3 LETTER FROM DIRECTOR
6 “OPRAH’S FAVORITE GUEST”
10 ...AND HERE’S WHY WE DID IT
14 ...A THOUSAND WORDS
23 EMPOWERMENT IN ACTION
Dawn R. Rosemond
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Partner, Director of Diversity, Professional Development & Inclusion
20/20 Vision To say that one sees “20/20” regarding something means that they are “clear-sighted;” “acutely perceptive;” “completely seeing the truth of a situation.”1 Barnes & Thornburg has “20/20” vision regarding our commitment to diversity and inclusion. First, we know that our commitment must be real. Second, we understand that diversity does not connote inclusion and that neither manifests by happenstance. Thus, we have settled that to experience the change desired for our firm and beyond, and to ensure (as our mission provides) that this truly is a place where all of our talent can win, we must deliberately go after it day in and day out.
(designed to speak to our inclusive mindset), we decided to focus this summer edition of our diversity and inclusion publication in this regard. In the pages that follow, you’ll get to meet some of our amazing change agents (many of whom are our leaders of tomorrow), hear from some of our talent talking about how they have been impacted by our vision casting, and see some of the unique initiatives to date that help to define the Barnes & Thornburg difference. More, new to the publication going forward will be a spotlight on corporate champions we’ve “caught doing good,” if you will, relative to this important work, and on some alumni who purpose to do the same.
Every day I get to witness firsthand our team doing the work to build a Barnes & Thornburg equipped to handle an ever-changing and increasingly diverse world. And every day I am a bit more amazed by the lengths we are willing to go to achieve our goals for tomorrow and by all who are authentically invested. So sporting a new signature platform logo, “IAmBT” 1
“The greatest motivator of change is a crystal-clear vision of what the future should look like.” - Andy Stanley. We hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of our focus. And we hope that something here clarifies your vision for change!
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“At Barnes & Thornburg, we have 20/20 vision about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
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• We strive to reflect the clients we serve and the communities in which we have the privilege to practice law. • We define, promote and embrace diversity broadly to foster authentic inclusion. • Our commitment to diversity and inclusion permeates every aspect of how we conduct business. • We are responsible stewards of our resources, taking care to use our influence, brand, purchasing power, and thought leadership to drive diversity and inclusion growth outside the walls of our firm. • We proactively seek out and pursue opportunities to better support, empower, and promote our talent. • We continuously look for innovative solutions to remain effective, relevant, and in tune with our clients’ values and business objectives.
To position all of our talent to win - individually, collectively, and for our clients.
To align the business of diversity and inclusion so fully with the business of the firm that top talent from all backgrounds sees Barnes & Thornburg as both the preferred destination and national standard relative to excellence, inclusive engagement, and empowerment in action. We will only realize this vision with true commitment and deliberate action from all of us.
Empowering our talent
Aligning business with values
Office Administrator, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, Columbus
What are you doing to move diversity and inclusion forward in your professional and/or community endeavors?
I am proud to support the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts by serving as its diversity and inclusion coordinator and helping with specific initiatives in the Columbus office as its office administrator. We do a lot of work around gender equity in the legal industry that began with a partnership with the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio a few years ago. I love being a part of a firm that puts time and money into investing in its talent, and that recognizes the beauty of everyone’s differences. I also encourage inclusion initiatives beyond my work within the firm. As diversity chair of the Association of Legal Administrators Columbus Chapter, I’m working with the past presidents council and two other amazing D&I leaders in Columbus legal to create an educational seminar this fall to help legal administrators and marketers understand how they can create inclusive cultures in their own firms. I also lead What is the change you want to a church home group designed to connect people with see as a result? diverse perspectives around commonality of belief while creating a feeling of being valued and loved. Indeed, helping others see their own value and how they fit In my dream world, all people treat others into something bigger than themselves is my passion and what I pursue in any capacity I as important and worthy of respect. I want the choose to serve in. legal industry to become more inclusive to all of its talent. Every single perspective matters and can help create more holistic solutions.
What advice would you give to others about inclusion? To be inclusive, you don’t need to accept every single thing about another person. You don’t need to agree on everything. You don’t even have to like other people. You simply need to RESPECT them. My love for Jesus certainly drives me to respect anyone and everyone, but I believe humanity should embrace civility at its core regardless of religious beliefs.
