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, 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, advancement, business development, and to support each other generally. The Women’s Forum hosts networking events at various partner homes, and sponsors discussions on how to succeed at Steptoe and work-life issues. In 2009, Steptoe’s LGBT Forum affinity group was formalized and has broadened its membership to include both LGBT attorneys and those who support them.
To assist the firm with its diversity and inclusion efforts, in 2011 Steptoe constituted an external Diversity Advisory Board. 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 another general counsel and a former associate general counsel of major corporations, as well as high-level officials of leading national and international corporations and nonprofits, a law school dean, and a noted author.
Firm Honors & Recognition
- 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.
- 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.
- Women 3.0 magazine, a sister publication to MultiCultural Law, recognized Steptoe as one of the “Top National Law Firms for Women” (2008).
- Women’s Law Association at Harvard Law School Study, “Presumed Equal: What America’s Top Women Lawyers Really Think About Their Firms,” ranked Steptoe 12th among the "Top National Law Firms for Women" and in the top 10 for Washington, DC (2006).
- Minority Law Journal ranked Steptoe 13 out of the "Top 25 Law Firms for Disabled Americans" and 13 out of the "Top 25 Law Firms for Native Americans" (2006).
- In Steptoe’s largest office in Washington, DC, 34% of attorneys are women, including 18% of partners, 32% of counsel, and 49% of associates.
- In Steptoe’s Washington, DC office, 14% of attorneys are minorities, including 7% of partners, 11% of counsel, and 21% of associates.
- Our 2012 associate class was 44% women and 22% minorities.
- Our 2012 summer associate class was 36% women and 25% minorities.
- Steptoe’s elected Executive Committee includes three women.
- The managing partner of the Chicago office is a woman, and the co-managing partner of the New York office is a woman.
- In the International Group, the Department Head, the Deputy, and the Practice Group Leader for International Trade are women.
- Steptoe’s elected Professional Advancement Committee includes five women.
- Steptoe’s Partners’ Compensation Committee includes three women and two minorities.
- Steptoe’s Strategic Planning Committee includes two women.
- The co-chair of the Diversity Committee is a minority woman.
- The co-chair of the Hiring Committee is a woman.
- The vice chair of the Finance Committee is a woman.
- The co-chair of the Professional Training Committee is a woman.
- The chair of the Technology Committee is a woman.
- History in the Making - Sandy Chamblee, Chief Diversity Partner, ponders the inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama.
- "Time to Call In One of Us" - Legal Times Article - How one firm named a practicing partner to implement its diversity plan.
- Steptoe Names Chamblee First Chief Diversity Partner - Highlights Steptoe's appointment of its inaugural Diversity Partner.
- A victory led by David Bodney and Peter Kozinets of Steptoe's Phoenix office reflects the firm's core values of diversity and inclusion. The team persuaded the Arizona Attorney General's Office to issue a Reasonable Cause Determination favored by our clients, two members of the Phoenix Country Club, a century-old fixture in the city's social and business life, that the Club's policy excluding women from the men's grill constitutes unlawful sex discrimination. Women at the club are barred from dining in the grill room where business negotiations commonly take place and deals are struck. They are instead relegated to a far inferior ladies' grill. The women, as well as some men, who criticized the policy were sent harassing e-mails and heckled on the fairway. The case was featured in an article that ran in The New York Times on June 28, 2008.