Diversity and Inclusion at VarnumToggle Nav
Our Recruiting and Retention Efforts
Recognizing the advantages of a diverse environment, Varnum has made a determined effort to recruit women and minorities at all levels of the firm. Recruiting and retaining women and minorities is a firm-wide commitment exemplified in our hiring program.
Varnum’s recruiting efforts include contribution to minority-focused scholarship programs such as:
- GVSU Minority Scholarship Program
- Floyd Skinner Bar Association’s Minority Scholarship Program
- United Negro College Fund
- University of Michigan Black Law Students Alliance (BLSA)
- University of Michigan Latino Law Student Association (LLSA)
The firm has also provided scholarships to Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) students to attend a national Indian Law conference.
The majority of our new associates are hired from our Summer Associate Program. In addition to recruiting from law schools with diverse student populations, Varnum attempts to further reach minority students for this program by participating in projects sponsored by campus organizations such as the LLSA, the BLSA, the NALSA, and the Women Law Students Association. The firm has also supported and participated in the Grand Rapids Bar Association Minority Clerkship Program since its inception in 1990.
Varnum was the recipient of the Pillar Award in 2010, given by the Women's Resource Center in recognition of our efforts to support women, and in 2008, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and Michigan Lawyers Weekly named Varnum the "21st Century Innovator of the Year" in recognition of the firm’s outstanding efforts in recruiting and retention. Varnum took the top award out of 21 finalists across the state.
Varnum recognizes that each person is an individual with unique needs. Those might include raising children, caring for aging parents, participating in community activities, coping with illness, and more. Varnum makes it possible for all its employees to address those issues while also being valued and successful employees in their chosen fields.
We believe this contributes to increased job satisfaction which results in a high level of retention. Associate attorneys are able to accrue hours toward partnership status even while working part time.
Varnum’s commitment to work/life balance is reflected in the strong showing of women employees at the firm. In addition to 36 women attorneys (about 24 percent of the firm’s total attorney population), women play a strong role in other key positions at the firm. Of Varnum’s 37 support professional positions, 25 are filled by women. Of the firm’s five administrative positions, two are filled by women.