‘OPRAH’S FAVORITE GUEST’ COMES TO BARNES & THORNBURG For the last seven years, Barnes & Thornburg Minneapolis has endeavored to inspire, empower and elevate female leaders throughout the Twin Cities with its signature Women in Leadership: Exploring Pathways event. In this (its 8th) year, Exploring Pathways shifted into yet another gear when the incomparable Dr. Tererai Trent hit the stage. Named by Oprah Winfrey as her “All-Time
Favorite Guest,” Dr. Trent is an internationally renowned scholar, NAACP Image Award recipient, humanitarian, and best-selling author dedicated to fighting for quality education and empowerment for girls and women around the world. When Minneapolis managing partner Connie Lahn learned of Dr. Trent, she immediately knew that Exploring Pathways needed her
presence. According to Connie, “At this time perhaps more than ever, it is critical that we focus on female empowerment and friendship, to deliberately debunk the toxic myth that women can’t support one another.” She went on to share, “My hope was that Dr. Trent could help us in this regard.” And Dr. Trent did not disappoint.
During the event, Dr. Trent shared her journey from rural Zimbabwe and an oppressive early marriage to her 20-year quest to learn and secure a higher education in America to the work she does today building schools and forging partnerships to create
sustainable business ecosystems in impoverished communities. In sharing her journey, the knowledge she’s gained and the why behind her work, Dr. Trent left all in attendance with pearls of wisdom designed to promote a better tomorrow. Here are just a few: • Ground yourself in daily rituals • Write down your dreams • Find meaning in bettering the lives of others • Rather than simply donating money, become a partner in other women’s successes Through her dialogue, Dr. Trent unapologetically called those in the room to come together as women – to support the women in their lives – to use their given abilities, skills and talents to make a change. She said, “Women need the energy to rise together. But we’ve got to talk like sisters. We’ve got to look at one another and say, ‘I see you’ and ‘I am here to be seen.’ We can heal this world.” Clearly, Dr. Trent’s call to action transcends the audience of our annual Exploring Pathways event. Here at Barnes & Thornburg, we gladly say “yes” to her call to promote seeing one another and allowing ourselves to be seen. Indeed, we are aiming for that every day – to be the best Barnes & Thornburg we can be for the benefit of all of our talent, our clients and the communities we serve.
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Read more about the event here.
Sowing Empowerment to Shape a Culture
Corporate Homie” - Sowing Empowerment to Shape a Culture
The word “homie” is a colloquialism meaning, in essence, “good friend.” The career, lifestyle and advice company known as Corporate Homie was formed to be just that for all professionals (especially tomorrow’s leaders) desiring, as they phrase it, to “step up their ‘A’ game” and to develop a mantra of “performance with purpose.” When we were looking for the best way to kick off our 2019 BTLaw Academy educational series to support Project Keymaker, our signature sponsorship program, Corporate Homie presented as the perfect choice.
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This past spring, the twin powerhouse creators of Corporate Homie, Demetra Liggins and Bemetra Simmons, came to Barnes & Thornburg to share tips and wisdom grounded in authenticity with our associates (our Protégés) and their sponsors (our Keymakers). They talked about how to identify and develop critical internal and external mentor/sponsor relationships, the necessary concept of a team, CLMs (Career Limiting Moves), making the decision to “win,” and so much more. The best feedback came from one of our Keymakers who remarked that he wished that he had a “corporate homie” when he was a younger lawyer. Here is just a taste of this incredible duo’s lively, funny and relatable discussion: http:// btinfotech.btlaw.com/streaming/ CorporateHomieCommonGround. aspx. Excellence is learned behavior. Corporate Homie provided us with a great lesson in this regard. Click here for more information on Demetra, Bemetra and Corporate Homie.
Associate, Litigation, Indianapolis
What are you doing to move diversity and inclusion forward in your professional and/or community endeavors?
I lived and worked in Spain for about a year and a half before returning to the United States for law school. Since graduation, I have tried to combine my knowledge of Spanish and law in ways that help the community. Until last year, I spent one Saturday morning each month as a volunteer intake attorney at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, where I fielded legal questions from Indy’s Spanish-speaking population and gave on-the-spot advice. More recently, at Barnes & Thornburg, I’ve used my Spanish to give pro bono assistance to low-income clients. I find that work very rewarding. I have also tried to assist the What is the change you want to diversity and inclusion efforts of my alma mater, the see as a result? Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Beyond this, I Having lived and worked in multicultural have tried to assist underrepresented children. settings both abroad and at home, I appreciate As a board member of Friends of Riley the experience of living and working with Program at Riley Hospital for Children, people from various backgrounds. In general, I I have helped organize several want to see more heterogeneity in the contexts that fundraising events. matter, particularly universities and workplaces. By growing up and thriving in diverse environments, I think society will come to view diversity as not just a business imperative, but also a moral imperative.
