Robert Half Legal Report

Strengthening Diversity: A Business Imperative for Today’s Law Firms

Diversity and inclusion policies are becoming more important to a firm’s bottom line and can contribute to its long-term growth and success in the legal field. In this episode of The Robert Half Legal Reporthost Charles Volkert, senior district president of Robert Half Legal, and Dawn Siler-Nixon, diversity and inclusion partner at FordHarrison, discuss current trends and share law practice management strategies for establishing and maintaining a legal workplace that values diversity and inclusiveness.

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Robert Half Legal Report

Strengthening Diversity a Business Imperative for Today’s Law Firms

02/02/2017

Intro Welcome to the Robert Half Legal Report where we discuss current issues impacting the legal profession related to hiring, staff management and more, with leading experts in the field Robert Half Legal provides lawyers, paralegals and support staff the law firms and corporate legal departments on a project and full-time basis. The Robert Half Legal Report is here on the Legal Talk Network.

[Music]

Charles Volkert: Hello everyone and welcome. I’m Charles Volkert, senior district president of Robert Half Legal and the host of our program today. Our guest is Dawn Siler-Nixon a partner with FordHarrison in Tampa, Florida. Dawn has more than two decades of experience directing and advising clients with their employment and labor needs. She also is the firm’s diversity and inclusion partner providing oversight and implementation of FordHarrison’s diversity, strategic plan. Welcome to the show Dawn and could you share with the audience a little bit more about your background?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Thanks Charles, I’m pleased to be here. Just to give you a little bit more background on me, I’m a partner with the law firm FordHarrison. We are a US Labor and Employment law firm with more than 200 attorneys and 29 offices across the nation. We also have a global practice group and we’re member of a global alliance called Ius Laboris.

I practiced law with FordHarrison for almost 20 years now and led our firm’s diversity, global efforts for more than 12 years. I am a native of North Carolina, enjoying undergraduate and law school degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 01:46.

Charles Volkert: Excellent Dawn. Well thanks so much for being with us today and I know the audience is in for a real treat with your background not only practicing law but on this important topic of diversity and inclusion. Our topic today really will be focused on why diversity inclusion policies are increasingly important in today’s legal workplace and how they contribute to a legal organization’s long-term success.

We will also be discussing best practices for establishing and maintaining a legal office culture that values diversity and inclusiveness. So let’s go ahead and get started and maybe first out the gate Dawn, can you outline what is meant by diversity and inclusion in the legal profession?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Of course and although you routinely see diversity and inclusion together, I think they are very distinct and separate concepts. My good friend and author Renee Meyers I believe said it best, she said that diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion was being asked to dance. Diversity really is all of our human differences, our ethnicity, gender, age, national, origin, disability or education or religion, life perspective, culture all those things make up our diversity.

Inclusion on the other hand is being valued, being respected and supported and focusing on the needs of each individual and ensuring that the right conditions are in place for each person to really achieve their full potential. I like to look at diversity in line with recruiting and inclusion more aligned with the retention.

Charles Volkert: Well that’s very helpful and great definitions of both and how you view and the rest of the community views diversity as well as inclusion. Industry research conducted by our company continues to underscore the business case for diversity. More than half of the US law firms receive requests for proposals that include a diversity component.

Some clients may seek out firms that have a commitment to diversity to meet the expectations of shareholders while others prefer to work with a firm that mirrors their own diverse workforce. Can you discuss how diversity and inclusion practices can contribute to an organization’s growth in its long-term success?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Sure Charles, in today’s world an organization’s success and competitiveness can depend on its ability to embrace diversity and really realize the benefits of inclusion. Doing so has statistically proven to result in increased adaptability, the ability to provide a broader range of services and provide more effective solutions.

There are number of studies that have proven that diverse groups of employees outperform homogeneous groups all the time. This might surprise you, but the presence of diversity has shown to create an awkwardness in the group dynamics and the need to defuse that tension leads to better problem solving.

(00:04:55)

A diverse team can look at an issue from a multitude of perspectives and provide more innovative solutions for clients. And clients and the legal industry are reducing the number of law firm vendors that they have and they’ve been doing so for a long time now. And the diversity of a firm is one critical and distinguishing factor. Ensuring that your workforce is reflective of the world in which we live and that you share the same values and objectives as your client in terms of diversity inclusion is often the tiebreaker.

I can tell you that ensuring that our team is reflective of and can meet the needs of our clients has resulted in us receiving a client’s business over and over again. I think you mentioned that the overwhelming majority of RFP the request for proposals that we receive in the legal industry from our clients include some component of diversity.

