NATIONAL DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION CHAIR PARTNER MITCHELL SILBERBERG & KNUPP LLP
MITCHELL SILBERBERG & KNUPP LLP
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
Business: Law Firm
CEO: Thomas Edwards
LAW FIRM LEVERAGING DIVERSITY BEYOND THE RHETORIC
Leaders create value out of diversity. Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP is successfully doing this by leveraging diversity with commitments that go beyond rhetoric.
“From the top level of leadership down, our Diversity & Inclusion Committee permeates all decisions we make at the firm, as well as our entire strategic plan. It’s not an isolated committee or aspect of our business,” the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Chair Samantha Grant said.
Grant, a partner in the firm, is a trailblazer in diversity, dedicated to community service and advocacy for women and minorities in the legal profession. Last year, she was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, and earlier was singled out as one the most powerful and influential women in California by the California Diversity Council.
Under Grant’s leadership, commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp and aims to benefit the legal profession as a whole, as well as the broader community. “Our firm’s focus on diversity and inclusion in hiring and retention, along with our involvement in diversity-related community activities, helps us better connect with and represent our evolving clientele,” Grant said. “Building a firm culture grounded in the values of diversity and inclusion provides a remarkable opportunity to create a better organization and grow a broader pipeline into the profession,” she added.
RESHAPING PERSPECTIVES AND ATTITUDES
As challenges present themselves in any diversity program, they include a shift in mentality or culture. “As our implicit bias training taught our organization, individuals automatically and subconsciously associate groups of people and stereotypes about those groups. Reshaping these perspectives is vitally important to strengthening our firm culture, and takes time,” she said.
We have a strong Diversity & Inclusion Committee, on which the firm’s Chairman and Vice Chairman both sit, along with other attorney and non-attorney firm leaders, partners, and associates” she said. The firm continually revisits diversity initiatives, including expanding on-campus recruiting efforts to include more schools with ethnically-diverse enrollment, having a part-time policy, and a generous parental leave policy. The firm annually sponsors and its lawyers are active in a pipeline program, UCLA School of Law’s Law Fellows Program, which enhances underrepresented students opportunities to be admitted to law schools across the country. Reaching further back, the firm sponsors and its lawyers are active in the Constitutional Rights Foundation.
The firm also regularly provides sponsorships and scholarships to many diverse bar organizations, including the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Mexican American Bar Foundation, the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. that serve an international clientele.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MITCHELL SILBERBERG & KNUPP’S RECENT D&I RECOGNITION INCLUDE:
- Profiles in Diversity Journal – Diversity Leader Award
- Law360 -100 Best Firms For Minority Attorneys and
- Law360 -100 Best U.S. law firms for Racial Minorities
- Law360 – 50 Best Firms For Minority Partners