Diversity is a core value of this firm. For us, diversity is a conscious, firm-wide effort to create and maintain a work environment where top notch legal talents of all descriptions and backgrounds are welcomed, trained and challenged to become superior trial advocates.
We actively seek out diverse legal talents, not only at the schools where we interview on campus, but also through national and regional minority job fairs such as the DuPont Minority Job Fair, the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, and the Southern Region of the National Black Law Students Association Job Fair.
We seek diversity not just among the ranks of our lawyers, but also in our staff. We have made this commitment not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because we are convinced that our clients get better results when their matters are handled by a legal team with diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
In recognition of the importance of achieving, promoting and maintaining diversity in our firm, we have created a Diversity Committee, made up of four partners and three associates, whose charge is to routinely evaluate our efforts in this regard and suggest improvements. Among the many initiatives the committee supports are the firm’s long-standing commitment to flex time schedules for individuals who wish to practice law at the highest levels, but need a flexible work schedule in order to do so, and our mentoring program, through which every associate at the firm is provided a specific partner mentor to shepherd his/her legal career.
Our commitment to diversity goes well beyond our own self interest in attracting top notch and diverse legal talent. Our lawyers devote hundreds of hours — and the firm provides thousands of dollars — each year to local, state and national efforts to diversify our community and the legal profession as a whole. When the Alabama State Bar created its first task force on diversity, a Lightfoot lawyer served as vice co-chair. When the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association created its first diversity task force, a Lightfoot lawyer served as co-chair. When the Alabama State Bar created its first Hispanic Outreach Committee, a Lightfoot lawyer was included as a founding member. When a group of women decided DRI needed a women’s committee, a Lightfoot lawyer was a founding member. When DRI held its first ever Diversity for Success seminar, a Lightfoot lawyer was one of its panel speakers.
Indeed, Lightfoot lawyers routinely organize, lead, and participate in seminars devoted to diversity in the legal profession, and to supporting and promoting the careers of female and minority lawyers. A partial list of our lawyers’ involvement in the area of diversity is as follows:
- service as the President for Region VII of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Board of Governors;
- service as Program Chair of the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar;
- service as Chair of the Business Development Committee of the DuPont Women’s Legal Network;
- service as a board member for the Young Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association, the nation’s oldest and largest national association of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges;
- service as diversity liaison for the DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar;
- annual participation in the DuPont Minority Counsel Network meeting, including service as co-chair of the Mentoring and Retention Committee of the DuPont Minority Counsel Network.
- service as Committee Vice-Chair and Chair of the DRI Women in the Law Committee and as Program Chair of the DRI Women in the Law Seminar
- service on the Women’s Committee for Cornerstone Schools of Alabama;
- service as one of the founding members of the Alabama State Bar’s Spanish Speaking Lawyer’s Committee, Chair of its Rules Subcommittee and member of its legislative review task force;
- service on the Birmingham Bar Association’s Task Force on Diversity Initiatives;
- service as Co-Chair of the Diversity in the Profession Committee of the Alabama State Bar Association;
- annual presentations to 1L members of the University of Alabama’s Black Law Students Association (“BLSA”) chapter on how to succeed in law school;
- firm-wide sponsorship of the Magic City Bar Association scholarship dinner which promotes the professional and educational advancement of African-American attorneys, the University of Alabama’s Black Law Student Association’s scholarship dinner and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast;
- firm-wide sponsorship of the Alabama State Bar Minority Prelaw Conference Program, a one day program designed to introduce minority high school students to the practice of law through mock trials, speaker panels, and small group sessions put on by judges, attorneys, and law professors from across the state; and
- recognition for commitment to diversity by the University of Alabama’s Black Law Students Association in 2010 and 2012 (Dean Bryan K. Fair Achievement Award) and in 2012 (Gail Johnson Award);
We are proud of our achievements in the area of diversity and look forward to many more to come. If you would like additional information on our efforts, or advice on how to implement some of our programs, please contact Kevin Clark.