Often we are required to provide information on our demographics, information on our programming and provide insight in to our focus on diversity and inclusion. The clients are stopping there. They’re requiring us to provide metrics and data on our associates and staff that are handling their matters. They are requiring us to provide data on our vendors that the firm engages to handle third-party issues like copying and court reporting and the like. And so our focus on diversity really does impact our bottom line in a tangible way. We are often selected by our clients as I mentioned because of our commitment to providing them with a diverse team of lawyers.

One of our clients submitted an RFP and invited our firm along with a number of other firms to participate in that including the current firm that handled their business. We were able to look at their team determine who is going to be present for the interview portion of RFP process on the client side and put together a team that mirrored not only the areas of practice that were critical to meet the client’s needs, but a diverse team of lawyers who mirrored the client’s team.

The client’s current law firm on the other hand showed up with four white male lawyers and there wasn’t a white male lawyer on the client’s entire interview team. We received that business Charles. So it’s very important to have diversity inclusion as a key part of your organization’s efforts.

Charles Volkert: Well that’s great, really interesting case study that you provided and obviously a lot of detail goes into how to work with your clients within the diversity space, really fascinating. Among other responsibilities you currently oversee the diversity issues and strategic planning for your firm I’m sure you help guide your firm through that case study you just explained, but based on your experience what are some key considerations in developing and maintaining an effective workforce diversity and inclusion program?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: I know that your listeners may be at different places in their diversity and inclusion journey, I just presented to an international financial services company on the importance of diversity and inclusion to help kick off their diversity and inclusion programming and that were about 12 or 13 years entire programming. I think there are a number of things that an organization should consider in developing an effective and sustainable diversity and inclusion program and I’ll share what I see is three key considerations.

The first is that one of the things we’ve already addressed, understanding the difference between diversity and inclusion and how they work together. It’s not enough to get the right people on the bus. You really need to create an environment where they’ll eventually be driving the bus.

The second key component is making the business case for diversity and inclusion, creating an environment where employees are given the opportunity to fully utilize their skills and their capabilities to reach their highest potential and that’s going to result in a true competitive advantage for any organization.

Tapping into broader pool of candidates that will give your organization a different perspective is ultimately going to result in a better decision making process and innovation for your clients. That support that you’re providing to your employees and providing an environment where they can be creative, where they can come up with ideas increase performance and productivity and efficiencies, it’s not only going to help your clients but it’s going to reduce turnover and make your organization more attractive to the best and the brightest employees that you want to recruit.

Another key to a successful diversity and inclusion program is top-down leadership. A diversity program cannot be successful if there’s not top-down leadership and I’ll say that again there has to be buy-in from the top-down organizations, leaders and CEO, in our case our managing partner and executive team all of those folks need to be on board and make diversity and inclusion a key component of the organization’s strategic plan.

(00:10:03)

And when they are diversity and inclusion will become a part of the fabric of the organization that will be woven into every decision that’s made within the organization.

We have at FordHarrison our managing partner last year, he is one of the most forward-thinking people that I know, he’s the one that helped spearhead our diversity and inclusion efforts back in 2003 and 2004 and was the impetus behind our firm’s amendment of its partnership agreement to formally include diversity inclusion partner as a member of our leadership team.

I am the diversity inclusion partner currently and I sit as a member of our executive team. I am a full voting member. Our executive committee makes policy, it sets the pace for our firm, it decides computation. The diversity inclusion partner is a member of our management team. I am involved in the leadership of our firm. Top-down leadership is key to a successful diversity and inclusion program.

Charles Volkert: Well that is great to hear and really near and dear to our heart is well done. At Robert Half our dedication to diversity and inclusion is part of our company’s legacy. Our founder Bob Half when he founded the company back in 1948 believed in equal opportunities within the workplace and actually lobbied against discrimination such as the discriminatory job postings that were in the paper back in the day.

And he did this even before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and so at Robert Half we partner with diverse organizations that align with our beliefs and our business by building strong relationships with these organizations and tapping into talent for recruitment that they’re looking for and diversity and inclusion are not a standalone initiative or initiatives I should say in our mind.

They are woven into the fabric of our company and an important component of what we represent as an organization so it seems to me there are a lot of synergies between FordHarrison and Robert Half which is great to see and that brings me I guess to another important discussion point.