Diversity and inclusion are all of our responsibility. Thus, we must embrace self-reflection. For an organization (including ours) to truly become more inclusive, we all must begin to question what we say and do and the motivation underlying both. We have to ask ourselves, “Are we being truly respectful of people of all backgrounds?” If the answer is “no,” then we have to change. Keeping our personal responsibility top of mind, I think, helps make the value of diversity and inclusion a little more concrete.
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What advice would you give to others about inclusion?
… AND HERE’S WHY WE DID IT
Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Barnes & Thornburg shifted to an enhanced parental leave policy that provides all firm talent with 16 weeks of parental leave at 100 percent pay, inclusive of adoption. We’ve told you all about this - our decision to lead from the front. Now, take a look at what it means to a few of our teammates who are experiencing this new benefit first-hand:
CAITLIN BYCZKO ASSOCIATE, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, INDIANAPOLIS
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There is no amount of advance planning that can prepare you for the birth of a child. In my opinion, the first six weeks of an infant’s life is basically an endurance test for the parent(s). An endurance test that is performed while one or both parents are very, very tired. The firm’s enhanced parental leave policy relieves much of the stress of new parenthood, because I feel as if I have sufficient time to heal myself, get into a groove with my child, and gain enough mental clarity to return to work. One of the first things that most people ask me is “How long do you get off for leave?” When I respond with 16 weeks, people are almost always shocked — in a positive way. When they learn that we offer this benefit equally to all members of the Barnes & Thornburg family, they begin to understand that we are seeking to change the narrative that big law firms are not family-friendly.
MATTHEW WELLS MARKETING MANAGER, SOUTH BEND/GRAND RAPIDS The firm’s expanded parental leave policy is beneficial to me as a father because it allowed me to support my wife during postpartum recovery efforts. Further, it has left me with flexibility during the first year [of my son’s life] in case some kind of emergency were to arise. My wife’s job comes with a pretty demanding schedule - and the policy allows me to support her and Hudson because I know I can always take a day or two when needed!
LEAH SEIGEL ASSOCIATE, LITIGATION, INDIANAPOLIS
Having additional leave time allowed me to have a more flexible return [to the firm] and allowed me to spend more time at home onboarding our nanny. This not only helped me transition back to work, but also helped my son transition to a new daytime caregiver.
DAVID WONG PARTNER, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, INDIANAPOLIS The firm’s enhanced parental leave policy has been a real blessing for our family. Also, many clients, both locally and nationally, have been truly impressed by our firm’s investment in our people and have applauded the longer parental leave.
The extended weeks and the flexibility of the firm’s parental leave policy has been a huge benefit for me and my family. Being able to take the first 12 weeks off and then return to work with a modified schedule for the remaining four weeks has allowed me to adjust to my new family life, while maintaining my professional contributions to the firm. I love staying home with my daughter, and the extra time allows me to be there for more of her growth and development - time that I find really special. That said, I also love my job, and this policy has allowed me to have and keep both.
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CARI SHEEHAN OF COUNSEL, LITIGATION, INDIANAPOLIS
CHRISTINA BAUGH Partner, Litigation, Atlanta
What are you doing to move diversity and inclusion forward in your professional and/or community endeavors?
For more than a decade, I’ve served on the board of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL) and the GAWL Foundation, which help to promote, mentor and develop women attorneys and create opportunities for the women lawyers we serve to promote themselves before clients, judges and other attorneys. This year, I am What is the change you want to honored to serve as GAWL’s president. Through GAWL see as a result? (and other leadership positions I have the privilege of holding in Atlanta), my goal is to do what I can to I want to see a profession that resembles advocate for greater representation and exposure of the communities in which we practice. women and minority lawyers, as well as younger I want to see a profession that welcomes attorneys, at all levels, which affords them more those who are willing to work hard and take control over their career journeys and helps on the grueling hours and often thankless put them in positions of influence relative task of helping protect peoples’ legal rights, to the profession as a whole. regardless of the form in which the question presents itself. An attorney should not look one way, nor should an attorney think one way. The practice of law is best served through a multitude of ideas and backgrounds, looking at and evaluating the facts and law as it exists, and evaluating where to take things next. The way to reach that is to practice with people who don’t look like us, don’t think What advice would you give to like us, don’t vote like us, and more.
