Smith Anderson Honored for Elevating Women Attorneys

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly has named Smith Anderson to its inaugural Empowering Women list, which recognizes law firms that have shown strong commitment to supporting and elevating women attorneys. With the most women in leadership roles in its 111-year history, Smith Anderson again made “her-story” in 2023, cementing our reputation as a law firm where women are a force in the boardroom, in the courtroom and in their communities.

“The firms featured range from large general service firms to smaller boutique practices,” writes Ross Chandler, editor of NCLW. “All have demonstrated a commitment to hiring and promoting women, providing mentoring and opportunities for their professional advancement and establishing programs and policies to help them thrive in their practice.

Smith Anderson has implemented policies and initiatives that promote equal opportunities for professional growth and advancement, ensuring that women have equal access to leadership. This commitment is reflected in the firm's leadership, where women are represented in all key decision-making positions. More than 30 percent of firm lawyers and elected management committee are women, 100 percent of our C-suite are women and our management committee co-chair is a woman. In addition, women co-chair our Associate, Lawyer Development and D&I committees and half of our Recruiting Committee is comprised of women.

The woman-empowering initiatives that Smith Anderson is committed to include:

  • Maintaining a Diversity and Inclusion Committee: This committee consists of both partners and associates and is co-chaired by two women partners who champion diversity. The mission of this committee is to ensure the firm is consistently strategizing ways to internally and publicly support and empower lawyers of all backgrounds representative of our inclusive values.
  • Achieving Mansfield Certified Plus status: Our actions to attract and develop attorneys from underrepresented groups in the legal profession and ensure all talent at the firm has a fair and equal opportunity to advance into leadership led to us being named the only North Carolina-based law firm to achieve this status in 2023. The Mansfield Rule is a national certification process that is focused on broadening the talent pool for consideration, including those historically underrepresented in the legal profession, to facilitate transparent leadership pathways.

  • Sponsoring Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Conferences: We proudly sponsor and send attendees to annual D&I conferences, including ones such as NC Chamber's Diversity & Inclusion and Women Lead NC conferences, and NC Tech's Diversity + Inclusion Summit. Our lawyers have also spoken at many of these events and have actively contributed to organizing many of these events.

  • Hosting Women and Diverse In-House Lawyer Events: To connect, support and facilitate the growth of women and diverse lawyers, we have organized event-centered networking groups that have gained immense popularity and have played a meaningful role in fostering new relationships among women and other diverse in-house lawyers across the Triangle region.

  • Supporting Women-Owned Businesses: As a standing firm practice, we promote using minority, women-owned and local small business vendors in and around our community for our firm's various needs. A list of vendors is accessible on our firm’s intranet so it is accessible to everyone at the firm.

  • Offering Flexible Working Arrangements: We provide flexible working arrangements that cater to the diverse needs of all of our lawyers, enabling them to excel both professionally and personally. Our substantial paid parental leave and flexible work schedules accommodate lawyers seeking alternative or reduced work schedules.

  • Smith Anderson Women's Affinity Group (SWAG): Our firm supports the Smith Anderson Women's Affinity Group, or "SWAG," which serves as a mentorship program between partners and associates and a community-building platform that offers women opportunities to engage externally through various service projects.

  • Encouraging Involvement in Professional and Community Organizations: We actively encourage our lawyers to become engaged members or directors of professional and community organizations. Some organizations women from the firm are currently involved with include Artspace, Community Music School of Wake County, Food Runners Collaborative, Neighbor to Neighbor, Ravenscroft School, RISE Southeast Raleigh Charter School, Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women, and the United Arts Council.

The entire Empowering Women list can be viewed here.

Jump to Page

This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and improve functionality. To learn more, you may view our Privacy Policy. By continuing to browse Smith Anderson's website, you are accepting our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.