Inclusion and Diversity
Areas of focus within Inclusion and Diversity
Sedgwick’s commitment to inclusion and diversity comes from a belief that attorneys and staff from diverse backgrounds and experiences, working toward a common goal, offer the best opportunity to deliver the superior legal services that our clients expect. We understand that in the diverse and interconnected world in which we live and work, it is essential that we engage people from different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. To support and cultivate a progressive and empowering work environment, we are dedicated to the recruitment, retention and advancement of highly skilled attorneys and staff.
Awards and Recognition
Sedgwick has been recognized for its commitment to inclusion and diversity in many ways. These accolades come as a result of the creative approach the firm has taken to address the need for greater inclusion and diversity within the legal profession.
- Listed on Law360’s 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys.
- Named by Law360 as one of the 100 Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys.
- Achieved a perfect score on the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the ninth consecutive year.
- Ranked 48 on The American Lawyer's 2015 Diversity Scorecard of the 200 largest law firms.
- Recognized as a 2015 Top Illinois Law Firm for LGBT diversity and inclusive practices by Equality Illinois for the fourth consecutive year.
- Attained “Gold Standard Certification” from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
- Named by the Chevron Law Function as a recipient of its tenth annual Law Firm Diversity Recognition Award in 2014.
Inclusion and Diversity Retreat/Symposium
Sedgwick hosts an annual Inclusion and Diversity Symposium for our attorneys and clients. Each year, guests gain insights on key issues surrounding diversity from a keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion and concluding with a networking reception. In conjunction with the Symposium, Sedgwick hosts its annual Inclusion and Diversity Retreat. Members of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee gather with firm leaders to make recommendations, implement policies and set goals to ensure the recruitment, retention and development of all Sedgwick attorneys.
Inclusion and Diversity Committee
Sedgwick’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee is comprised of partners and special counsel from each of our offices, including members of the firm’s Executive Committee and the Chair of the firm. Working with a dedicated budget to support the firm’s diversity programs and events, the committee meets monthly to monitor the progress of the firm’s inclusion and diversity efforts. It also works closely with the firm’s Practice Group Leaders to ensure that inclusion and diversity take hold throughout the firm.
Sedgwick has five affinity groups to aid in the firm’s diversity efforts: the African American Lawyers Forum, Asian Pacific Islander Forum, Hispanic Lawyers Forum, LGBT Action Committee and Women’s Forum. With the firm’s support, members of these affinity groups are active in various minority bar organizations, law student and alumni groups, and charitable and professional associations. Our affinity groups have also assisted the firm in reaching out to potential lateral attorney candidates, mentoring current Sedgwick lawyers and offering recommendations on ways to improve the firm’s diversity efforts.
Sedgwick teams with minority student law organizations to participate in on-campus recruiting events and sponsors and attends recruiting events presented by the various minority bar associations. Sedgwick also sponsors events and initiatives of Catalyst, an organization that promotes the recruitment and advancement of women in management; Lavender Law, the career fair and conference of the National LGBT Bar Association; the Chicago and Northeast regional chapters of the MCCA; and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Diversity Pipeline Programs
The firm supports various programs that foster an interest in minority high school and college students to pursue careers in the legal profession and that support first-year law students in the pursuit of their careers. In August 2014, Sedgwick’s San Francisco office launched the firm’s first ever pre-L diversity pipeline program, coined Sedgwick Connect. The goal of Sedgwick Connect is to provide these students with a professional network of mentors and friends, advice about how to be a successful law student and exposure to law firm culture.
Involvement with Diversity Organizations
The firm is a reliable supporter of the Minority Corporate Counsel Program and the California Minority Corporate Counsel Program. Members of the firm have served on programs conducted by these two well-respected organizations as well as on the ABA Pipeline Initiative and the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. Several members of the firm have also served in leadership positions with the California Association of Black Lawyers, the Japanese American Bar Association, and the Chinese American Lawyers Association, to name a few.