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others about inclusion?
First, there should be a seat at the table for everyone willing to work to get that seat and keep that seat. Second, it’s been said that the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing, but expecting a different result. If you want to make a change, try actually making a change. Thus, we must open our thinking to the idea that everyone has a different starting point, which will lead to a different path. With the right support and guidance, everyone can get to the same end goal - doing amazing legal work for our clients.
BEING THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE Retaining and promoting diverse talent is critical to our firmâ€™s success. Both start at the recruiting stage, which is why six years ago we formed a 1L Diversity Scholarship program. Our goal was to deliberately create opportunities to attract diverse law students to our firm who exemplified excellence, fortitude and an authentic commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our 2019 scholarship recipients, Jordan Oliver and Denise Vaughn, make us proud and affirm that we are continuing to move in the right direction.
Denise Vaughn, 1L, University of Illinois College of Law
I am a woman who was told at 3 years old that I would always need speech therapy and should be placed into special education - I now speak two languages fluently and just made the Deanâ€™s List in law school. You can count on me to always make a way!
Jordan Oliver, 1L, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
An entire life of being uncomfortable made me who I am. I attended 17 schools, including six high schools in five states. Then I served in the Marines for four years. Adversity and uncertainty inspired me to beat the odds, and they continue to drive me toward success every day. Read more about Jordan and Denise.
...A THOUSAND WORDS
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For years, Barnes & Thornburg has sponsored the Indianapolis Pride Parade. This year - to support our LGBTQ colleagues, family and, friends and to double down on our commitment to equity, we chose to go beyond just sponsorship. We chose to march!
What’s funny is that when the idea to march in the parade was broached by our LGBTQ talent resource group, BTPride’s, co-chairs, Steve Thornton and Amber Bollman, the thinking was only a few people would participate. In reality, on that beautiful 8th day of June in downtown Indianapolis, Team BT showed up in full force with over 50 colleagues, family, friends (and even pets) in brightly colored T-shirts displaying our platform mantra, “I Am Barnes & Thornburg,” to join in the Pride Parade celebration. The excitement was so high that we even had colleagues from our other markets who were unable to participate in the parade send us photos of themselves wearing their “I Am Barnes & Thornburg” T-shirts in support.
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“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an English language adage that simply means the subject imagery communicates the point being made better than words ever could. Case in point. We could tell you that Barnes & Thornburg’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is real and that we “walk the talk” (pun intended). But such commentary pales in comparison to all of the smiling faces and the seeds of respect and support that were sown on that day. Just look at these images. The change we envision - for our firm - for our profession, is palpable!
Partner, Intellectual Property, Washington, D.C.
One thing you want to know about me: I attended a law school founded by women, and a majority of my classmates were women. I have dedicated my entire practice to trademark law, where I have always had female colleagues, role models and mentors. Gender diversity and inclusion is something I’ve lived my entire career. In the IP practice group, diversity and inclusion are being “baked in” to all our processes: hiring, training, promoting and leadership. Every strategic conversation What is the change you want to we have should include the question, “What does this see as a result? mean for diversity?” I am making sure I am asking these questions and in doing so, holding myself I want to see us progress, as a firm and as accountable and pushing for all of us to do a profession, from knowing it to owning it. the same. We become what we do consistently, so let’s become inclusive.
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What advice would you give to others about inclusion? 1. Look around you! Who is at the table? Who is missing? Why? 2. Question the ladder to our profession. Diversity in the upper echelon begins long before people join our firm. That’s where mentorship and encouragement must start too.
Deep-seated bias and beliefs about other cultures make it difficult to foster inclusion without deliberate effort. These obstacles are multiplied when you have a large footprint. In 2018, we set out to do things differently - both in educating our people and driving toward equity - by hosting firmwide in-person diversity and inclusion trainings in each of our markets. By the end of the third quarter of 2019, we will have completed these interactive trainings across all of our offices with more than 900 teammates.
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Are we done? Quite the contrary - we are just getting started.
