Smith Anderson embraces 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 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, which 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:
- Actively recruiting and hiring from minority job fairs, including the Southeastern Minority Job Fair and the North Carolina Bar Association Minorities in the Profession (MIP) Committee’s Summer Associate Program, as well as hosting the interview day for the MIP program in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018;
- Establishing firm policies, including an Alternative Schedule Policy, to accommodate lawyers seeking alternative, reduced, or flexible work schedules;
- 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; and
- Forming affinity groups for women and diverse lawyers, with a focus on mentoring and networking.
Smith Anderson also encourages and supports our lawyers 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:
- A Smith Anderson associate and a partner currently serve on the Minorities in the Profession Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association, and a Smith Anderson partner is the immediate past Chair of the Committee, as well as a former Co-Chair of the Adelante! Moving Forward Program;
- Smith Anderson has sponsored the North Carolina Chamber’s Women: A Force in Business conference in Raleigh since its inception, and our lawyers have participated in committees and presented at the conference;
- A Smith Anderson associate is a Co-Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Diversity and Inclusion Committee;
- Smith Anderson hosts women and diverse lawyer events each spring and fall to connect, support, and facilitate the growth of women and diverse lawyers in North Carolina.
Smith Anderson is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our firm recruits high-quality lawyers 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:
- Kerry Shad, Co-Chair
- Sharita Whitaker, Co-Chair
- Zeb Anderson
- Taylor Dewberry
- Josh Diver
- Blake Fricks
- Tim Goettel
- Liz Thomsen
- Justin Truesdale