Human Rights Campaign Foundation
Diversity & Inclusion
Our success as a firm is directly linked to our ability to create a community that is diverse, inclusive, and respectful of differing points of view. The foundation for our culture was laid by firm founder, community leader, and social-justice pioneer Alan Lowenstein, who was renowned for recruiting and welcoming colleagues of all backgrounds and experiences. From our roots as members of the Lawyers Commission for Civil Rights, to serving as co-founders of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, inclusivity is a part of Lowenstein Sandler’s DNA.
Led by our chairman, the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee oversees and connects the collective efforts of so many who are striving to support diversity and inclusion throughout the firm. We encourage honest conversations that empower employees to build an inclusive and supportive workplace.
We actively recruit, develop, and promote lawyers and professional staff who bring a wide range of perspectives to our practice. We also work closely with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) to build pipeline programs that are designed to develop diverse lawyers through training, networking, and providing access to law firm leaders and in-house counsel executives.
One of the firm’s signature initiatives is the Lowenstein Sandler LS Scholars Program. For more than ten years, this program has identified promising, diverse first-year law students, who are offered both a paid summer associate position and a scholarship to be used toward their second year of law school. If a Scholar returns for their 2L summer, they receive a paid summer associate position and an additional scholarship for their third year. More recently, we also have partnered with LCLD to enroll our 1L Lowenstein Fellows in LCLD’s Scholars Program.
We recognize that employees remain at our firm when they feel they are a valued and integral part of the Lowenstein Sandler community. This is fostered, in part, by their membership in our firm’s various affinity groups.
Our LGBTQ Alliance is a vibrant, fast-growing group that advocates on behalf of the LGBTQ community both at the firm and externally. We also provide training on LGBTQ issues to every member of the firm, and recently became one of the first law firms to institute a policy that allows individuals to use the restroom that reflects their gender identity. Among other initiatives, one of our partners recently co-organized a summit of LGBTQ leaders in the tech community at the White House.
The firm’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) is a grassroots program designed to empower and support the women of Lowenstein Sandler to achieve professional and personal success. WIN is comprised of women from a cross-section of the firm’s practice areas, seniority levels, and offices. The group meets for formal programming, monthly lunches, and intimate discussion groups. These events lead to natural and meaningful mentoring relationships, which enable our women lawyers to develop their careers and flourish as leaders.
The Diversity Leadership Network (DLN) is a new attorney resource group which focuses on recruiting, supporting, and promoting attorneys from diverse backgrounds. DLN members recognize how important personal relationships and sponsorships are to each attorney’s brand and success. With the support of Firm leadership, the DLN identifies and puts in place additional supports at the Firm to foster the development of organic relationships and sponsorships for LS attorneys. DLN members also design and participate in events and leverage opportunities that connect the Firm’s attorneys with DLN allies outside the Firm.
Importantly, our work policies reflect our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment. We recently increased our maternity and paternity leave times for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. In addition, the firm has created mentoring programs for new parents, as well as a ramp-up period for returning to work. We have facilitated all forms of flexible work arrangements, including flex hours, telecommuting, and part-time status for working parents.
Over the years, we have been recognized for our commitment to diversity and inclusion by the Hispanic National Bar Association, Working Mother/Flex-Time Lawyers, NJBIZ Best Places to Work, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, among others.
As a firm, we know that diversity and inclusion require dedication and continued attention. We are committed to building upon the strong foundation that has been part of our culture since the firm’s inception.