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“Small talk” is defined as “polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters.” Certainly, the work of diversity and inclusion is neither and warrants much more. Accordingly, in honor of Black History Month this year, Barnes & Thornburg’s Los Angeles office decided to have some “big talk” around diversity and inclusion. Thanks to Los Angeles office administrator, Melanie Mawema, we invited critically acclaimed actor, Carl Weathers, to join the conversation. Best known for his roles in Action Jackson®, Predator®, and Chicago Justice®, and as the iconic “Apollo Creed” in the Rocky® movie franchise, Carl sat down in front of a standing-room-only audience on Feb. 22 with our director of diversity, professional development and inclusion, Dawn Rosemond, for a fun yet candid conversation designed to challenge and elevate consciousness. To kick things off and to jumpstart a poignant conversation about race, Carl began the conversation by reading the names of at least 50 unsung African-American trailblazers who have made significant contributions to this country. From there, he and Dawn discussed everything from being black in America (whether in the entertainment or legal industry), to black excellence, to privilege, to Apollo Creed’s death in Rocky IV. They capped off their conversation with a call to action of sorts, reminding all in attendance that diversity and inclusion is our collective responsibility, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Salvador LaViña, Los Angeles partner, had this to say following the gathering, “[This] was a great presentation… one that our office will be discussing for years to come.” Stay tuned, as there is more “big talk” coming!
Partner, Intellectual Property, Indianapolis What are you doing to move diversity and inclusion forward in your professional and/or community endeavors? Advancing diversity and inclusion has many different facets. It begins with being familiar and comfortable with yourself, and then, challenging the status quo. You might challenge just yourself, your colleagues, or even your neighbors. I have looked for opportunities to share my own journeys and help others with their journey. This means looking for opportunities to create diverse Barnes What is the change you want to see as a result? & Thornburg teams to serve clients, helping clients with their own diversity and inclusion efforts, and engaging in our community as a member of the firm. We all want to belong to a community where we are accepted, where we can work toward becoming our best selves, and share our talents to accomplish shared goals. I want us to have that in our homes, our jobs, our communities, and our interactions with our clients.
Inclusion begins with yourself. Itâ€™s challenging to include others and embrace differences when there is insecurity in yourself. Find others who are working toward a similar goal and share in the struggles, share in the successes, and share in the growth. The journey is hard by yourself; donâ€™t go it alone.
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What advice would you give to others about inclusion?
“I’ve always been very personally committed to diversity and inclusion efforts because I believe it’s Angel S. Willis, simply the right thing to do. I believe Vice President, it’s about creating opportunities General Counsel & Secretary for everyone, which means leveling the playing field, being aware of our unconscious bias, embracing change and leaving the world and communities we serve better than we found them. Professionally, research shows that companies with successful diversity and inclusion strategies outperform industry medians, improve their bottom line, attract and retain top talent, have higher employee satisfaction and engagement and provide a better experience/level of service to their customers. I have participated in and been afforded many opportunities to grow and develop in my career as a result of focused diversity and inclusion efforts. Many of these opportunities not only changed my perspective and made me a better person, but helped me to change the tenor of conversations related to diversity and inclusion.”
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My Mantra for This Important Work: Get comfortable being uncomfortable. My Advice to Future Leaders: “There are many ways to climb the corporate ladder. I encourage future leaders to not just dream about success, but to work for it.”
Roscoe is the firm’s first AfricanAmerican office managing partner and in connection to his role also serves on the firm’s management committee.
Over the last four years, since joining Barnes & Thornburg, Roscoe has witnessed strategic growth of the Washington, D.C., office and he said he plans to continue those efforts in elevating the status of Barnes & Thornburg in that ever-competitive market. Charismatic, civil, polite, direct, formidable, and effective. These are words used to
THE HONORABLE JAMES R. SWEENEY, II
Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Former Partner, Intellectual Property, Indianapolis
describe Roscoe as a communicator, leader and legal practitioner. He can see the big picture - in cases he has undertaken where personal freedoms were on the line or where a result needed to be secured before a charge was brought or trial occurred - and he will do the same for the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Widely known and revered in the Beltway, he will provide the office and his colleagues there with clear, productive decisionmaking and knowledge from working on both sides of the aisle in litigation. There is no question about what this shift in leadership means for our culture and what it says about the impact we are trying to have on the legal industry. Indeed, colleague Alan Mills, who was the firm’s first AfricanAmerican partner and first AfricanAmerican partner to serve on the firm’s management committee, said this of Roscoe’s appointment, “This is another factor that shows the firm has turned the corner and that diversity is who we are. There can be no turning back if we expect to grow and thrive in the future. Roscoe makes all at the firm proud.” Read more about Roscoe.