Beyond the key components of an effective workforce diversity and inclusion program what policies or procedures are critical to establishing and maintaining an office culture that values diversity and inclusiveness?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: That’s a really good question Charles and first I want to just applaud Robert Half for your forward-thinking and your work in this space. There are not a lot of organizations that can say that they have that background. So I’m very impressed with that.

Back to your question in creating a culture where employees feel valued, part of a team, part of the solution for the company or the clients’ problems is an integral part of maintaining a healthy and successful organization and ensuring that you have a policy in place and a practice that prohibits bullying, discrimination and harassment for any reason is important. It’s more than just what’s required by law but really creating an environment where everyone valued equally and no group is belittled simply by virtue of their membership in that group that’s critical.

Requiring mandatory annual training in some fashion is important. We had at FordHarrison have a specific focus every two years on some aspect of diversity and inclusion. We focused on the business case, generational diversity, unconscious bias, cultural competence and a number of other issues and each year we have trained all of our lawyers and staff on these issues.

We try to ensure that our FordHarrison team understands how highly we value diversity in that regard. Oftentimes even we’ve closed our offices for periods of time so that everyone can be trained together. The training can happen virtually. It can be computer based on person but having a mandatory training program is very important.

Another key policy that’s critical to establishing and maintaining cultural values, diversity and inclusion is work-life effectiveness or work-life balance as has been called in the past. Ensuring employees have the flexibility to handle their lives and balance that with their work responsibilities has a significant impact on employee morale. Giving employees that flexibility to manage their own workload is ultimately going to allow those employees to achieve greater success.

Our clients have repeatedly told us when they been on panels in our firm and outside of our firm that they don’t care where we work. As long as were accessible and responsive to their needs. One client even went so far as to say she didn’t care if we were sitting on a beach as long as we picked up the phone and we could handle her problem.

(00:14:56)

I will offer one final suggestion on this topic Charles is regularly take the pulse of your workforce in terms of what you’re doing right and suggestions for change. At FordHarrison we conducted an anonymous survey of our employees, our partners, our associates, our staff and solicit their input on the issues that they believe we should be addressing, concerns that they see that we need to be exploring and the things that are working well.

And after the survey we published the results of the survey and then try to work on changes where changes are necessary and those are key policies that I think are critical to establishing a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Charles Volkert: That’s great and that whole openness to communication and feedback is key. It’s something we pride ourselves on at Robert Half as well, this openness to ideas and in that diversity and inclusion space really, really important and so I know you were talking a lot about the factors that contribute to successful diversity and inclusion programs, but maybe shifting gears can you share some common challenges, obstacles, I’m sure there’s many from time to time that legal managers may face when trying to strengthen diversity and inclusion behaviors within their organizations and any advice on how to overcome those challenges that have been successful for you or your colleagues.

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Sure. With the success we’ve enjoyed thus far in the legal profession in terms of diversity inclusion you’re exactly right, there’s also been a number of challenges that we faced in trying to implement successful programs. The first I would say is resistance to change. Close thinking especially at the top, you can develop great programs, you can bring in amazing speakers, you can create employee resource groups or business resource groups but nothing’s going to change if key leaders, those individuals in key leadership positions are not on board.

Even if they don’t say anything negative, attitude will have a trickle-down effect. They come to a program, leave halfway through, to take a call or come in late or don’t come at all, they’re looking down at their phone the entire meeting that’s a message that’s heard louder than shouting it from the mountaintop, Charles. They don’t see anything wrong with the way that things have always been and don’t see any reason to change.

Giving key leaders to understand the need for a diverse workforce and how this one will enhance and grow their business strategically and make more money is the first step to creating a diversion inclusive environment.

Fear is another common challenge that I’ve seen Charles. It’s a challenge for people to feel comfortable having that open dialogue like you were talking about, about race, gender, religion and other issues. We are in a society where we’ve been ingrained with the notion that we should be politically correct and so all of this discussion and being open and having safe places to talk about these issues is counter-intuitive.

We are also in a world where there is labor employment laws that protect everyone in our society from discrimination or harassment and so that makes people even less likely to be open and talk about those things. In addition the people who fit into the categories we are talking about are oftentimes afraid of having these conversations because all they’re trying to do is fit in Charles not to stand out. So creating a safe place for a dialogue is key to the success of any programming and having an opportunity within your organization to do that, to say that this is a safe room, we’re going to talk about these issues and have an open dialogue about them is key.

