NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2023

Dinsmore & Shohl - Cincinnati, Ohio (Firmwide Form)

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Mr.
Diversity Chair First Name Marty
Diversity Chair Last Name Dunn

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Mr.
Diversity Contact First Name Marty
Diversity Contact Last Name Dunn
Link to your organization's diversity website

Recruitment methods

Which of the following methods do you use to increase the presence and retention of under-represented groups? (Check all that apply) Diversity job fairs
Outreach to law student groups
Formal mentoring efforts
Recruit at schools with large minority populations
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Dinsmore’s Commitment to Diversity


Dinsmore values and promotes diversity in the workplace, the profession, and the community. Maintaining an environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion are valued requires distinct yet connected strategies and actions. Dinsmore brings together promising and established legal talent of differing backgrounds to add to the breadth of our practices and perspectives. This is achieved through a variety of strategic recruiting efforts to identify, invite in, and integrate those differing talents.


Career advancement programs, firm affinity groups, committees, and initiative groups provide pathways to leadership opportunities and greater inclusion within the firm, and our retention rates reflect the efficacy of these efforts. We have implemented these initiatives to provide value and benefit to our clients, our profession, and our communities every day and ensure Dinsmore continues to grow as a firm. The firm's attorneys devote many volunteer hours to both minority law programs and community service. Our Diversity Committee maintains a strategic plan that is reviewed annually. Our efforts in this area have led to a number of recognitions, including being named a “Top Performer” by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and a “Diversity Leader” by Lawyers of Color. We also have been recognized in The American Lawyer as a top 10 firm in the nation for women at all levels of practice, as well as ranking in the top ten in our category for percentage of female equity partners, earning the Law 360 designation of Ceiling Smasher.


Scholarships & Education


As part of an on-going commitment, Dinsmore sponsors diversity scholarship programs for summer associates to work with The Procter & Gamble Company, Humana Inc., and Lockheed Martin.  The scholarships are open to first-year law students with a demonstrated record of academic or professional achievement and leadership qualities. Applicants may be minorities or individuals who contribute meaningfully to diversity in their communities. Additional details can be found on our website.


In December 2022, the Dinsmore HBCU Scholars Program, a new diversity scholarship opportunity, was revealed. The firm seeks to recruit and mentor outstanding 1L students affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This opportunity is open to current HBCU law students and/or any law student who has obtained an HBCU undergraduate or graduate degree.


Dinsmore also offers a diversity fellowship program for students who clerk with the firm after their first year of law school. Based on performance during that summer, the firm may offer one or more students not only an offer of employment for the following summer, but an Associate position following graduation. The firm pays scholarship funds to diversity fellows during their 2L Summer (in addition to their regular salary) and a stipend following law school graduation in addition to the stipend paid to all incoming Associates.


Attorneys at the firm created the Sherman Scholarship, which is presented to a minority law student at The Salmon P. Chase School of Law who will work in public service upon graduation. The attorneys involved were later awarded for this achievement.


In 2015, Dinsmore established the Shanda L. Spurlock Memorial Scholarship to honor Shanda Spurlock, who was an associate in the Litigation Department of Dinsmore.  Shanda was an Ohio Super Lawyers-Rising Star and was selected as a Rising Star by the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Academy of Career Women of Achievement. Shanda was very active in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities, served on several boards, and was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and served on the executive committee of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC). Shanda passed away in 2014 after a long battle with breast cancer. The scholarship is awarded to an African American student attending either the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, or University of Dayton law school who has demonstrated leadership potential and dedication to the community. The firm continues to fund the scholarship which is administered by the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC).


In 2019, Dinsmore announced the creation of the Dinsmore University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law LGBTQ Scholarship. A direct cash gift designed to have immediate impact, this gift, will serve to increase the number of LGBTQ+ law students and lawyers in the region.


The Louisville Bar Association has a Diversity Task Force on which Dinsmore attorneys serve.  Among their initiatives, the task force awards an annual scholarship to a minority law student and selects an individual who has contributed to diversity in the profession for their annual Trailblazer Award.


