Diversity has been an important part of Carrington Coleman’s makeup since its very beginning – in fact, we were one of the very first firms in Dallas to hire women attorneys in the 1970s. We remain committed to the goal of strengthening our diversity through recruiting and retaining minority and women attorneys and staff personnel from all backgrounds.
We have a diversity policy in place that was promulgated by our Executive Committee with the approval and support of the partnership. Pursuant to that policy, we have an active Diversity Committee with membership at both the partner and associate levels that meets regularly. The Committee is chaired by Angelina LaPenotiere, Partner in the Employment Law Group, and includes partners, associates, and staff. All new lawyers receive diversity training that includes communication of our diversity policy.
Our Firm is adamant that the policy is more than a piece of paper, and the support we offer women and minority attorneys is reflected in the many accomplishments they have achieved, both internally and externally.
In terms of hiring, we strive to find innovative and creative ways to expand our candidate pool of minority students in connection with our recruiting efforts. We have sent information about our Firm to the minority affinity groups at more than 30 law schools, forwarding our recruiting information and encouraging members to forward their resumes to us for consideration for summer clerkship opportunities. We have also participated in and interviewed at regional minority job fairs, including the Sunbelt Minority Job Fair. On an occasional basis, we host a winter break reception for first year minority law students, which provides us an opportunity to meet potential candidates who might otherwise not sign up to interview with us.
Once hired, we work to ensure that all attorneys, including women and minority attorneys, are given an opportunity to participate actively on cases. We survey our associates twice a year to identify the experience they have attained during that period of time and to ensure that each obtains development opportunities and case responsibilities commensurate with her or his level. It is our expectation that we are grooming each of our associates for eventual partnership, and we take seriously our responsibility to ensure their development. As a result, women and minority attorneys in our Firm do not run the risk of falling behind in development. Rather, they are valued members of our attorney ranks.
Further, we strive to provide women and minority lawyers with opportunities and resources for developing and maintaining clients. The Firm supports various women-to-women networking opportunities, including providing funding for women’s networking events. Women are encouraged to join and have joined – with the firm’s monetary support – “women’s organizations” such as the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and Attorneys Serving the Community. The Firm pays the membership dues for any minority lawyers wishing to join minority bar associations or affinity associations such as the National Bar Association, Dallas Women Lawyer’s Association, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, and the J. L. Turner Legal Association, and offers its wholehearted support for its attorneys who become involved in such bar activities.
The results of the Firm’s efforts demonstrate that they are more than just words on paper. In just the last few years, women and minority lawyers at Carrington Coleman have held significant positions of authority both internally and externally. By way of example:
The Firm’s efforts to develop the talents and skills of its women and minority lawyers have yielded exceptional results, and we look forward to celebrating many more of their accomplishments.
Every member of the Firm accepts responsibility for and does his or her part to fulfill our Firm’s commitment to diversity. We want all of our lawyers and staff to feel that our Firm is a place where they are appreciated for the diverse talents and points of view that they bring to our team, and that they are treated with consideration and respect. And we take our commitment to the community by selecting and supporting (as a Firm) a non-profit organization each year, providing us opportunities to give back while we learn more about each other.