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Effective July 1, 2019, Roscoe Howard, a Barnes & Thornburg partner, veteran practitioner and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, was appointed managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.
Director of Client Services, Indianapolis
I co-chair the firm’s LGBTQ talent resource group and sit on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. I’m also active in the community, as a former board member for Indy Pride and as a co-chair for Lambda Legal’s Indiana Benefit (for the third year), and I also contribute to Lambda and other organizations on a personal level and volunteer for various events and activities when I’m able. What is the change you want
to see as a result?
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Because of my platform within the firm, I’ve been able to get Big picture, I think the change I want to see is involved in some interesting diversity-focused events. Last year, I for avenues of success, power and leadership organized a diverse panel of firm attorneys and staff for a luncheon to be available to a much broader group of people than they have been historically. I want with students from Franklin College’s Aspire Program, which to look at the highest levels of not just law allowed students who may not have otherwise considered a firms, but of business, academia, government, career with a law firm a glimpse at the diverse cross-section of and community leadership and see a more talent we have at Barnes & Thornburg and the broad array diverse set of voices and experiences reflected of roles that are available. A few months later, I was able and valued. I want every young person, regardless to speak to a group of students about my personal of their demographic data or their backstories, to journey and the ways in which my own diverse look ahead at their lives and feel like there are no status (as an openly gay woman and as a limits on what they can accomplish. I want them to feel like all possibilities are open and available - and perhaps first-generation college student) has most importantly, to feel confident that, regardless of impacted my career. what path they choose to pursue, they will be given a fair opportunity to succeed. I don’t want any young person to have their potential stifled or to have a goal and secondguess themselves. I don’t want them to ever feel like they will be judged or disregarded in any way because of the unique qualities and experiences they bring to bear. I think any steps we take in this direction - by being visible What advice would you give to as diverse people, by being better allies to those who others about inclusion? are different from us, by using the levers of power that we may hold in a way that is more fair and Think broadly about inclusion, what it means, and equitable - are worth taking and will keep when there are opportunities to put it into practice. us moving toward a better world. A truly inclusive environment should be built from the ground up in the way we interact with one another every day. It’s in the decisions we make about who to invite into important conversations - or to lunch, for that matter. It’s in the decisions we make about who to consult for advice on matters large and small. It’s in the decisions we make about who to take on high-profile tasks or lead meetings or send praising emails. The choices we make in those moments send a message to everyone around us that we are either welcoming and inclusive and receptive to new energy, or that we are happy with the status quo and see no need for fresh ideas or perspectives that might diverge from our own. I would challenge us all - myself included - to constantly look for opportunities to be more inclusive and to broaden the circle of friends and colleagues with whom we interact.
Sarah Odion Esene, Summer Law Clerk, Minneapolis
EMPOWERMENT IN ACTION Barnes & Thornburg is an example of an anomaly. I took a risk and traveled to Minneapolis because of the firm’s actions towards diversity and inclusion. My interest in Barnes & Thornburg sparked when I met Chris Fowlkes, an African-American hiring partner who would later become a mentor. Little did I know the firm would teach me how to navigate in a competitive legal market while gaining mentors and friends that genuinely cared about my success. My time with the firm allowed me to learn from successful inspiring women as well - Connie Lahn, Dawn Rosemond and Sarah Evenson - empowered me to see my value through a different lens.
You see, I moved to Houston, Texas, at 6 years old from Nigeria and have encountered challenges in regard to my naturalization process. I have always been nervous to share my immigration status out of fear of being judged, but to my surprise, the firm was so supportive. The day after my citizenship ceremony I walked into a very patriotic office. The firm decorated my office space with red, white and blue U.S.A. décor. I felt so loved; I thought I was dreaming. Later that day I was scheduled to have lunch with Sarah Evenson, but to my surprise the firm had other plans. My lunch was actually a surprise citizenship party! I cried as soon as I saw everyone yell, “Surprise!” I was showered with love and support, and from that day I knew Barnes & Thornburg was where I wanted to begin my legal career.
AMBER M. HAMMOND
I am thankful to have interned with Barnes & Thornburg, and after my experience this summer I am even more excited to join the Minneapolis office in the fall of 2020.
