Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP is strongly committed to diversity and we encourage our attorneys and staff to recognize the value of diversity in achieving a better work environment and a stronger firm. We recognize that diversity is a vital component of our culture, identity, strategic planning and overall well-being. It fosters equal opportunity, creates an open, positive and satisfying work environment, and promotes the highest standards and ideals of our legal system. By embracing diversity, we reflect that which is great about our community and society at large, we promote creativity, opportunity and professional development at every level, and we best serve our clients' interests. We Foster Diversity
We believe the best way to attract, develop, retain and promote diverse talent is to create an environment that respects, supports and rewards individuals on the basis of individual achievement and contribution. Over the years, Neal Gerber Eisenberg has fostered individual growth and development and the diversity of our firm members in a number of ways, including:
- Allowing attorneys and staff to balance commitments to work, family, community and personal life by pioneering the development and maintenance of a flexible work environment (including part-time and flexible work schedules and job-sharing);
- Encouraging attorneys and staff to support professional, civic and community organizations that advance the interests of minorities and women in the legal community and the community at large;
- Giving billable credit to partners and associates for work on pro bono matters, including many that support the minority community;
- Conducting an annual and ongoing evaluation of our processes (including policies, procedures and firm communications) to ensure that we affirmatively reach out to minorities and women and that we follow the spirit and objectives of equal employment opportunity; and
- Continuing to enhance our mentoring programs to assure that attorneys are included in meaningful work assignments and provided feedback that allows them to develop to the fullest of their abilities.
Our diversity efforts have been fueled by our outreach to and support of organizations with a like-minded commitment to improving the depth and diversity of the legal profession. In recent years our efforts have included:
- Supporting the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (which is being housed in our firm offices in 2010 and 2011);
- Supporting and working with other organizations, such as the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, to increase opportunity and diversity within the legal profession generally;
- Participating in minority recruitment programs such as Lavender Law, the National Black Law Student Association Midwest Regional Minority Recruitment Conference and other minority law student and bar association events including sponsorship of the Black Law Students Association, Latino Law Student and Asian Pacific American Law Students Association at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago Law School South Asian Law Students Association and the University of Illinois Black Law Students Association;
- Sponsoring and donating time and in-kind benefits to a variety of minority and women student bar associations to help groom leaders within their ranks and prepare their student members for the practice of law; and
- Providing scholarship support to minority students.
Neal Gerber Eisenberg formalized its diversity efforts in 2002 with the formation of a Diversity Committee which is comprised of attorneys (including partners and associates) from a broad range of practice groups, and director-level administrators. The Diversity Committee is accountable directly to the firm's Managing Partner and Executive Committee.
Since its inception, our Diversity & Inclusion Committee has worked to expand and enhance the firm's diversity initiatives and to build upon the philosophy of inclusion long existing in the firm work environment. The Diversity & Inclusion Committee also launched two significant subgroups within the firm. Called the Women's Network and the Minority Initiative, these two groups are designed to support and to enhance opportunities available to women and minorities, respectively, and to provide forums for them to network and develop, personally and professionally, both inside and outside of the firm. We Look To the Future
We strive to keep our diversity efforts focused on the future - on what we can be and accomplish. We will continue to respect, support, and reward individuals on the basis of personal achievement and contribution, and to encourage attorneys and staff to recognize the value of diversity in achieving a better work environment and a stronger firm.