Dinsmore attorneys fully support and provide funding for Central High School in Louisville, whose students are predominantly black, to compete in the Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition.  The event is held annually in Washington, D.C.


Dinsmore is a strong supporter of pipeline initiatives, including the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow and Scholar Program. Each year, a high potential Dinsmore Associate is selected to serve as a Fellow with LCLD and has many opportunities for interaction with LCLD top leadership, managing partners, and general counsel through training, conferences, and meetings. Dinsmore works with clients of the firm to sponsor and host LCLD lunches and dinners.  Additionally, first-year summer associates are selected for the 1L LCLD Scholars Program and attend a conference, participate in the Law School Mentor Program, and are paired with a LCLD Fellow who will mentor them through bar passage. Past conferences have been held in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; and Denver, Colorado. One Dinsmore partner serves as a city leader for LCLD for local law students in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Providing Experience


Dinsmore is a longstanding supporter of the Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) Program and hosts high school and undergraduate students over the summer.  Through the SWEL program, students are exposed to many aspects of the practice of law and our summer program.  The goal is to inspire more minority students to consider a career in law.


The firm also participates in the Cincinnati and Columbus Clerkship Plan Programs.  The clerkship plan is a commitment by many Cincinnati and Columbus major law firms and corporations to hire at least one first year minority law student each summer.


Dinsmore, along with the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Bar Association (BLAC-CBA) Round Table, is the founder of an annual mock interview program for first year minority law students from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, the Salmon P. Chase School of Law at Northern Kentucky University, and the University of Dayton School of Law. Students meet with attorneys from area firms and companies, and a federal judge typically addresses those in attendance, encouraging the students to start their careers in the Greater Cincinnati area.


Commitment to Community & Company


We recognize our responsibility to the surrounding communities in which we reside, and to the nation as a whole. The current state of our country is a call-to-action for all of us. Following the death of George Floyd, Dinsmore’s Managing Partner issued a directive to each Office Managing Partner in Dinsmore’s network to create their own unique action plan to promote social justice and combat racism. For instance, in Charleston, West Virginia, the Office Managing Partner serves as the state lead for, and is in charge of administering, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) program statewide in West Virginia. She finds mentors for students at West Virginia University College of Law, organizing networking events where mentors and mentees network and engage with the community.


Our firm leadership have also created a newly formed Racial Equity Taskforce that will undertake a firm-wide project in which each Office Managing Partner commits to specific racial justice initiatives in their respective communities. To date, these projects include offering pro bono assistance on civil rights and police misconduct cases and developing employment opportunities for underserved minority youth. Dinsmore also joined nearly 250 firms across the country in signing onto the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a newly-formed initiative that seeks to “use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and to promote racial equity.”


In 2019, Dinsmore launched a firm-wide diversity, equity and inclusion education program for its attorneys and staff. One training, “Unleashing the Power of Diversity” focused on practical ways for participants to contribute to deepening the firm's inclusive culture. A segment of the program is focused on implicit bias as a common barrier to inclusive behaviors among the well-intentioned.


We revamped the Career Advancement Program into CAP 2.0 to intensify the levels of interaction and sponsorship that it provides. Program mentors consist of members of the Board, office managing partners and attorneys in strong positions of leadership where their sponsorship matters. The firm’s refinement of CAP includes possible incentives for participating partner mentors whose efforts lead to identifying, developing and promoting diverse legal talent. We are adapting CAP to make it more holistic so that the support provided by the program does not end when someone starts to move up. 


One of Dinsmore’s partners serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program (GCMCP), which supports programs focused on advancing the overall diversity of the Greater Cincinnati legal community and facilitate collaboration among Greater Cincinnati corporations, law firms, public and non-profit sector entities, and associate members in order to provide minority attorneys with an equal opportunity to compete for legal work.