Judicial Law Clerk for The Honorable James R. Sweeney, II, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Former Associate, Litigation, Indianapolis
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Barnes & Thornburg’s transparency and support encouraged me to be myself without fear of being judged. This was illustrated when I informed the firm that I was in the process of getting my citizenship.
MEET OUR 2019 FELLOW, PATH Fellow: Oni Harton, Partner, Litigation, with my AP at regular intervals where Indianapolis we share goals, evaluate progress, challenge and encourage each other. I consider it a singular honor to be Additionally, I’m afforded an up-close selected as the firm’s 2019 Leadership look at how another organization Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow. approaches diversity and inclusion in From the time a mentor introduced tandem with the other demands of its me to the program when I was a thirdbusiness. year lawyer, I kept it on my radar with the goal of participating. Several of I look forward to my continued our top firm clients also select Fellows participation in this year-long each year, as both the firm and program and plan to attend our clients recognize the value two additional in-person in purposeful relationshipmeetings and corporate building and a real learning experiences. commitment to creating At the learning a more diverse and experiences, a small inclusive legal profession. group of Fellows Partnering access to key Although achieving With LCLD 10 Years has legal and business meaningful diversity and officers of a LCLD and Counting inclusion in the legal member corporation. profession has proved to They will guide us be an ongoing challenge, through in-depth the LCLD Fellows Program discussions regarding addresses these challenges the competitive factors head-on. It also seeks to educate driving global corporations and empower Fellows as we navigate and the role and responsibilities of these challenges. For example, LCLD has general counsel. Gaining a deeper already provided the opportunity for me understanding of such issues, along and the other 2019 Fellows to learn from with the professional development, a curated list of best-in-class speakers, will enable me to better serve my authors and business educators. clients and achieve better results in my One unique aspect of the Fellows practice. Program is the Accountability Partner I am proud of the firm’s leadership (AP) system. As part of this system, taking an active role in supporting Fellows are paired and encouraged to LCLD’s initiatives and appreciate being engage regularly during the Fellowship selected for this opportunity. year to enhance their professional development. My AP, an assistant general counsel and vice president in the banking and financial services industry, and I have quickly established a strong rapport. I have meetings
1L LCLD Scholar: Nicholas Rivera, Law Pathfinder: A. Elizabeth Underwood, Clerk, Minneapolis, Mitchell Hamline Associate, Litigation, Fort Wayne School of Law The LCLD Pathfinders Program The legal industry is still typically has a distinguished reputation for dominated by white male attorneys, challenging lawyers to develop the but to know that Barnes & Thornburg is working hard throughout its offices mindset and skill set needed for to hire racially and ethnically diverse impactful leadership. Being selected candidates with different areas of to participate in this program, which interest is a testament to its dedication to targets diverse and high-potential diversity. attorneys, is personally affirming, and After being hired as the Minneapolis motivates me to continue to use 1L summer clerk, I was blown away my human capital to create that I was selected to represent the space for diversity in the firm at such a prestigious LCLD 1L Scholars conference. Being new legal profession. It also to the legal world and profession, demonstrates Barnes & I am always looking to expand Investing in Thornburg’s continued my network. Expanding my commitment to diversity Tomorrow’s network with students from all leadership. over the country at LCLD gave Leaders me a clear picture of a diverse The Pathfinders program future legal profession. provides a phenomenal Now that I have attended the opportunity to learn from conference, I have a greater seasoned legal professionals understanding of how to create a career from the around the world, dissect path for myself in the law. I have a better best practices, cultivate critical careerunderstanding of the generational development strategies, and build communication gap that needs to be professional networks. Through the approached differently by both young associates and partners alike. I also have program’s intensive in-person training, a better understanding of the implicit experiential online modules, and peerbiases that may exist surrounding women group projects, I’ve engaged in focused and how to both approach and avoid and robust dialogue on leadership and those biases. honed professional skills that allow me As a future leader in legal diversity, to be even more intentional as I plot I must always be aware of Barnes & the trajectory of my career. Thornburg’s external image and its internal practices. I hope to help continue the tradition of diversity at Barnes & Thornburg, where people have the opportunity to showcase their abilities, culture and personalities.
