Diversity & Inclusion
It is a fundamental mission of Arnstein & Lehr LLP to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace so as to create a sense of belonging for each team member in the firm; feeling respected and valued for who they are; feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that everyone at Arnstein & Lehr can do their best work; and to engender an environment free of workplace harassment or discrimination of any kind. To this end, the firm is committed to fostering a work environment that gives every person the opportunity to contribute fully to the firm and its business goals, regardless of an individual’s race, culture, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. We recognize that by capturing the unique contribution each individual has to offer—whether by virtue of cultural background, race, gender, talents, values, affiliations, or other differences—we can add significantly to the firm’s overall performance and contribute to a greater social good.
Fostering a rich and dynamic workplace
Arnstein & Lehr embraces diversity as essential to its mission and is committed to creating a workplace that reflects the diverse nature of the legal profession and the clients we serve. We encourage an inclusive, professional environment that values attorneys and staff of all backgrounds. To that end, we are committed to cultivating a rich, dynamic workplace in which every member of the firm is uniquely valued and treated with professionalism and respect. We strive to ensure that all employees are free from discrimination and harassment of any form while fostering an environment that is both inclusive and inherently fair.
Ensuring our commitment
Our Committee on Diversity & Inclusion ensures that we reinforce and enhance our collective diversity and serves to enhance legal excellence, leadership, collaboration, and community within the firm. Led by Partner Robert Cichocki, a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, the committee is also charged with overseeing diversity initiatives and promoting an inclusive, positive, and supportive work environment. With guidance from the Diversity Committee, attorneys and staff participate regularly in diversity programs, training, panel discussions, and leadership seminars.
- Increase our diversity in key firm leadership roles including our operating and recruiting committees, and through mentoring and training programs.
- Strengthen our support of organizations committed to diversity, such as the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Association of Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms.
- Initiate more diversity-related events, activities, and programs for our attorneys and staff.
- Enhance recruitment procedures aimed at attracting and retaining top talent from diverse backgrounds.
Creating pathways for the advancement of women
Arnstein & Lehr aims to help women advance professionally—both within the firm and within legal and business communities—through the support of women’s organizations and women-owned businesses.
Woman of Vision Award
Arnstein & Lehr’s Woman of Vision initiative aspires to promote and empower professional women within the firm and throughout all of Chicago. We celebrate the achievements of successful business women with our annual Woman of Vision Award Luncheon. This luncheon gives us the opportunity to recognize and honor an inspirational woman who has made a difference in the professional world and to highlight a notable charity within the community. Women from all professional sectors attend, including female leaders in government, law, health care, business and education. The luncheon has grown to be a very special event and one that is highly anticipated each year.
Our 2014 Woman of Vision Honoree is Ms. Susan Whiting, formerly of the Nielsen Company. Ms. Whiting recently served as Vice Chair at The Nielsen Company, leading global client relations, communications, marketing, public government affairs, corporate social responsibility, and diversity initiatives for the company. She retired in January 2014 after a 35-year career and is best known for building Nielsen’s most visible franchise in television measurement during the cable, telecommunications and media industries’ digital transition. This year’s chosen charity was the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, which is the only all-girls public school in Chicago.
Past Woman of Vision Honorees
- 2013 – Leslie Hindman, Founder of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
- 2012 – Sherren Leigh, Founder/president/editor-in-chief of Today’s Chicago Woman
- 2011 – Jeanne Gang, Principal of Studio Gang Architects
- 2010 – Dominique Raccah, CEO/publisher of Sourcebooks, Inc.
- 2009 – Anne Pramaggiore, CEO/president of ComEd
- 2008 – Marsha Serlin, CEO of United Scrap Metal
- 2007 – Cheryle Jackson, former CEO/president of The Chicago Urban League (first woman and African-American CEO/president)
Other Women Initiatives
In 2005, the firm welcomed the Women’s National Basketball Association franchise Chicago Sky to the city, hosting a luncheon attended by dozens of prominent area business women. The event was created to provide grass roots support of the new franchise within the Chicago women’s business community.
In addition, as part of our commitment to increasing the number of women and minority attorneys in the firm, Arnstein & Lehr is a signatory to The Chicago Bar Association’s Call to Action on Women’s Leadership in the Legal Profession and the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. We pledge, among other initiatives, to increase the percentage of women and minority partners in all our offices through recruitment and lateral expansion.