Our Diversity Committee meets at least six times a year to evaluate important elements such as retention, career advancement, use of Minority Business Enterprises, strategic partnerships with our clients, and empowerment and leadership opportunities for diverse attorneys. The committee is led by an African-American partner, who is also an elected member of the firm’s Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. The diversity committee reviews Dinsmore's policies and procedures to ensure fluidity in our progress and allow the firm to partner effectively with our clients to achieve diversity within the profession and the business communities in which we are located. In addition, Dinsmore’s managing partner sits on the diversity committee and serves as one of the many rainmakers at the firm who are committed to ensure that diversity is ingrained into the fabric of our culture and that we continue improving.


Dinsmore’s Minority Attorney Affinity Group (MAAG) meets throughout the year and holds a variety of internal and external events and social gatherings to focus on the integration of our attorneys, community involvement, client development, and opportunities for partnerships within the legal community. The purpose of MAAG is to promote and support Dinsmore’s diverse attorneys by fostering and celebrating a community among our minority attorneys that is rich in heritage. MAAG centers around creating a community for minority attorneys to engage with one another on a professional and personal level, while embracing their cultural differences.


The firm established the LGBTQ Affinity Group in 2018. The group supports Dinsmore’s broader mission to create an environment where all people are valued, included and empowered to succeed, while also spreading awareness of LGBTQ issues and opportunities for involvement to the firm’s LGBTQ community and their allies. The group meets monthly to support one another, discuss issues in the community, and address and strategize ways to encourage an awareness of LGBTQ issues within the firm.


Dinsmore utilizes a career advancement and promotion program to offer further support and growth opportunities for our diverse associates as they become leaders in the firm. Ensuring the firm maintains steady progress in our support of our commitment to diversity, Dinsmore entered a multi-year sponsorship of the Corporate Counsel Women of Color, an organization that promotes the national and international advancement of women of color in the legal profession and workplace.


Understanding that women face challenges practicing business law in a traditionally male-dominated industry, Dinsmore has a Women's Initiative designed to increase retention of women associates through an environment of support and opportunities for advancement.  The firm also utilizes a mentoring program and panel discussions to further offer support and growth opportunities for our women associates. That work led to Dinsmore being recognized by the National Law Journal for women holding equity partnership positions.


The Dinsmore Women's Leadership Forum promotes the firm's women attorneys in the community while addressing issues that may be exclusive to them. The Dinsmore Leadership Academy provides professional development for all associates. 


The firm recently earned Mansfield Rule 5.0. In order to achieve the 5.0 Certification, firms were required to consider at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for leadership roles. Further, firms participating in Mansfield 5.0 were asked, for the first time, to consider at least 30% underrepresented lawyers when hiring and promoting to C-level or other senior-level professional staff roles and for nominations to Chambers USA. Firm leadership has used Mansfield considerations when looking at transitioning clients to diverse attorneys from partners who will be retiring from the partnership. We have implemented this practice over the past six years and found that using Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification in this process provides further incentive for others to start looking around, rather than looking down to their immediate circle of colleagues. Going forward, the firm is committed to pursuing Mansfield 6.0 Certification and is engaged in pilot programs.




Dinsmore and its diverse attorneys have been recognized as follows:


A Dinsmore labor and employment attorney received the Federal Bar Association's Promoting Lawyer Excellence & Driving Gender Equality (PLEDGE) recognition from the John W. Peck Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Chapter.


BTI Consulting recognized Dinsmore as 2022 Associate and Women Associate Satisfaction A-Lister.


Three Dinsmore partners were named 2023 Top 25 Women Kentucky Super Lawyers.


Dinsmore earned 2022 LCLD Top Performer and Compass awards.


A Dinsmore partner made the Super Lawyers list for the first time after being named a Rising Star by the organization every year since 2011. 


A partner was named as one of Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2022 for the fourth time since 2017.


Sixty-Four Dinsmore attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch list.


In 2021, Dinsmore was awarded Best in Class for diversity in the legal profession by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its issue recognizing seven “notable businesses championing diversity and inclusion.”


A partner was named to National Black Lawyers 40 Under 40 List for 2021.


Dinsmore earned Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification Plus for the 2021 iteration of the diverse leadership hiring initiative.


