We believe that providing a wide variety of clients with the best possible service requires a diverse group of dedicated attorneys who possess a broad range of experiences and backgrounds. Our core philosophy involves reaching out to a wider legal community, as well as encouraging inclusion within our own firm. Each one of our members’ experiences and viewpoints are respected, regardless of ethnicity, age, race or gender, and each member participates in diversity training courses. Such diversity yields a broad spectrum of ideas, problem-solving strategies, and solutions—all to the benefit of our clients.
Any law firm can talk about a diverse work environment. We put it into practice every day.
Founded in 2006, Sandberg Phoenix’s Diversity Committee was formed to investigate and study issues relating to diversity in the workforce, formulate and recommend strategic initiatives to promote greater diversity awareness among current members, to recruit and support attorneys and staff from diverse backgrounds, to promote participation in community activities supporting diversity and to continually monitor progress towards fulfilling Sandberg Phoenix’s commitment to a diverse workforce.
Our active Diversity Committee is comprised of both attorneys and administrative staff, combining the perspectives of many individuals from varied backgrounds. Our attorneys contribute to the community via their participation in a number of activities and membership with organizations, including the Missouri Asian American Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Civil Rights Committee of the Anti-Defamation League and the Board of the St. Louis Diversity Awareness Partnership. Sandberg Phoenix is also active with the Mound City Bar Association, one of the oldest African American bar associations west of the Mississippi, and United Way’s Charmaine Chapman Leadership Society, which offers “a hand up” as the number one philanthropic program for African Americans in the St. Louis region.
Through our work with the St. Louis Diversity Clerkship Program, Sandberg Phoenix provides a unique opportunity for first year law school students from law schools throughout the Midwest to apply for and potentially receive a summer clerkship with the firm. Sandberg Phoenix strives to provide the law student with the day-to-day work experience in a law firm. Many of these students went on to practice as associates at Sandberg Phoenix. Our recruiting committee attends annual St. Louis Diversity Job Fair for current law school students and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in an effort to expand our recruitment to include individuals with a wide variety of skills and experiences. We are also very active in recruiting through our Edwardsville, Illinois, and St. Louis high school student internship programs.
Our attorneys also participate in the Missouri Minority Council Program, which hosts an annual interview program which enables diverse attorneys to meet with in-house legal departments in the metropolitan St. Louis area. Participants must be a member of a diverse bar association and corporations select which individuals to meet based on submitted biographies. This program allows diverse attorneys to present themselves and their law firm as future providers for legal services to corporations in the area.
Sandberg Phoenix has also formed a Women’s Forum to advance women to leadership positions and provide networking and marketing opportunities, including events and training sessions. Our women attorneys participate in many activities promoting the advancement of women, sponsoring, attending or speaking at the St. Louis Business Journal Annual Women’s Conference, the For Women By Women Annual Women’s Seminar and Maryville University’s Women in Leadership program.
To improve the skills and knowledge of attorneys throughout the St. Louis area, Sandberg Phoenix offers a continuing legal education program called Training to New Heights, which covers a wide range of current legal topics. These seminars are open to St. Louis area minority law firms and provide continuing legal education credit at no cost to these small firms. The program is designed to provide a small minority-owned or women-owned law firm access to continuing legal education training typically only available at larger law firms.
In 2012 and 2013, Sandberg Phoenix hosted and co-sponsored the National Bar Association’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition with the Mound City Bar Association. Also sponsored by the National Bar Association (NBA) and supported by the National Bar Institute, this competition is an annual advocacy program and one of the signature programs of the NBA, designed to motivate minority students to excel in education. The contest encourages high school juniors and seniors to express their views on pre-selected topics, while they are judged on their ability to communicate orally and in writing. The competition is also a great way to sharpen their public speaking skills.
Sandberg Phoenix is devoted to enhancing and promoting diversity within our firm and the legal community. We are dedicated to nurturing and developing the minds of high school students, training and mentoring law students, recruiting and supporting laterals, and retaining and marketing our existing diverse talent.
For more information on Diversity at Sandberg Phoenix, please contact:
Sandberg Phoenix Diversity Committee Chair