Diversity

Schiff Hardin maintains a deep commitment to diversity in our firm, the legal community and all of society. From supporting various law student organizations and providing scholarships to promising law students to mentoring and career development activities, our attorneys continuously work to develop diverse legal talent within the Firm. Our active Women's Networking Group provides support for the female attorneys at Schiff Hardin and fosters relationships between female executives within our client base.

Our attorneys are active in many minority, ethnic and women's organizations that enhance Schiff Hardin's ability to foster diversity in the legal and professional world.

Schiff Hardin's commitment to diversity extends to our contracting with outside vendors. When purchasing products or services, we understand that engaging minority- and women-owned businesses benefits both parties and strengthens the business community as a whole.

National Recognition

Schiff Hardin has received the following national awards for its initiatives involving diversity and women attorneys, as well as workplace quality of life:

  • "2013 Business Leader of Color" — Chicago United named partner Patricia Brown Holmes to this list of 45 Chicago-area business executives of Fortune 1000 companies.
  • "WILEF Gold Standard" — The Women in Law Empowerment Forum named Schiff Hardin a 2013 Gold Standard firm in recognition of its integration of women into the highest leadership positions within the firm.
  • "50 Best Law Firms for Women"Schiff Hardin was named to the 2013 list by Working Mother Magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers
  • The Vault — 2014 rankings listed Schiff Hardin nationally at #5 for Overall Diversity and #2 for Diversity for Women.
  • Earl Burrus Dickerson Award — Partner Patricia Brown Holmes was honored in 2013 by The Chicago Bar Association in recognition of her devotion to the law and equality and justice for all of society.
  • National Law Journal and American Lawyer magazine — These publications ranked Schiff Hardin No. 9 on their 2012 "Women in Equity Partnership" list.
  • Euromoney Legal Media Group's Women in Business Law Awards — The publisher of International Financial Law Review named Schiff Hardin "Best Law Firm in the Midwest" in 2012.
  • MultiCultural Law Magazine — in 2012 Schiff Hardin LLP named a "Top 100 Law Firm for Women" and "Top 25 Law Firm for African-Americans."
  • Thomas L. Sager Award — The Minority Corporate Counsel Association honored Schiff Hardin's diversity achievements in 2012 with this award for the Midwest region.
  • Top Businesses — Schiff Hardin was named to DiversityBusiness.com's twelfth annual Top Business List in 2012.
  • Perfect Score in Corporate Equality Index — Schiff Hardin received a 100% score in the 2013, 2012 and 2011 Corporate Equality Index based on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace policies and benefits, from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization.
  • Law Firm Rankings 2012: The Best Law Firms For DiversitySchiff Hardin ranked #25 by Vault.com's Law 100 Vault Ranking for Overall Diversity.
  • Leading Law Firm for LGBT Workplace EqualitySchiff Hardin was recognized by Equality Illinois in 2011 and 2012 as a leading law firm in the state for its achievements in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality.
  • Spirit of Excellence Award — Partner and retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears was honored in 2011 by the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity.

    Schiff Hardin featured in Atlanta Tribune's 2010 Diversity issue.
  • Top Businesses — Schiff Hardin was named to DiversityBusiness.com's eleventh annual Top Business List in 2011.
  • Women In Law Firms — Schiff Hardin was ranked number 32 nationally among the AmLaw 200 in this first annual study (2009) by American Lawyer.
  • 2007 Top 100 Law Firms For DiversitySchiff Hardin was named to MultiCultural Law's 2007 "Annual Edition." This was the third year Schiff Hardin has been named to the list.

Diversity Committee

Schiff Hardin's Diversity Committee enhances our ability to recruit, hire, retain and promote a diverse professional workforce on the basis of demonstrated merit by maintaining an inclusive culture that promotes success for all of our lawyers.

By sponsoring and developing activities with key minority, ethnic and women's organizations, the Diversity Committee at Schiff Hardin ensures that the firm is actively promoting diversity in the legal profession.

The Diversity Committee meets at least once a month to:

  • Set goals for diversity
  • Monitor and promote the development of diverse lawyers at our firm
  • Pursue a variety of diversity initiatives

Minutes of the Diversity Committee meetings are provided to every lawyer at our firm, and a report from the Diversity Committee is a regular agenda item for meetings of our firm's Executive Committee, practice group leaders, partners’ and associates meetings.

Associates play critical roles on the Diversity Committee, to which they devote substantial time and attention. Under the supervision of Diversity Committee members, several dozen associates have organized themselves into task forces that focus on a variety of initiatives including:

  • Recruiting law students
  • Outreach to minority judicial clerks
  • Pipeline initiatives and community outreach
  • Assuming leadership roles in minority bar associations
  • Providing affinity group support to diverse lawyers joining our firm

Committee Members

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Ronald S. Safer
Managing Partner, Executive Committee Member

Patricia Brown Holmes
Partner, Executive Committee Member, Diversity Committee Chair

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Barry S. Alberts
Partner

Eric L. Barnum
Partner

Jean L. Bertrand
Partner

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Max G. Brittain Jr.
Partner

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Lisa A. Brown
Partner in Charge of Associate Development

Heidi Dalenberg
Partner

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Marci Eisenstein
Partner, Executive Committee Member

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Joanne B. Faycurry
Partner

Matthew J. Fischer
Partner

Robert J. Minkus
Partner

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Sailesh K. Patel
Partner

Randolph M. Perkins
Partner

Gabriel M. Rodriguez
Partner

Felice Bressler Rose
Partner

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Regina Y. Speed-Bost
Partner

Debra L. Stetter
Partner

Clay A. Tillack
Partner

Thomas P. White
Partner

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Cindy Yang
Partner