At BakerHostetler, we embrace people of all backgrounds as essential to the conduct of business in today’s world. We recruit and develop diverse lawyers because we know it promotes the best in community, depth, and leadership. Our commitment is demonstrated through targeted recruiting of minorities and women at law schools and lateral lawyer interviews, active participation in minority job fairs, the appointment of minority and women lawyers to our Hiring Committees, the Paul D. White Scholarship program, our Diversity Fellowship Program, and through support of diverse professional and community activities and organizations. Our longtime support of veterans and military service dates back to the firm’s inception when co-founder Newton D. Baker made the difficult decision to take a leave of absence and accept President Woodrow Wilson’s request to serve as Secretary of War during World War I.
Diversity throughout the firm and in our leadership provides role models for our young lawyers and enhances our ability to provide diverse staffing at an experienced level on client projects. Embracing these differences and fostering a supportive, inclusive environment allows us to bring together a variety of perspectives and experiences to provide creative solutions for the challenges our clients face and helps our attorneys find balance among their careers, families, and community activities. Having a greater understanding and appreciation for issues of race, gender, and culture makes us better attorneys, a stronger firm, and a more inclusive, respectful place to work.
One of our most successful strategies in retaining minority attorneys has been our commitment to listen, learn, and act upon their suggestions. Our Diversity Task Force, established in 1994, evolved into a standing Committee in the firm. It includes minority and non-minority members of the Policy Committee, Office Managing Partners, Partners, and Associates. Subcommittees focus on five key topics: Lateral Recruiting, Law School Recruiting/Paul D. White Scholarship, Minority Attorney Conference, Marketing, and Retention. Exemplifying the goal of true diversity, the Diversity Committee includes minorities, non-minorities, men and women, lawyers, and staff members from across the firm.
In addition to our Diversity Committee, we have a Women's Committee, led by Partner Suzanne Hanselman, to provide recommendations to management with respect to challenges facing women in the legal profession. Our Houston office was a key signatory for the Women's Initiative by the Houston Bar Association, and our Houston Office Managing Partner, Lisa Pennington, was the first woman to manage a major law office in Texas.
The committee, which comprises attorneys from all our offices as well as representation from firm wide Human Resources and Marketing, is divided into four subcommittees: Recruiting & Retention, Business Development, Work/Life Balance, and Advancement to Management.