It has always been our goal to hire a diverse group of interesting individuals who are also excellent lawyers. Our lawyers hail from 90 law schools, both US and foreign, and many have had significant careers before joining the firm—as journalists, business executives, and academics, including professors of English, political science, foreign languages, and philosophy.
Steptoe is as proud of our accomplishments outside the office as of our victories in the legal arena. Sharing the rich diversity of our experiences—both at work and beyond the office environment—increases substantially the rewards associated with the practice of law.
Steptoe is committed to recruit the best and the brightest lawyers from law schools around the world. The firm regularly sponsors and attends minority conferences, receptions, and job fairs. Steptoe lawyers are actively involved in Black Law Students Association and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association events and Hispanic National Bar Association recruiting fairs in chapters across the country.
In addition, the firm periodically contacts law school placement directors to seek their advice and request their assistance in encouraging minority candidates to consider joining Steptoe. Our lawyers volunteer at a number of law schools for mock interview programs. Steptoe has also sponsored and assisted in the coordination of the Annual Washington, DC, Minority Summer Associate Reception since its inception in the 1970s.
Steptoe is enhancing diversity at the undergraduate level, as well. In 2006, the firm created and sponsored a Law School Admission Test preparation course scholarship program in cooperation with the Arizona State University Pre-Law Club and Kaplan review courses. Applicants wrote a short essay describing how their entry into law school would enhance diversity in the legal profession. The intent was to allow consideration of various factors, such as race, gender, disability, language skills, cultural background, and experience working or teaching abroad. Steptoe associates helped to review the applications and award the scholarships. This program was continued in 2007, and three students were awarded scholarships.
Whether you are practicing at another law firm or have had a distinguished career in the government sector, Steptoe believes recruiting diverse individuals creates an environment that is beneficial to both attorneys and clients.
- Steptoe was recognized as a Top 10 Family-Friendly Firm by Yale Law Women in 2010.
- Multicultural Law Magazine has recognized Steptoe in its Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity for the past three years. In addition, the publication ranked Steptoe in the Top 25 Law Firms for Native Americans in 2009 and 2006.
- Steptoe was one of three firms awarded the Law Firm Diversity Recognition Award by Chevron Law Function in 2009.
- The firm was recognized as a Best Law Firm for Women by Working Mother Magazine in 2009 and 2008.
- 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.
- Steptoe’s elected Executive Committee includes two women and one minority.
Diversity at Steptoe means more than just hiring lawyers from all walks of life. It also means fostering an inclusive working environment once you join the firm.
Our Diversity Committee was created over a decade ago to assist in the recruiting, retention, development, and advancement of female and minority lawyers within the firm. Lawyers from the Diversity Committee participate in job fairs and conferences aimed at minority recruiting, as well as serve as on-campus recruiters.
In late 2005, an informal group called MAS, or Multicultural Attorneys at Steptoe, held its inaugural luncheon in the Washington, DC office. MAS meets regularly to support diverse attorneys in matters related to retention, advancement, and business development. Additionally, Steptoe has an in-house Women’s Forum that provides support to our women lawyers at all levels in connection with career advancement and business development. In 2009, Steptoe’s LGBT Forum affinity group was formalized and has broadened its membership to include both LGBT lawyers and those who support them.
- 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.
Listed below are several diversity-related resources that may be useful in advancing your career in the legal profession. Steptoe has either sponsored an event associated with one of the organizations below, or a current attorney personally found membership in the association beneficial to enhancing their career.
- Charting Your Own Course (CYOC) Conference
- GayLaw – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Attorneys of Washington
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Iranian-American Bar Association
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- National Bar Association
- National Black Law Students Association
- National Native American Law Students Association
- National Women’s Law Center