A Message from the Chair of Dykema's Diversity and Inclusion Board
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is not only a sound practice, it's good business. A diverse and inclusive workforce helps us better understand and serve our clients, and enables us to have a positive impact on the communities in which we work.
At Dykema, diversity and inclusion is not a policy designed to meet legal requirements for equal opportunity. Rather, it’s a key component of our corporate culture: a culture built on inclusion, in which we promote dignity and respect for all, and seek opportunities to learn from one another, even, or especially, when those perspectives are shaped from different backgrounds and experiences.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion ensures that all are welcomed without regard to age, religion gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or domestic partner relationship, physical characteristics or disability.
Diversity and inclusion are core values at Dykema. Fostering diversity and inclusion brings not only an enriched work environment, but also is key to providing the most sophisticated response to our clients most complex business needs. We continue to develop, implement and monitor programs and activities that not only enhance diversity and inclusion, but eliminate any obstacles to those initiatives. Dykema's diversity and inclusion strategic plan includes:
- Increase recruitment of diverse attorneys at all levels.
- Promote advancement and support retention of diverse attorneys by providing a work environment that maximize opportunities for professional development.
- Support dialogue and expertise on diversity and inclusion related issues within and outside the Firm and by fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for all.
- Measure and monitor the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts.
Sherrie L. Farrell, Chair
Diversity and Inclusion Board
Dykema’s Diversity and Inclusion Board is comprised of an Executive Board and the Recruiting, Retention and Initiatives sub-committees to more effectively underscore the Firm’s commitment to recruit, retain and promote lawyers from diverse backgrounds. Our Board members have diverse backgrounds from various offices, who oversee and actively manage the firm’s diversity program. This includes some of the Firm’s most senior contributors, including our Chairman/CEO of the Firm and other executive management members.
Clerkships and Scholarships
Dykema participates in the Wolverine Bar Association’s summer clerkship program, through which we hire a diverse law student after his/her first year of law school. Dykema has also created an informal clerkship program with the Indigenous Law Program of the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Law. Through this program, Dykema has committed to maintain a clerkship in its Lansing office for Native American students who are members of MSU’s Indigenous Law Program.
Dykema has established annual diversity scholarships for law students at the University of Michigan, launched in 2005, and the University of Illinois, launched in 2006. This award, designed not only to promote diversity in the legal profession but to encourage outstanding law school students to remain in their respective geographic markets upon graduation, is a $7500 per year gift, to be applied toward tuition and fees in the second and third years of law school. We offer recipients of the scholarship the opportunity to join Dykema for the summer following their first year of law school.
Community Involvement and Sponsorships
Dykema has been a long-time sponsor of local high-school urban work study programs. We sponsor students from the Cristo Rey and Christ the King Corporate Work Study programs in Chicago and the Genesys Works, Grow Detroit’s Youth Talent and the Loyola Work Experience programs in Detroit. We also continue to sponsor many attorney diverse bar association memberships and activities, diverse bar and law student association diversity programs and conferences, and other diversity related conferences.
Women’s Business Initiative (WBI)—Lead, Connect, Collaborate
As part of Dykema’s continued commitment to diversity and inclusion, our women professionals have organized the Dykema Women’s Business Initiative. This initiative brings together business women and leaders from diverse occupations, providing opportunities for building leadership skills, networking and professional and personal growth. We mentor our women professionals in leadership, professional and business development through individual partner/associate mentoring relationships and group activities. We promote business networking relationships within and outside the Firm and pursue business development opportunities and business channels unique to women.
Dykema PRIDE—is a resource for employees who identify as LGBT and allies. The group works to provide education, cultivate business and talent development, while also positively affecting firm culture, firm retention, and recruitment goals.
Diversity and Inclusion at Dykema
We foster diversity and inclusion by offering and supporting a variety of benefits, policies and involvement by Dykema personnel:
- Diversity and Inclusion Board
- Community Involvement and Sponsorships - participation and sponsorship in minority job fairs, diverse law student and bar association events and programming, scholarships with local law schools
- Women’s Business Initiative (WBI)
- Dykema PRIDE
- Diversity Census
- Parental Leave Policy
- Alternative Work Schedules
- Billable credit for pro-bono matters, matters include legal services for traditionally under-represented individuals or agencies supporting that population
- Encouragement for involvement in and support of professional, community and civic organizations that advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and business community