Diversity

Mission Statement

We're never about lip service. Just ask Equality Illinois, which recognized our contributions to equality.SmithAmundsen embraces the diverse perspectives and experiences that exist within the legal profession. To that end, the firm is dedicated to nurturing a culturally rich, collaborative and inclusive working environment. Our Diversity Committee is made up of partners, associates and administrative professionals who are committed to that mission. The goal is to enhance recruiting and mentoring efforts, and also empower members of the firm to become active and engaged in their communities. The Committee aims to provide the resources necessary to remain competitive and relevant in an evolving global marketplace.

Accomplishments

In 2016, Law 360 named SmithAmundsen #32 on its Top 100 Law Firms for Female Attorneys list.

In 2016, Above the Law gave SmithAmundsen an "A" in its Law Firm Gender Diversity Index.

In 2014, 2015 & 2016 SmithAmundsen was honored by Equality Illinois as a law firm leading the way to LGBT equality.

In 2015, Law360 named SmithAmundsen #15 on Top 100 Law Firms for Female Attorneys list. This ranking is based on the firm's female representation at the partner and nonpartner levels and its total number of female attorneys.

In 2016 SmithAmundsen was ranked #11 on The American Lawyer’s “The Best Places for Women” list. The list includes the top 100 law firms on The National Law Journal’s annual survey, which ranks the tops law firms for women based on the number of total female attorneys and female partners at each firm.

Leadership

Recent Events

The Diversity Committee promotes education and awareness through events designed to highlight the unique perspectives and experiences of different ethnic, religious, racial, gender and socioeconomic groups. Recent events include:

June 2016, LGBT PRIDE: SmithAmundsen’s attorneys, staff, clients and friends gathered at Patron’s Hacienda to celebrate LGBT PRIDE week in Chicago. The event was sponsored by Park Hyatt Chicago, Beer on Clark, Clark Street Beach Bar, The Playground Theater, Ladies & Gentlemen Salon, Reply, Elixir and Hydrate, Patron’s Hacienda, Kick and Bobby Love’s.  

Vault, Commitment To Diversity

February 2016, Black History Month: This third annual celebration was hosted at the Park Hyatt Chicago and drew more than 100 attendees from throughout the Chicago legal and business community. The evening featured a celebratory toast from the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman and a musical performance by Rashada Dawan, vocalist with the Black Ensemble Theater.

June 2015, LGBT PRIDE: Clients and friends joined SmithAmundsen’s attorneys and staff at Patron’s Hacienda’s to celebrate LGBT PRIDE week in Chicago. The event was sponsored by local businesses including, Park Hyatt Chicago, Beer on Clark, Bobby Love’s, Clark Street Beach Bar, The Playground Theater, Hamburger Mary’s, Replay, Elixir and Halsted’s, and Ladies & Gentlemen Salon and Spa.

February 2015, Black History Month: The firm's lobby was converted into an art gallery and music hall for our second annual Black History Month celebration. We brought together clients, colleagues and friends to enjoy music by the Mike Wheeler Band, art by the supremely talented kids of After School Matters, food by Reggie Ray’s Catering, and the unforgettable words of Hon. Arlander Keys (Ret.).

June 2014, LGBT PRIDE: Employees, clients, contacts, and friends in the LGBT community were invited to Patron’s Hacienda to celebrate LGBT PRIDE week in Chicago. Local LGBT-owned businesses including Beer on Clark, Clark Street Beach Bar, Hamburger Mary’s, LKH Management (Hydrate, Elixir, Replay, Halsted’s), Twisted Vine, Mini Bar and North End provided support for the event. 

September 2014: Our female attorneys were invited to participate in a series of roundtable events featuring senior female partners as speakers. Partners spoke on issues germane to career development, business development, work-life balance and women’s issues.

February 2014, Black History Month: The firm’s conference space was converted into a Pop-Up art gallery featuring works by local artists supplied by Nych Gallery in Pilsen and photographer Will Knight in celebration of Black History month. Food was provided by Flavor180.

Support

Each year, the Diversity Committee provides support to outside organizations that promote diversity in the legal industry. These organizations include:

Diversity Committee

SmithAmundsen's Diversity Committee is charged with upholding the firm's diversity mission and advancing firm-wide diversity initiatives.  The committee works closely with the Executive Committee and our administrative team to carry out these initiatives and to help foster a culture that celebrates the diverse contributions of all members of the firm.

For additional information, please contact co-chairs Beverly Alfon and Nick Kourvetaris.

Diversity Committee Members:

Recruit. Mentor. Empower.