Jackson Lewis announces D&I advancements

NEW YORK, NY - Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, continues to make significant strides towards advancing the firm’s commitment to inclusivity, including appointing the firm’s first-ever Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Jana Simon, renaming the firm’s law school scholarship program and announcing a new slate of leaders for its internal attorney resource groups.

Reporting to the firm’s Co-Chairs and working closely with the Chair of Jackson Lewis’ Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Ms. Simon will be responsible for the strategic direction of our diversity and inclusion initiatives, ensuring the foundational principle of inclusiveness is reflected in everything the firm and its attorneys do, including enhancing internal and external policies, work, practices and communications. She will also work with various departments within the firm to ensure Jackson Lewis’ diversity and inclusion principles and strategies are infused into every business function.

“Our commitment to diversity, both internally and within the legal industry, is a cornerstone of the firm,” said Firm Co-Chairs William J. Anthony and Kevin G. Lauri in a joint statement.

“In fact, Will was the first chair of Jackson Lewis’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is reflective of the firm’s and our personal commitment to these efforts,” added Mr. Lauri.

“We are proud of how far we have come as a firm in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, and feel Jana’s hire will propel our D&I efforts forward. Her background, energy and passion for moving the needle forward, make her the perfect fit for the role,” the Co-Chairs continued.

“Commitment to D&I starts at the top, and I am excited to work at a firm whose leadership is so intentional about our efforts in this area. This intentionality will lead to cutting-edge, creative initiatives that take our diversity and inclusion efforts to the next level,” said Ms. Simon. “Our goal is to ensure that Jackson Lewis is a firm where all attorneys can bring their full selves and thrive.”

“Jackson Lewis has always understood the importance of investing in the future of the legal industry, which is why the firm focuses on pipeline programs with the goal of inspiring the next generation to pursue a legal career,” added Mr. Lauri. “In recognition of former Chairman Vincent A. Cino’s dedication to diversity and inclusion efforts, the scholarship we provide to law schools around the country was recently renamed in his honor.”

The Vincent A. Cino Scholarship Program currently provides more than $150,000 in scholarships annually to students across the country who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession and wish to pursue a career in workplace law.

“As employment lawyers, we all know that having the broadest possible workforce helps create positive, productive work environments,” said Mr. Anthony. “The firm seeks to recruit, retain, develop and advance a diverse team of employees, and the scholarship program has become an integral part of this effort. We are so grateful of Vincent’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture where diversity is valued by all.”

Finally, the firm congratulates the following attorneys, who have been appointed to key leadership roles within the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee:

• Gillian P. Yee has been appointed Asian American Attorney Resource Group (ARG) Co-Chair, joining Monica H. Khetarpal who will remain in the role through 2019.

• Shelley L. Freeman and Wayne S. Yoshigai have been appointed Co-Chairs of Out Professionals and Allies in Law (OPAL) ARG

• Adriana R. Midence, Marla N. Presley and Sarah J. Ryan have been appointed Co-Chairs of Jackson Lewis’ Women’s Interest Network (WIN) ARG

The newly appointed leaders join Otieno B. Ombok and Marlo Johnson Roebuck, Co-Chairs of the African American ARG, and Jason C. Gavejian and Angela Quiles Nevarez, Co-Chairs of the firm’s Hispanic ARG.

“The firm’s ARGs are incredibly important resources that empower all our attorneys to reach their potential and best serve our clients,” said Washington, D.C. Region Principal Weldon H. Latham, Leader of Jackson Lewis’ Corporate Diversity Counseling practice group and Chair of the firm’s internal Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “The U.S. marketplace and workplace are becoming more diverse at an accelerating pace, and the firm needs diverse leaders who can help clients navigate the legal requirements of the changing environment. We are committed to a more diverse and inclusive firm, that can effectively advise clients in responding to the challenges of the workforce of tomorrow through D&I policy enhancement, training, best practices implementation, and other diversity-related services.”

“As a large firm that spans the country, the ARGs serve as vital touch points for diverse attorneys and allies to form connections and relationships around the firm that might be challenging to do otherwise,” added Ms. Simon. “I look forward to working with the ARGs to advance Jackson Lewis’ diversity and inclusion goals and objectives, ensuring Jackson Lewis is the workplace and law firm of choice.”

Jackson Lewis has been consistently recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, including positioning underrepresented groups in leadership roles, work-life policies, career advancement opportunities and flexible work arrangements. Among other awards, in 2018 Jackson Lewis was named among Working Mother’s “Best Law Firms for Women,” designated a “Ceiling Smasher” by Law 360 and recognized as a “Gold Standard Firm” for the 7th year in a row by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.