I do you think that the last thing that I’ll share about this topic implicit or unconscious bias is a huge roadblock to the success of diversity and inclusion and when I say implicit or unconscious bias I mean our experiences with other people. Some of them are direct, the real world encounters that we’ve had over our lives but most of them are vicarious, they relate to us through stories, through books or movies or the media, thought our parents.

Many of the things we’ve been taught or heard since childhood. They make an impact on us that we don’t realize and these are unconscious or implicit biases that impact our decision-making today, they make a stereotype people or they impact our judgment and if we don’t understand that we have them and realize that they might be impacting our reaction to certain groups or people in a positive or negative way we can’t do anything about it. We really don’t know what we don’t know. It’s really the thought process and it’s eye-opening for people to understand how their environment when they were young may be impacting who they choose to be on their team for a specific project today.

We had all of our lawyers at FordHarrison take an implicit bias test and provided each one of the individuals with their results and I can tell you that they were eye-opening where people with biases against their own race or their own gender something that if they had been asked about they would never believe was true and then we were able to spend the better part of a year delving into the reasons underlying those biases and how to interrupt those biases and make different choices today.

(00:20:13)

So those are three challenges on potential solutions and the diversity inclusion context.

Charles Volkert: I mean really fascinating Dawn, and to think as you walked us through that that some of the laws and some of the barriers that are out there that were put up to actually protect diverse individuals, really prevent that open discussion to help with the inclusion et cetera. So really, really fascinating, earlier we discussed how a culture of diversity and inclusiveness can impact a legal organization’s ability to attract and retain clients. How can a law firm demonstrate clients, potential clients and other constituents the value at places on diversity and inclusion?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Well, there are a number of ways Charles that we can do that. One thing we try to do at FordHarrison is to provide our clients with opportunities to partner with us in what we are doing. We have a biannual publication called ‘Moving Forward’, that really highlights what our firm is doing in terms of diversity and inclusion and spotlights one of our offices and everybody in that office, including staff and attorneys, and it also spotlights one of our clients and their contributions to diversity and inclusion.

I’ll give you one example of our efforts and how we partner with our clients. Several years ago one of my dear friends and a former partner Kay Wolf recommended that their firm build a school in the Prey Veng Province of Cambodia. It sounded like an incredible but an unattainable endeavor for the firm. I can tell you when she first told us about it, you may know that Cambodia has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world, children and hundreds of rural villages there have no access to education. Kay found a foundation that would match funds raise so that we can help build a five-room primary school building and provide continuing operations for several years for just $15,000. I can tell you that I was amazed at the outpouring of support that our firm had for this effort.

We had competitions between offices to raise more money than other offices and when we shared our initiative with our clients, their reaction and desire to help was overwhelming. We were able to raise not just $15,000 initially that we needed, but $85,000 in our efforts and opened that school in January of 2013 and it’s called the FordHarrison School in Cambodia and our clients loved it. Our clients are 22:44 lawyers who they partner with thinking the same way; it really reinforces our commitment in their mind to diversity and inclusion of the world that we live in. And in turn it solidifies our client relationships. So there really is a bridge between our diversity and inclusion efforts and the relationships that we make with our clients.

Charles Volkert: That’s really great to hear Dawn, it sort of takes me back to the downturn when I approached Robert Half and encouraged us to get more active in the diversity world in particular as it pertains to the legal world and their full support. As I suggested, we participate in the Lloyd M. Johnson Scholarship with the MCCA and we’ve been a strong backer of that program ever since, and I mean, just unbelievable, that’s just something small, building a school in Cambodia is really outstanding. So it’s been a great discussion thus far but now it’s time for a quick break.

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[Music]

Charles Volkert: Welcome back to the Robert Half legal Report. I am Chad Volkert and joining me today is Dawn Siler-Nixon, Diversity and Inclusion Partner at FordHarrison. Before the break we were talking about why strong and effective diversity and inclusion practices have become a business imperative for legal organizations in today’s legal world? Earlier, Dawn, you mentioned briefly that diversity and inclusion programs are being used to enhance recruitment and retention of legal professionals.

(00:25:04)

Can you talk more about that and how legal hiring managers can use their organization’s diversity profile to attract top candidates?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Well, they definitely can Chad; diversity is certainly a selling point to attract the best and the brightest to your firm or your organization. Lawyers and legal professionals expect that you’ll not only have a commitment to diversity and inclusion, but that you show affirmatively the effects of your program and your involvement as well as your personal commitment. I’ll share a quick story; we participated in a local diversity and inclusion picnic that was hosted by our County Bar Association. A Hispanic male law student came to our table and gathered some information on our farm, he told us that he was considering labor and employment and was interested in our firm. And so, we interviewed him and he later told us that he had been recruited from some of the top firms within the city. He had interview with them and interviewed with us and it was our lawyer’s passion for diversity and inclusion that tipped the scales for him.

