Greensfelder strives to make our workplace welcoming and one in which people of different races, ethnicities, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, ages, religions, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, job responsibilities and family statuses can thrive. We believe our employees are our greatest asset, and the differences in their lived experience directly contribute to our success. Below is a summary of Greensfelder’s annual diversity programming, firm policies, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Greensfelder Diversity Fellowship
In 2017, the firm was proud to announce the launch of its Greensfelder Diversity Fellowship for first-year law students who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity. One fellowship will be awarded each year for a law student to spend the first part of the summer working at Greensfelder in St. Louis, followed by working in-house in a corporate environment.
Successful completion of the fellowship qualifies the student for a summer associate position at Greensfelder the following year, as well as full-time employment with the firm upon graduation from law school. The firm’s Diversity Fellow receives summer associate compensation with potential for additional bonuses, plus ongoing mentoring from a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee throughout the student’s 2L and 3L years.
Diversity Recruiting Guidelines
Greensfelder prioritizes the recruitment and hiring of candidates of color and other diverse prospects, whether through our Summer Associate Program or lateral recruiting. The firm has adopted two specific recruiting policies that have helped ensure diverse attorney lateral candidates are properly considered. One policy mandates that all career opportunities must be posted on the firm's website and communicated through direct outreach and outlets that target diverse professionals, such as affinity group bar associations. The second policy added to Greensfelder's interviewee evaluation form criteria that take into account whether the candidate's race, sexual orientation, limited physical abilities, gender identity and expression, or other characteristics would add diversity. In addition, each candidate who is invited to interview meets, among others, either the Chief Diversity Officer or the Diversity and Inclusion Manager.
Additionally, the firm is working to expand the number of schools from which we recruit to include more law schools that have high numbers of talented diverse students.
St. Louis Diversity Initiatives
Greensfelder is committed not only to enhancing diversity within the firm, but also in the greater legal community. In 2008, Greensfelder was instrumental in launching the first St. Louis Diversity Job Fair, and the firm has helped coordinate and sponsored each Job Fair hosted since. Greensfelder is also an active Diversity Clerkship Program (DCP) participant. The DCP was established to assist first-year law students at five local law schools, from groups traditionally underrepresented in the St. Louis legal community, in obtaining employment. Greensfelder regularly hires law students through the Job Fair and DCP programs as summer associates. Another recruiting tool we use to reach diverse talent is resume collection services offered by HBCU law schools. In May 2011, Greensfelder and the Diversity Awareness Partnership organized the first St. Louis Legal Diversity Summit. The program highlighted why it was imperative for St Louis law firms and in-house legal departments to embrace diversity and inclusion. The summit drew more than 300 legal professionals representing nine of St. Louis’ 10 largest law firms and five leading corporations. Since then, Greensfelder has been one of the primary coordinators of an annual citywide Diversity Summit highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Training/Career Development Initiatives
The firm has long recognized that creating an environment where all attorneys have access to opportunities and training is of utmost importance. Accordingly, each practice group provides substantive skills training, and the Chief Diversity Officer also coordinates training opportunities to help ensure the success of each attorney and the efficient delivery of unparalleled legal services to the firm’s diverse clientele.
Greensfelder was one of the first St. Louis law firms to join and support the efforts of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and remains an active participant. We send our 1L Summer Associates to the annual LCLD Scholars Summit, which provides 1L law students with the tools they need to help them succeed over the summer and beyond. Additionally, we select one senior attorney each year to participate in the LCLD Fellows program and one junior attorney to participate in the LCLD Pathfinders program.
Greensfelder also provides financial and/or frequent volunteer support to the following diverse attorney and law student associations: Mound City Bar Association, Missouri Asian-American Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, St. Louis Women Lawyers Association, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law Minority Law Student Mentor Program, Lawyers for Equality, the Hispanic Bar Association of St. Louis, in addition to other worthwhile organizations and causes.
Greensfelder has sponsored or participated in a number of high school pipeline initiatives that expose diverse students to opportunities in the legal profession. Greensfelder’s involvement with pipeline initiatives is hoped to have a positive impact on the number of diverse attorney candidates available for recruitment in the future. Specifically, Greensfelder sends representatives to various St. Louis public high schools to talk about legal career opportunities and invites students to attend a half-day program exposing them to different legal practice areas and guidance on the steps needed to apply for and get into law school.
Below is a summary of additional initiatives the firm has undertaken to help foster an inclusive work environment for all employees:
• Bi-annual firm wide diversity training for support staff and attorneys
• The creation of a Diverse Employee Resource Group, which creates opportunities for attorney and non-attorney employees of the firm to network and build relationships, as well as participate in training and discuss unique issues
• Addition of lactation rooms for new mothers at the Firm
• Mentoring and support group for new parents
• Each year, the women attorneys at Greensfelder host an internal networking and mentoring event for female associates and summer associates and also host an external business development networking event
• Diverse attorneys have opportunities to attend professional development programs such as the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar & Expo and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Pathways to Success Conference to learn more about career development issues unique to the needs of minority attorneys
• The Chief Diversity Officer and the Director of Professional Development meet regularly with attorneys of color and women attorneys to provide one-on-one counseling