Steptoe's continued success depends on ensuring that the diverse experiences of all of our attorneys contribute both to the first-class work that we do for our clients and to the congeniality of our workplace. Excellence in the practice of law knows no racial, ethnic, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, religious, or other such boundaries. This conviction is reflected in our motto: Strength In Diversity.
We are dedicated to maintaining our long-standing efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and promote lawyers from diverse backgrounds and to weave their experiences along with those of other attorneys into the fabric of the firm. We are keenly aware that our diversity and inclusion efforts are not just about the firm. They are about our clients, our communities, and the profession as a whole.
Steptoe's Diversity Committee reflects a broad cross-section of the firm. We have three affinity groups: Multicultural Attorneys at Steptoe (MAS), the Women’s Forum, and the LGBT Forum. MAS meets regularly to discuss matters related to retention and advancement, as well as professional and business development. The Women’s Forum hosts networking events at various partner homes and sponsors discussions on how to succeed at Steptoe and work-life issues. Steptoe’s LGBT Forum brings together LGBT attorneys and allies.
To assist the firm with its diversity and inclusion efforts, in 2011 Steptoe constituted an external Diversity Advisory Board (DAB). The mission of the DAB is to serve as a conduit through which Steptoe can import current information on innovative inclusion strategies, business trends, and challenges in the legal market, as well as to ensure accountability and to advocate for Steptoe's success. The general counsel of one of the firm’s major clients chairs the DAB, and its membership includes a former associate general counsel of a major corporation, as well as high-level officials of leading national and international corporations and nonprofits, a law school dean, and a noted author. Steptoe's leadership confers with and has adopted DAB recommendations.
As a firm, Steptoe strives to differentiate itself not only by delivering the highest-quality legal services to our clients, but also by accomplishing that goal with a talented, creative, diverse, and engaged team of professionals. Steptoe is widely recognized as a democratic, collegial firm. Our goal is to provide all lawyers at all levels the opportunity to participate in the life of the firm and its decision-making process.
Steptoe lawyers and professionals come to the firm with a wide range of skills, diverse backgrounds, and unique perspectives. The firm supports career paths that enhance and maximize individual and team strengths, in the long run as well as the short term. We strive to create an environment in which all of our lawyers and professionals can develop professionally and actively participate in the development of a diverse, inclusive, and productive workplace community.
Steptoe’s leadership engages with all lawyers and continues to search for new ways to include more diverse lawyers and professionals in the operation and success of the firm. This democratic approach to decision-making requires energy and patience, particularly as the firm has grown to more than 500 lawyers and professionals in ten offices around the world. And while the economic downturn of the past few years has lessened the overall number of hires and promotions the firm has made, it has not weakened Steptoe’s commitment to hire, retain, develop, and promote talented and diverse professionals.
Honors & Recognition
- Steptoe was named a Top Performer by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. (2016)
- Steptoe was named to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification List. Law firms with 300 or more practicing lawyers in the United States are eligible for the WILEF Gold Standard Certification if they successfully demonstrate that women represent a meaningful percentage of their equity partners, of their highest leadership positions, of their governance and compensation committees, and of their highly most compensated partners. (2015, 2014)
- Steptoe was recognized as a "Top 10 Family-Friendly Firm" by Yale Law Women in 2010. The firm was applauded for its achievement in gender parity in partner promotions in 2013 and 2015.
- Steptoe was awarded the "Thomas L. Sager Award" by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) for demonstrating sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys. (2014)
- The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), a division of Working Mother magazine, and Flex-Time Lawyers named Steptoe as a "Best Law Firm for Women." (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008)
- MultiCultural Law magazine recognized Steptoe in its “Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity.” (2012, 2010-2007) In addition, the firm has been recognized in three specialized categories in 2012: "Top 50 Law Firms for Associates," "Top 100 Law Firms for Women," and "Top 25 Law Firms for African-Americans." The publication also ranked Steptoe in the "Top 25 Law Firms for Native Americans." (2009, 2006)
- Steptoe was awarded the “Law Firm Diversity Recognition Award” by Chevron Law Function. (2011, 2009)
- Steptoe was selected as a recipient of the inaugural “MCCA Innovator Award” in 2011, which was presented to US in-house legal departments, law firms, bar associations or legal organizations that have led the way with innovative best practices to assist diverse lawyers. Steptoe’s Diversity and Inclusion Client Interview Project was recognized with this honor.