Diversity and Inclusion at VarnumToggle Nav
Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative
The Managing Partner Diversity Collaborative Agreement is a formal commitment between 12 major Grand Rapids law firms and the Grand Rapids Bar Association to work together to promote greater diversity and inclusion in the West Michigan legal community.
The collaborative committed to developing a five-year Action Plan in June 2011 to address three initial challenges:
- Increasing attorneys of color;
- Improving retention and advancement of female attorneys and attorneys of color
- Expanding the pipeline of persons of color entering law school and the profession
To develop the Action Plan, the members of the collaborative formed three committees focusing on pipeline issues, recruiting and talent retention. Once the Action Plan is launched, the committee will meet on a semi-annual basis to assess the success of the program.
"As a firm, Varnum has been working towards promoting diversity and inclusion for more than 15 years," said Joy Fossel, Varnum's Diversity and Inclusion Counsel. "However, the Managing Partner Diversity Collaborative Agreement is the first time area law firms will come together to create an action plan that will affect the community and the legal profession as a whole; I believe this will be a very powerful effort and we're excited to be a part of it."
Varnum offers one of the most progressive Diversity and Inclusion programs in the Midwest, including a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, ongoing firm-wide programming on diversity issues, and consistent financial support for diversity initiatives, groups, and programs in the community.
Participating firms in the Managing Partner Diversity Collaborative Agreement include:
- Barnes & Thornburg, LLP
- Clark Hill PLC
- Dickinson Wright PLLC
- Dykema Gossett PLLC
- Foster Swift Collins and Smith, PC
- Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone
- Miller Johnson
- Price, Heneveld, Cooper, DeWitt & Litton
- Rhoades McKee
- Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge
- Varnum LLP
- Warner Norcross & Judd LLP