“In an effort to nurture urban business development, the firm has partnered with the Minority Investment Development Corporation and the R.I. Coalition for Minority Investment to offer pro bono legal services for business formations to minority-owned enterprises.”
- Commitment and Involvement
- Diversity Initiatives
- Diversity Scholarship
- Diversity Committee
From its inception in 1960, Adler Pollock & Sheehan has been built upon principles of diversity. We feel that our commitment to inclusion and diversity is essential to our success in the practice of law.
The firm has a strong belief in the importance of hiring, retaining and promoting minority and female attorneys and maintaining a diverse workforce. AP&S believes that a diverse workforce enables us to better understand and serve our clients, as well as the communities we serve, and therefore the firm has made diversity an integral element of each hiring decision. AP&S is committed to fostering and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment where religion, color, age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation and marital and family status are understood, respected and valued as qualities that make us better attorneys, citizens and human beings.
Our attorneys reflect this commitment in their practice, in their interactions with clients, other members of the legal profession and the community. AP&S created a Diversity Committee to help promote and guide the firm in its commitment to diversity. We are proud of the results that our diversity efforts have yielded. Each aspect of the diversity plan that has been implemented is a step toward creating a firm environment which values, respects and encourages differences in attorneys, staff and the community.
Commitment and Involvement
AP&S embraced diversity early on and was one of Rhode Island’s first large firms to have a woman practice business law (when most women were practicing family law or general litigation). AP&S takes great pride in the fact that women and minority attorneys serve in a variety of leadership roles within the firm, including the Chair of the Litigation Department, Chair of the Diversity Committee and serving on the Compensation Committee and Hiring Committee.
AP&S attorneys are active participants in national organizations to promote diversity in the profession, such as the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the Minority Counsel Program of the American Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts.
AP&S attorneys have a deep commitment to the communities in which they live and work. The positive impact that AP&S has on our community is evident through our attorneys’ leadership roles in dozens of civic and charitable organizations, many of which support minority communities such as the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, Boys & Girls Clubs and the Women’s Bar Association, by providing advice on legal matters and by generously contributing resources. Our attorneys also serve as mentors to minority law students at Roger Williams University School of Law.
The Diversity Committee developed, and the firm has adopted, a Diversity Plan that provides the firm with a roadmap for diversity initiatives. The Diversity Plan is a step toward creating a firm environment which values, respects and encourages differences in attorneys, staff and the community. AP&S recognizes that through our involvement in both minority organizations in the community and diversity efforts in the legal field, as well as the AP&S Diversity Plan and other endeavors, we are continuing to make a concerted effort to diversify and enrich the firm and the profession, while also contributing to the overall betterment of our community.
The AP&S Diversity Plan sets out to foster diversity through:
- Leading by example: Educating ourselves and educating others in the firm about diversity and being active in organizations that promote diversity in the profession.
- Recruiting and Hiring: Enhancing our recruiting efforts to be proactive in reaching out to minority candidates and hiring persons from diverse backgrounds.
- Retention and Mentoring: Providing associates with mentors to guide professional development and developing policies which make the firm a more attractive and welcoming place for women and attorneys of color.
Through the firm’s formal mentoring program, new associates are provided with a mentor who provides guidance and assistance where necessary to support their business and professional development. Each office has an associate liaison so that the nature and amount of work assigned to each associate is carefully monitored.
The Diversity Committee has recommended several changes to existing firm policies to make the firm a more welcoming place for women and attorneys of color. Those changes have been embraced and adopted by the firm.
In an effort to nurture urban business development, the firm has partnered with the Minority Investment Development Corporation and the R.I. Coalition for Minority Investment to offer pro bono legal services for business formations to minority-owned enterprises. The firm also provides pro bono services in both complex and routine proceedings as part of its commitment to ensuring equal justice under the law, regardless of financial resources.
In 2006, a Diversity Committee was created to further support and promote diversity efforts within the firm, the legal profession and the community at large. The Diversity Committee is comprised of women, minorities, members of the Executive and Compensation Committees, equity and non-equity partners, as well as associates. Members of the Diversity Committee have educated themselves on issues of diversity in order to make suggestions to the firm on recruitment, hiring, retention, mentoring, training and various outreach activities to support diversity initiatives in the profession and community. The Diversity Committee meets regularly to continue to monitor progress of those initiatives included in the Diversity Plan.
As part of its Diversity Plan, the firm established the AP&S Diversity Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship to be awarded annually to a minority student entering his/her first year of law school. The scholarship is given to students with a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence and simultaneous commitment to the community. Students who receive the scholarship are encouraged to participate as a summer intern with AP&S with the hope that they will consider joining the firm upon graduation. The Diversity Scholarship is just one way that the firm is hoping to support and encourage more diverse candidates to enter the practice of law and enrich both the profession and society.
Click here for a copy of the Diversity Scholarship Application.
Members of the AP&S Diversity Committee include:
Erica Mecler Caron, Counsel
Robert I. Stolzman, Shareholder
Toni Bianco, Marketing Manager
Robert P. Brooks, Managing Partner
Rory Z. Fazendeiro, Counsel
Kristen R. Sherman, Shareholder