Dinsmore collaborated with Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law (OIP) to create the Dinsmore and P&G OIP Fellowship, which is designed to address inequities in the criminal justice system.


Dinsmore partnered with the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) to address racial socioeconomic disparities within the Cincinnati community.


A partner was named to Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s anti-corruption commission.


An associate was honored as one of 2020’s best LGBTQ Lawyers Under 40.


The firm has sponsored six fellows in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 2014-2020.


A partner was named a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) fellow for 2020.


An office managing partner was appointed to a taskforce to reform a major city police department.


A partner was named to Savoy’s 2018 Most Influential Black Lawyers List.  The list represents the “best of the best” of black lawyers who are partners within leading national law firms and also corporate counsel for Fortune 1000 corporations.


City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and City Council named a partner to the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC).  CHRC works to build relationships between the different groups and cultures in Cincinnati and to promote a shared understanding to resolve diversity issues.


The firm was named a “Diversity Leader” by the nonprofit organization Lawyers of Color in its newly released Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools & Firms.


The Product Liability Advisory Council selected a partner as a sustaining member of their council.


An attorney was one of two U.S. attorneys who attended a conference on the changing climate in Cuba. He spoke with lawyers and diplomats about the challenges ahead and the opportunities.


A partner was named a HNBA Top Hispanic Lawyers 40 under 40. He also is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Board of Governors and serves as president of the HNBA’s Region 10.


An associate and co-chair of the Minority Attorney Affinity Group was selected for the LCLD Pathfinder Program.


The Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati awarded Dinsmore attorneys for creating the previously mentioned Sherman Scholarship.


A partner was named American Bar Association HealthLaw Section’s vice-chair for emerging issues in health care law.


A partner was appointed to the Governance Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Board of Governors.


A partner was elected the first minority chair of the Eastern Kentucky University’s Board of Regents. He also serves as board chair of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District and vice chair of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission.


A partner was appointed to the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Legal Commission.


A partner was appointed Chair of the Law Practice Management and Legal Administrators Section of the State Bar of Michigan.


A partner was elected as president to the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (DTCWV).


A partner was accepted to the Ashland Alliance Community Leadership Development Program.


Dinsmore was featured on Law360’s list of the 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.


Dinsmore was recognized by The American Lawyer as a top ten firm in the nation for women at all levels of practice.  The firm also ranks top ten in its category for its percentage of female equity partners, earning the Law 360 designation of Ceiling Smasher.


Dinsmore was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top 20 firms in the country in terms of women holding equity partnership positions.


The firm takes an active role in the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Bar Association (BLAC-CBA) Round Table.  The organization recognized Dinsmore’s efforts to promote diversity by presenting the firm with the “Forward Together Award.”


Continued Commitment


Dinsmore will continue its community relations efforts, focusing on community youth activities, including education and assistance programs for a diverse cross-section of children in the cities where our attorneys work and live. While our commitment to providing an inclusive culture for our attorneys and staff is ongoing, we also have a moral responsibility to the surrounding communities where we reside-and to the nation as a whole. The current state of our country is a call-to-action for all of us, and Dinsmore is on an unwavering course to combat racial injustice in all its forms, wherever and whenever it may exist.


The firm is dedicated to its efforts to create an inclusive environment where all individuals are valued inside and outside their office walls. For more information please visit



Non-discrimination policy

The Firm is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees without regard to race, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), religious creed, color, sex/gender (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sex stereotype, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status (including whether or not you are transitioning or have transitioned), sexual orientation, national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law [Vehicle Code section 12801.9]), ancestry, citizenship status, military status, veteran status, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, medical condition, genetic characteristics, genetic information, physical or mental disability, age (40 and over) or any other protected status in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, ordinances or regulations.

Diversity fellowships or scholarships

Does your organization or office sponsor/offer a Diversity Fellowship or Scholarship? Yes
If yes, is the program open to 1L|2L
Please provide a brief description of the program

See description above or visit our website,

Affinity group information

Does your organization or office have affinity groups? Yes
If yes, please describe your affinity groups below

Please see description above.