He said that his decision came down to two firms, one was a national full-service law firm that had a labor and employment component, and the other one was ours, FordHarrison, that’s the boutique of labor employment firm. And when he asked the partners at the other firms about their diversity and inclusion programs and their commitment that they listed on their website, they couldn’t explain any of the programs or initiatives that they allegedly had in place, instead, they referred him to their HR manager to talk more about that.

And then he said on the other hand our lawyers were able to share their personal experiences with diversity and inclusion training, our mentoring circles, our initiatives. He said that he felt more comfortable knowing that we were really committed to diversity and inclusion and in turn to his success within the firm. He’s been with our firm for seven years now Chad, and he is being considered for partner this year. Legal professionals today particularly Millennials like this young man and Gen Z expect a work environment where diversity matters and its value.

Charles Volkert: That’s a great, great testimonial and a great example of the importance of diversity within the workplace and having a sound plan on how to communicate that. I can tell you Dawn that in our recruiting world we have many candidates coming to us, looking to make a move and near the top of their priority list many times is, does the organization value diversity and inclusion, what is their plan, how do they communicate that to the world at large, and what are they doing internally with their staff.

Not only lawyers, a lot of times I think we think about it from a lawyer’s perspective but also the rest of the staff and how the entire law firm or corporate legal department works effectively with diversity and inclusion. I guess I’d like to turn our discussion now do a related topic, specifically, how can legal organizations measure their diversity profile and track improvements. In your opinion Dawn, should they have a formal metrics driven approach to diversity or can you suggest other effective approaches?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Well, there’s no question Chad but the legal organizations have to track their progress towards creating a diverse environment and the impact of their inclusion efforts. Although not all diversity and inclusion programs can be measured by numbers, but it is what our clients are requesting. So we do have to ensure that we track the categories of people that we have on board, as well as individual hours that are being spent on client’s legal matters. The ABA, the American Bar Association recently unveiled new diversity standards and policies and procedures and created a model survey that corporations and law firms are currently using to gather information and consistent diversity data from law firms.

There’s a new diversity and inclusion portal on ABA website with tools and resources that our listeners can use and the ABA is working with the new organization that we are a member of called LCLD; it’s the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. They’re working with them to develop metrics, specifically quantitative and qualitative measures of diversity and their impact, and LCLD, if you don’t know that organization, it’s a member organization of almost 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners, and they’d come together to work on building a more diverse legal profession. And one of the metrics that they’re developing to roll out will allow clients to measure their legal vendors against one another and attract their progress over time, if the vendors are receiving failing marks, these executives have committed to having hard conversations with them.

(00:30:04)

Sharing best practices from some of their other vendors, and ultimately parting ways Chad; if these vendors are unwilling to reflect their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The ALA, the Association of Legal Administrators developed a Diversity and Inclusion scorecard that provides best practices for ALA members and measures the progress and eliminating barriers that limit opportunities for the success of all legal professionals.

There are a number of ways that progress can be measured Chad, but it’s important that it’s measured.

Charles Volkert: Well, it sounds that way and it sounds like that if an organization providing services to law firms, corporate legal departments, et cetera are not in tune with these measurements that they are being measured in their expectations, they’re simply not going to be successful working with those firms, those corporate legal departments in business in general, let alone with diversity and inclusion initiatives.

So what advice would you give to a law firm looking to increase diversity in its partnership rank?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: That’s a good question. I think that clients are looking at numbers Chad, but I don’t think that they can focus primarily on that. We really need to create an environment where lawyers and legal professionals can thrive; putting programs in place that assist individuals with their professional development and help them reach their full potential I think are critical.

One example I’ll give you in a program that we have at Ford & Harrison, is called LEAP. LEAP is a program that we developed specifically to focus on moving more women into the equity partnership ranks. What we were seeing was that a number of women were being initially permitted to partner from associate, but they were languishing there. Not as many of them were matriculating through to the higher ranks of equity partnership.

The LEAP program provided both an internal mentor and an external consultant advisor to assist those lawyers with focusing on client development and client development training that really is necessary for the ultimate success for the business generator or a law firm. And we can tangibly see how their books of business have grown exponentially as a result of being a part of that program.

But we need to remember Chad that looking at the numbers doesn’t always tell us the full story about an organization of diversity and inclusion efforts. We need to look at the entire structure, their programming, their buy-in and their culture. So I think that firms need to look at all of those things in terms of increasing the number of diverse individuals in their partnership ranks.

Charles Volkert: Those are great points Dawn and sounds similar, your LEAP program to the initiative that Jean Lee has with the MCCA and with NAPABA as well, to really take in-house counsel and be able to grow them, mentor them, bring them along from a leadership standpoint but also in and around diversity and inclusion and maybe before we wrap up that really leads to my last key question for you.

I’ve read a number of articles about the differences between mentoring and sponsorship within the legal profession. Can you go into some detail and explain the distinction between the two, and also how mentoring and sponsorship each are used to enhance workplace diversity.

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Yeah, so I’ve read a lot of those same articles as well Chad. Some of them were titled ‘Forget Mentor and Find a Sponsor.’ I really think that both are essential to being successful in the legal profession.

A mentor, I see a mentor as someone who will provide you with advice and guidance that you might need to navigate through the corporate hierarchy. They can provide you with wisdom and direction.

A sponsor, on the other hand, is someone who will endorse you in closed-door meetings and is a valuable ally in establishing your career. Often mentors can turn into sponsors or champions that we call them. It’s building that relationship that takes time.

We have both of those categories at Ford & Harrison, mentors as well as sponsors. Through our initiative, we call our Pipeline Initiative; we developed a mentoring circle for diverse associates. We had one-on-one mentors for some time, and took the concept of it; it takes a village to raise a child and turn that into a program that we have at Ford & Harrison where for the first two years of a diverse individual’s time at our firm they have three mentors.

Their office managing partner, myself as a diversity and inclusion partner, and a partner or senior associate outside of their office. All of those individuals are resources to help them with any issue that they might encounter.

(00:35:00)

Through our Leadership Program, which is another program we had at Ford & Harrison, attorneys are connected with a sponsor or a champion. Somebody who is a power broker or a firm a leader, who can help them launch or catapult their career.

Another thing that we highly recommend is external mentors. No matter how highly we think of ourselves at Ford & Harrison, I think research shows that the majority of legal professionals are not going to spend their entire career at one firm. Although, we do have a number of partners who have been here for 30 years and started as associates.

With that been said, having an external mentor who can provide give you with a 30,000 view of an issue or open doors for potential opportunities to you to generate business or work, it’s critical to someone’s success. I really like to say that you need to have your own board of directors. People who are not going to just tell you what you want to hear, but they’re going to tell you what you need to hear. And building a diverse network can do nothing but serve you well in the future.

Charles Volkert: That’s great Dawn. Great advice and it sounds like Ford & Harrison really through your leadership has great programs in place to drive diversity and inclusion, mentor, sponsor individuals and bring them along the path of leadership which you mentioned at the beginning of your comment, is so key to have that leadership buy-in.

Well, unfortunately it looks like we’ve reached the end of our program today. I can say that that was certainly a great discussion, and I hope all our listeners took a lot of notes and took a lot of value away from your comments today Dawn. And really a big thank you to Dawn Siler-Nixon for joining us today.

Before we close, I’d like to let the audience know how they can contact you and where they can obtain more information about diversity and inclusion practices, within the legal workplace.

Dawn, how can our listeners reach out to you?

Dawn Siler-Nixon: Well, I’m happy to share any of the knowledge or insights that I’ve obtained along our journey at Ford & Harrison with you and any of your listeners. My email is HYPERLINK “mailto:siler-nixon@fordharrison.com”dsiler-nixon@fordharrison.com. Our firm website is also fordharrison.com and there’s a wealth of information on our diversity and inclusion efforts on the diversity page of our website and I’m happy to share any of the information that I have with any of your listeners.

Charles Volkert: Great. Thank you Dawn. And if our listeners want to reach out to me directly, they certainly can, my email address is  HYPERLINK “mailto:charles.volkert@roberthalf.com” charles.volkert@roberthalf.com. And you can visit the Robert Half Legal website for additional information on diversity practices, as well as legal career and management resources including our latest our salary guide for the legal profession at  HYPERLINK “http://www.roberthalflegal.com” roberthalflegal.com.

Thanks again Dawn and to our audience for listening today. Join us next time on the Robert Half Legal report, as we discuss important trends impacting the legal field and legal careers.

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