Managing Partner, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair
Bowman and Brooke LLP
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN
Industry: Law Firm
CEO: Paul Cereghini, Firm Chair
Credentials: University of Minnesota Law School, J.D.; Australian National University; M.A., Boston College, B.A.
This firm works hard to fight complacency in DEI work and sees both a lack of focus and complacency as dangerous threats to the progress of DEI. It refuses to rest. Currently, over 60 percent of its 2022 newly hired attorneys identify in at least one diverse category. Yet, it is still working hard to make sure that all lawyers and staff feel included. It keeps everyone on the same page by requiring lawyers and staff to participate in DEI training and providing opportunities to discuss race and gender.
Every attorney is held accountable through the firm’s Acts of Inclusion Checklist. The list is a smart, practical guide to help busy lawyers navigate DEI and stay on top of their goals.
The checklist requires the following: Each attorney must recognize and reject all forms of intolerance, addressing issues swiftly. They must also ask a new attorney about their career development plans and offer to help. Finally, the lead attorney should invite a diverse attorney and guest to a non-work-related event and introduce them to others. Attorneys are held accountable by formally reporting their efforts in their annual reviews.
The company also makes sure that the doors to the C-Suite are open to all lawyers. It does that through partnership planning, client succession planning and DEI evaluations for partners. The firm recognizes that their newly hired lawyers are the future. By becoming partners and being responsible for essential client relationships, women and minority attorneys will be in a position to pursue the highest-level positions in the firm as managing partners, executive managing partners and firm chair.