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HFINDER, AND 1L LCLD SCHOLAR
Partner, Litigation, Los Angeles
26 | 20/20 VISION | DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
I have been fortunate enough to take a leadership role in the firm’s Drug and Device Litigation Practice Group, the leadership of which is predominantly women and minorities. Because the group has grown substantially in just the last few years, it has presented a unique opportunity to roll up my sleeves and help shape team structure and team culture in a What is the change you want to way that promotes diversity and facilitates new opportunities see as a result? for diverse attorneys. Those are values that the firm shares, but I consider myself very fortunate to be part getting to take such an active role in laying that foundation of a team that recognizes that different in a large and quickly growing team has been a special attorneys have different strengths – both experience. In terms of our firm culture, I have felt incredibly supported in those efforts, and have been encouraged to interpersonally and professionally – and take on responsibilities that help foster long-term diversity that there is no one-size-fits-all model for and inclusion in our practice. It is important to me that being a successful and effective attorney. I I seek those opportunities for my mentees to ensure would like to see a greater shift toward that that I am facilitating that same climate of growth for mind-set in the profession because so many of the young female attorneys who work on my us grew up in a culture that pushes sameness on case teams. those fronts. It is also important that we learn to adapt as a profession, because the rigidity and demands of the legal profession are challenges when it comes to retaining diverse talent and creating a sustainable workplace. The legal industry needs to continue to evolve toward a model that is more flexible when it comes to individuals’ personal lives, alternative work structures, and flexible work arrangements. What advice would you give to Barnes & Thornburg’s focus on promoting others about inclusion? conversations regarding these issues, and its push to establish and promote attorney Given the nature of the legal market and wellness initiatives are steps in the the pressures that attorneys face to deliver, right direction. produce and excel, there really is no quick fix to the diversity and inclusion issues we face as a profession. True progress on this front requires that we take ownership of the process, and that we actively seek out opportunities to mentor and champion others to promote the diverse and inclusive environment we are trying to build. I feel very fortunate to be part of the Drug and Device Litigation Practice Group, which has done an excellent job of implementing this approach, and working to ensure that diversity and inclusion mean more than just the statistics we put in RFPs and firm marketing materials.
“Indiana’s LGBTQ community has made tremendous progress over the past two decades, and Steve Thornton has provided critical leadership and support. When our event’s host committee came together to discuss who we could honor at our 20th anniversary celebration, the decision was both swift and unanimous. Steve is the rare professional who doesn’t just dedicate his time or his money, but he dedicates his whole self. That’s why we are honoring Steve
and the work he has done,” shared Brian J. Richardson, Director, Midwest Region, Lambda Legal. While Barnes & Thornburg has been a sponsor since 2000, Steve has been a volunteer with the Indiana Benefit since 2005 and has also served on the national board for two years and as co-chair of the Indiana Benefit for four years. He also served on the board of the Damien Center, Indiana’s largest service center for those affected by HIV, from 1999-2010, including as board president from 2002-2007. Steve is proud to belong to an organization – working behindthe- scenes – that is fighting for equality for LGBTQ individuals through the courts. He has seen how those efforts impact peoples’ lives and that is why he continues to give of his time and talents to Lambda Legal. It goes without saying that we at Barnes & Thornburg are proud of our teammate.
Steve Thornton Partner, Corporate, Indianapolis
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In September, Steve Thornton will be honored by Lambda Legal for his nearly 20 years of service and dedication to organizations serving Indiana’s LGBTQ community. Per its website, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
2019 CLASS OF SUMMER ASSOCIATES AND LAW CLERKS
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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE Robert T. Grand, Co-Chair Dawn R. Rosemond, Co-Chair Kelly Atkinson, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
CHICAGO Jonathan Froemel Denise Lazar Paul Olszowka Debby Usher COLUMBUS David Paragas Katrina Thompson DALLAS Matthew Agnew Mark Bayer ELKHART Alice Springer
FORT WAYNE Mark Kittaka Savannah Robinson GRAND RAPIDS Tammy Helminski INDIANAPOLIS Amber Bollman Cari Bryson Angela B. Freeman Ann Grayson Kenneth Inskeep Karoline Jackson Nick Kile Steven Merkel William Padgett Monica Payne Steve Thornton Heather Willey David Wong
LOS ANGELES Salvador LaViña Melanie Mawema David Wood MINNEAPOLIS Christopher Fowlkes SOUTH BEND Jeanine Gozdecki Sarah Kuhny WASHINGTON, D.C. Edward Ayoob WILMINGTON Jesse Reeves
TALENT RESOURCE GROUPS BTWomen | BTAPA | BTLatinx | BTPride 31
ATLANTA James Robinson
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