Diversity It Matters

Diversity - It Matters!
Schiff Hardin's 2013 Diversity Year In Review

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.

A Year of National Recognition

We believe that a strong and relentless commitment to diversity, and everything we do to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, makes us a better firm, a better business partner with our clients, and a better influence on our communities.

  • Best Law Firms for Diversity – Vault's 2015 Best Law Firms for Diversity list ranks Schiff Hardin #1 in the nation for diversity for women, #2 in the nation for diversity for minorities, and #5 in the nation for overall diversity.
  • WILEF Gold Standard Firm – The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) recognized Schiff Hardin with its 2014 Gold Standard Firm certification, in recognition of women in the highest leadership positions within the firm.
  • Corporate Equality Index – Schiff Hardin has received a perfect score each year since 2011 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, based on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace policies and benefits.
  • Equality Illinois Leading Law Firm – Equality Illinois recognized Schiff Hardin each year since 2011 as a Leading Law Firm for LGBT workplace inclusiveness and equality.
  • 50 Best Law Firms for Women – Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers named Schiff Hardin one of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women for the past three years.
  • DiversityBusiness.com Top Businesses – Schiff Hardin was selected one of the Top Businesses in the U.S. by DiversityBusiness.com.
  • Most Powerful and Influential Women in Illinois – The Illinois Diversity Council in 2014 named partner Patricia Brown Holmes to its list of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Illinois.
  • Thomas L. Sager Award – The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) awarded Schiff Hardin in 2012 the prestigious Thomas L. Sager Award for the Midwest Region, honoring Schiff Hardin's sustained commitment to improve the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys. The firm was a finalist for the award in 2013 and 2014.

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.

The Diversity Committee has four subcommittees: Gender, Race, Ethnicity and National Origin (RENO); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT); and Veterans and Attorneys Living with Disabilities. Each subcommittee is chaired by a partner who serves on the Diversity Committee and each holds regular meetings to discuss topics relevant to their group.

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 quarterly 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, and partner and associate 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


Ronald S. Safer
Managing Partner, Executive Committee Member

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


Barry S. Alberts

Eric L. Barnum

Jean L. Bertrand


Max G. Brittain Jr.


Lisa A. Brown
Partner in Charge of Associate Development

Heidi Dalenberg


Marci Eisenstein
Partner, Executive Committee Member

Joanne B. Faycurry

Matthew J. Fischer

Robert J. Minkus


Sailesh K. Patel

Gabriel M. Rodriguez

Felice Bressler Rose


Regina Y. Speed-Bost

Debra L. Stetter

Clay A. Tillack

Thomas P. White


Cindy Yang