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VOL. 127 | NO. 179 | Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jackson Lewis Law Firm Honored for Diversity

By Andy Meek

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Jackson Lewis LLP, one of the country’s largest workplace law firms and which opened a Memphis office four years ago, has achieved a prominent national recognition for its diversity efforts.

The firm is ranked 36th on MultiCultural Law magazine’s 2012 “Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity” listing, which stacks up the top firms in the nation on the basis of diversity and inclusion.

In addition, Jackson Lewis earned even higher rankings in several specialized areas that will be published in the spring edition of MultiCultural Law. The firm ranked ninth among “Top 50 Law Firms for Partners,” third for “Top 100 Law Firms for Women,” 13th for “Top 25 Law Firms for African-Americans,” and 16th for “Top 25 Law Firms for Hispanic-Americans.”

Patrick Vaccaro, firm-wide managing partner, said Jackson Lewis’ commitment to diversity in its ranks is a core value as the firm continues to expand around the country. Examples of that include the firm’s “Jackson Lewis Scholarship Program,” which provides scholarships to students traditionally underrepresented in the legal field.

Jackson Lewis also is a founding member of the Project for Attorney Retention, an initiative of The Center for Worklife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Its mission includes working to keep lawyers in the field by promoting a solid work-life balance as well as the advancement of women.

Meanwhile, over the past 12 months Jackson Lewis has sponsored several organizations committed to the advancement of diversity among lawyers, including the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the National Association of Women Lawyers, among others.

Vaccaro pointed to Jackson Lewis partner Weldon Latham as helping lead the firm’s diversity initiative to a new level.

“Our extremely impressive standings in MultiCultural Law’s ‘Top 100’ lists are a testament to Jackson Lewis’ unwavering focus on inclusion efforts,” said Latham, chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee as well as Jackson Lewis’ corporate diversity counseling group. “We actively seek to recruit, hire, retain, develop and advance a diverse team of employees who share our passion for representing management in all aspects of workplace law, and we are proud to be recognized for fostering an environment where everyone can grow, learn and succeed.”

To coordinate inclusion efforts throughout Jackson Lewis’ 49 locations, the firm has a standing Diversity Committee. It consists of Latham; Management Committee Liaison Joan Ackerstein; Diversity Manager and Partner Michael Hatcher; and the co-chairs of five Attorney Resource Groups for African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender attorneys.

Each of the groups meets from time to time to discuss such topics as business development opportunities, client service initiatives, and workplace and other professional issues.

Last year, the law department of Target Corp. presented Jackson Lewis with its Law Firm Diversity Award in recognition of the firm’s commitment to supporting diversity and female attorneys in the legal profession.

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