Littler is setting the standard for inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D) efforts in the legal industry as it continues to earn myriad accolades and recognition for its innovative, intentional policies, practices and programs. Through these efforts, Littler is helping diverse attorneys advance and excel inside the firm and beyond. Littler has implemented many programs designed to retain and promote a diverse workforce, including two cornerstone IE&D programs – the Career Advocacy Program (CAP) and SOAR.
Littler’s Career Advocacy Program (CAP)
Littler’s award-winning CAP initiative has been instrumental in advancing women and diverse attorneys from the associate to shareholder level. The program pairs rising associate Protégés with shareholder Advocates and client Champions who encourage and foster their career growth. The program’s goals include advancing talented diverse associates, ensuring they have access to the experiences and opportunities that will help them reach their full potential, and providing a mechanism for a broad group of leaders to foster the development of diverse talent. Since its inception, CAP has been a tremendous success – over the past eight years, Protégés have represented, on average, 24% – and up to 40% – of Littler’s new shareholder classes. Of the firm’s 2022 class of elevated shareholders, almost a quarter participated in CAP.
Littler’s SOAR Program
The first few months at a law firm can be critical in determining an attorney’s success. The SOAR program connects new, diverse associates with experienced attorneys at the firm who can help them find their footing, so they can excel and achieve their goals at Littler.
SOAR mentors share career advice, suggest ways to boost opportunities at the firm, identify core competencies and provide tips for managing workload. Additionally, they offer guidance on developing subject matter knowledge and involvement in practice groups, firm committees and affinity groups. Mentors also help their mentees navigate the wealth of resources at Littler. Mentors and mentees are matched based on shared experiences and backgrounds. When possible, mentees are paired with a mentor from another outside of their own office.
“We want to be sure that we are properly integrating new talent into the firm so that they have a positive experience from the start. We have seen that this is critical when it comes to retention and career growth. Littler’s SOAR program ensures that we are effectively onboarding, mentoring and training our newly hired talent,” said Paul Bateman, Littler’s Chief Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Officer.
In 2022, 25 associates graduated from the program. SOAR graduates attribute their participation in the program to their successful practices. Associate Jason Byrd (New York) said: “Through my participation in the SOAR program, I was able to hone my skills as an attorney. A major benefit of the program was having a mentor who helped me navigate the firm’s resources and improve the management of my daily practice.”
Bateman added, “At Littler, we do not believe there is a final destination when it comes to inclusion, equity and diversity – we consider it an ongoing endeavor.” To that end, Atlanta shareholder Dionysia Johnson-Massie has recently joined the team overseeing CAP. Johnson-Massie, who was recognized nationally as the 2022 Law Firm Best Mentor by a major legal publication, noted: “Long term success requires investing in the development of others’ knowledge and skills. Our collective investment demonstrates the extraordinary value our internal team and our clients bring to the table. We truly care about their success so much so that we invest in strategies that ensure talented, diverse lawyers are equipped with the skills needed to meet today’s requirements and to innovate for tomorrow’s vision.”
Littler’s unwavering commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity consistently earns industry recognition, media attention and client respect. For a full list of Littler’s accolades, visit www. littler.com/recognition.
With more than 1,700 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler is the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management Our diverse global team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow.