Our diversity strategy is not limited to the creation of a Diversity Council. Rather, diversity and inclusion are foundations of our values and of our business plan.
Our strong commitment to inclusion at all levels of the firm permeates how we do business, treat our clients, and interact with one another.
Our Diversity Statement
Together, we thrive by embracing the many perspectives and backgrounds that help us create possibilities for our clients, our team, and the communities where we live and work.
Our Inclusion Statement
Together we strive to create an inclusive law firm that upholds respect for each other and our unique backgrounds. We commit on all levels to work together to promote equal opportunity, to understand and value differences, and to foster a dignified and diverse work environment.
Diversity & Inclusion at Fennemore
Our diversity strategy is not limited to the creation of a Diversity Council. Rather, diversity and inclusion are foundations of our values and of our business plan. Our strong commitment to inclusion at all levels of the firm permeates how we do business, treat our clients, and interact with one another.
Traditionally, law firm diversity has been thought of as including efforts to attract and retain minorities and women. We are actively working to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse mix of talented attorneys and staff. We understand that everyone falls somewhere on the diversity spectrum; therefore, our goal is not only to welcome and include minorities, women, and others who have historically been underrepresented in law firms, but also to make sure that all of our clients, attorneys, and staff members feel welcome. For more information regarding our inclusive firm culture, please click on the following:
A History of Inclusion
Perhaps the best evidence of the success of our Diversity Strategy lies in the number of minority and women directors and in the number of leadership positions held by minorities and women. We have a strong track record of advancing women and minority lawyers to positions of leadership within the firm and the legal community.
We hired our first female attorney in 1974 when few women were licensed to practice law. In 1980, we were one of the first Arizona law firms to elect a female director. In the late 1980s, we became one of the first large law firms in the Southwest to appoint a woman to its Management Committee.
Our tradition of inclusion permeates our culture to this day. Sarah Strunk is a director and serves as Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors, and Susan Wissink, Kim Arana, and Leigh Burnside serve on our six-person Management Committee. Additionally, 32 percent of our attorneys are women, who make up 25 percent of the firm’s director ranks. Approximately 8 percent of the directors and 19 percent of the associates are members of minority groups. In April 2015, Law360, for the first time ever, ranked the 100 best U.S. law firms for women, based on the firm’s female representation at the partner and non-partner levels and its total number of female attorneys. We were ranked #22 nationally .
Women and minorities hold key leadership positions within the firm and manage a number of our top client relationships. Ann Morgan serves on the firm’s Compensation Committee. Dawn Meidinger is chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental practice.
Recruiting, Retaining, Developing, and Advancing a Diverse Mix of Talented Attorneys and Staff
We actively seek to recruit, retain, develop, and advance a diverse mix of talented attorneys and allied legal professionals through various initiatives, including scholarship, internship, training, community involvement, and mentoring opportunities. As part of these initiatives to further promote diversity, racial equality, and inclusion within our growing firm, we :
- Created the Fennemore Diversity Scholarship and Fellowship, a first- of- its- kind partnership between Arizona State University and a law firm. Under the partnership, launched in 2019, the firm provides a scholarship, which is matched by ASU, to cover the first year’s tuition. In addition to the scholarship, the partnership includes a paid fellowship at the firm for the recipient for the summer after their first year of law school. The goal of the partnership is to improve the diversity pipeline at ASU and the legal community in general.
- Participate in diversity job fairs, including the Sunbelt Diversity Job Fair in Dallas, Texas
- Developed a formal mentoring program for all associates
We support work-life balance through policies such as reduced-schedule options, an employee assistance program, and a parental leave policy. We are also focused on individual growth and improving the health and well-being of all our colleagues.
Our attorneys have been recognized for their contribution to the community:
- Ann Morgan, Chief Diversity Officer on Fennemore’s Diversity Council, is also the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the State Bar of Nevada.
- Travis Pacheco, the current chair of our Diversity and Retention Council, is fluent in Spanish and comes from a ninth-generation Arizona family who first settled in Tubac, AZ in the 1770 s. Travis and his team work tirelessly to connect with diverse student groups, including recently collaborating with the State Bar of Arizona for a dialogue on racism, discrimination, and systematic injustices in the courts and the practice of law.
Commitment to the Community
Our attorneys and staff are known as leaders throughout the communities where they live and work. They are active in more than 400 professional, civic, and philanthropic organizations. In addition, the firm has an active Pro Bono Committee, which coordinates pro bono services in the communities where the firm has offices.
We serve as officers in the American Bar Association, chair state bar organizations, and participate on the boards of directors for a wide range of non-profit and civic organizations. We annually support minority bar organizations, including AAABA (Arizona Asian American Bar Association) and Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, and tables at events for organizations such as the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). We generously contribute to worthwhile charitable organizations, concentrating on those in which firm attorneys and staff are personally active.
We have participated in a pioneering joint study on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in the Law. This study stems from an American Bar Association (ABA) Presidential Initiative sponsored by the ABA and ALM Intelligence. The joint ABA/ALM effort focuses on key factors that influence law firms and individual attorneys within firms in fostering long-term careers for women in private practice. Five hundred of the nation’s largest law firms, including Fennemore will provide recommendations on best practices for retaining and advancing experienced female attorneys into upper levels of the profession.
We are supporting a first-of-its-kind national survey on diversity and inclusion of attorneys sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA), in conjunction with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. The survey’s purpose is to identify the biases encountered by LGBT+ and/or disabled attorneys in the legal profession and to help develop and implement strategies to ameliorate such biases. ABA President Linda Klein states, “This study is integral to the ABA’s continuing efforts to promote the full and equal participation of all diverse persons, including LGBT+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities, in the association and the legal profession as a whole.”
Diversity & Inclusion Council Charter
- We advocate for diverse perspectives in our work.
- We are focused on opportunities to advance talent and great ideas.
- We’re committed to achieving a welcoming environment where great ideas thrive, and everyone knows they’re a valued contributor.
Associate Development Program
Provides attorneys who are interested and committed to building their personal brand and growing their books of business with the tools and skills to do so. The program includes monthly trainings and one-on-one coaching and covers topics such as: planning for your future, time and energy management, social media, presentation best practices, and MORE.
Director Development Program
An application-based program that provides attorneys with winning strategies, tools and tactics to build their books of business through key success factors. The program includes quarterly trainings and one-on-one coaching and covers topics such as crafting unique selling propositions, creating intentional business plans, developing a network, converting meetings to opportunities and MORE.
As part of our internal Doing MORE email campaign, we share monthly winning strategies that relate to professional growth and development, diversity, equity and inclusion, health and wellbeing, culture and team building. These emails provide articles, videos, and tips to help our team advance. We have a state-of-the-art learning management system (LMS) that provides thousands of current competency-based training modules for employees, including: technology, diversity, data and system security, compliance, management, soft-skills, and position-specific learning. Employees also have the opportunity to increase their annual merit raise by participating in training and development programs.