Smith Anderson strives to embrace the differences that make us unique and is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive law firm. Diversity and inclusion at Smith Anderson means embracing and celebrating the variety of experiences and backgrounds that make for a stronger internal culture, while better reflecting the communities and clients we serve. We encourage all employees to contribute their unique perspectives and capabilities to achieve superior results for our clients.
Smith Anderson maintains a Diversity Committee, consisting of both partners and associates, that works closely with firm management and members of the Recruiting and Lawyer Development Committees. The Diversity Committee focuses on such issues as the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse lawyers, as well as working to maintain an environment in which differences are valued.
The following are examples of steps the firm has taken to carry out our commitment to diversity and inclusion:
- Hiring a Director of Professional Development, Recruiting and Diversity;
- Establishing firm policies, including a Reduced Schedule Policy, to accommodate attorneys seeking an alternative work schedule;
- Partnering with the corporate legal departments of businesses in Raleigh, Durham and Research Triangle Park to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for our diverse lawyers;
- Forming an affinity group for women attorneys, with a focus on mentoring and networking;
- Joining the Firm Affiliate Network (FAN) of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), an organization committed to advancing the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them;
- Sponsoring and attending diversity conferences, including the 2012 Diversity in the Legal Profession Conference, sponsored by the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, and “In Defense of Diversity: The Critical Role of White Male Partners,” co-sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys;
- Participating in the North Carolina Bar Association Minorities in the Profession Committee's Summer Associate Program, including hosting the interviews for that program in 2013; and
- Actively recruiting at minority job fairs.
Smith Anderson also encourages and supports our attorneys in their own efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion in practice and in principle. Our lawyers have been personally engaged in promoting these principles in our work environment and more broadly within our communities. For example, our lawyers are involved with the following associations and events that share our mission to promote and encourage diversity and inclusion:
- Two Smith Anderson associates currently serve on the Minorities in the Profession Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association;
- Smith Anderson lawyers have participated in student networking and mentoring opportunities for the Latino Affairs Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association;
- Smith Anderson partners have served on the Minority Contractors Joint Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association Construction Section;
- Two Smith Anderson lawyers currently serve on the Diversity Committee of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys;
- A Smith Anderson partner served on the board of The Women's Institute. This non-profit organization is dedicated to supporting the hiring, retention and promotion of eligible women within organizations and also advocates for competent female entrepreneurs by ensuring the availability of capital, support and community connections;
- A Smith Anderson partner has for three years chaired the Women in the Profession Committee for the North Carolina Bar Association; and
- A Smith Anderson partner was inducted into the Academy of Women for the YWCA of the Greater Triangle for service and commitment to the mission of the YWCA.
Smith Anderson is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our firm recruits high-quality attorneys and professional staff without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, marital or veteran status, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other legally protected status.
Smith Anderson's Diversity Committee: