA “Men in the Mix,” developed by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.
- - Dallas Association of Young Lawyers CLE: “How Men Can be Better Allies to Working Lawyer Moms.”
- - Dallas Women’s Lawyer Association and Foundation.
- - Women’s Business Symposium.
- - ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities’ CLE at AT&T.
- - ABA Judicial Intern Opportunity Program.
- - Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program.
The realization of true equality for all is a work in progress. We are proud of our team, but we recognize that our work is not done. We must, and will, do more.