Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Mission
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting its attorneys and staff members regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. Hinshaw believes that achieving this objective has positive business, economic and social consequences for our firm and our communities. We are committed to maintaining this objective in both the short and long terms. Always mindful of this mission, the firm actively and aggressively seeks to hire, retain and promote diverse attorneys, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Women and LGBT attorneys.
Hinshaw has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that our firm reflects the diversity of the world in which we practice. With a formal diversity initiative led by the firm’s Diversity Committee and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, our recruiting and hiring programs, our partner promotions and management assignments reflect this results oriented commitment to diversity at Hinshaw:
- Approximately 75 attorneys in our firm are minorities and 3% are LGBT
- Approximately 33% of our lawyers are female
- Eight female partners serve as partner-in-charge of a Hinshaw office: Lora L. Zimmer (Appleton, WI), Dawn A. Sallerson (Belleville and Edwardsville, IL), CharCretia V. Di Bartolo (Boston and Providence, RI), Diane E. Webster (Chicago), Cheryl Wilke (Ft. Lauderdale), Karen A. Brimmer (Miami), Renee J. Mortimer (Schererville, IN), and Terese A. Drew (St. Louis).
- Robert J. Romero and Spencer Y. Kook, both minority partners, each serve as a partner-in-charge in a Hinshaw California office
- Three female partners: Aimee Delaney (Labor & Employment); Ellen B. Silverman (Consumer Financial Services) and Renee J. Mortimer (Personal Injury & Property Damage) chair or co-chair national practice groups
- Minority partner, Sergio Acosta, serves as the leader of the firm's Government Practice Group
- A female partner, Cheryl Wilke, serves as the firm's Business Development Partner
- Two female partners: Raylene DeWitte Grischow and Paulette S. Sarp serve as Practice Group Business Development Leaders
- A black female partner, Leslie Richards-Yellen, is the firm’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer as well as the Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Ms. Richards-Yellen is responsible for implementing firm-wide diversity initiatives along with the firm’s Diversity Committee, and developing best practices and supporting recruitment efforts for the firm
- Hinshaw continues its long-standing tradition of recruiting diverse and female law students for its summer associate program
The foundation of our commitment to inclusion of all attorneys is a formal mentoring program, which ensures that all of our associates are mentored and trained thereby providing clients with the highest level of quality service. Our formal mentoring program is specifically tailored to support diverse associates in their advancement in the firm and in meeting their professional goals and aspirations.
Finally, reflecting our diversity and desire to serve our communities, our lawyers across the country are fluent in 21 different languages.
We are proud to say that our firm has been recognized by prominent organizations for our diversity and inclusion efforts. This year, the firm received the following recognition:
- The American Lawyer ranked Hinshaw 68th on its annual Diversity Scorecard, an annual ranking of large law firms based on the percentage of minority attorneys and partners within a firm.
- Law360: Hinshaw was ranked 80th on the list of "Top 100 Firms for Minority Attorneys."
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation's (HRC's) Corporate Equality Index (CEI): For the seventh year in a row (2010–2016), Hinshaw was awarded a 100% rating, recognizing our commitment to diversity through promoting and protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. Hinshaw’s 100% rating marks it as one of HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”
In 2015, the firm received the following recognition:
- Law360: Hinshaw was ranked ranked 20th on the list of the "Top 25 Firms for Black Attorneys," ranked 44th on the list of "Top 100 Firms for Female Attorneys," and 56th on the list of "Top 100 Firms for Minority Attorneys."
In 2013, the firm received the following awards:
- The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division's 2013 Diversity Award: An award which recognizes the entity that demonstrates the highest morality and respect for all persons and diversity, for efforts and allegiance to creating diversity and promoting a more diverse workplace.
- 2013 Diversity Award from the Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago
In 2012, the firm was recognized for the following awards and rankings:
- Defense Research Institute’s (DRI's) Law Firm Diversity Award: An award that recognizes one DRI member law firm that has achieved outstanding diversity goals. Hinshaw was selected for having achieved significant success in the area of law department management, demonstrated a commitment to increase diversity within and outside its legal departments, and made significant civic contributions. Criteria for selection included: demonstrated commitment to diversity as evidenced by a formal diversity plan committed to achievement, and sensitivity and receptivity of diversity issues including promotion of minority and women attorneys.
- "Setting the Bar" Award: An award given by Equality Illinois for being "a leading law firm for LGBT Equality."
- New York County Lawyers Association: Hinshaw was honored as a "law firm that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to LGBT equality" at the NYCLA's 98th Annual Dinner.
- Chicago Lawyer ranking: Hinshaw had the second highest percentage of female attorneys who were partners, and was tied for third highest percentage of minority attorneys who were partners.
- The American Lawyer ranking: Hinshaw was ranked 75th on its Diversity Scorecard.
Other mentions in the last several years include:
- MultiCultural Law magazine ranking: Hinshaw was ranked 40th nationwide in overall diversity in its annual "Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity." Hinshaw also ranked 40th on the magazine's "Top 50 Law Firms for Partners" list; 12th in its "Top 50 Law Firms for Associates" list; 61st in its "Top 100 Law Firms for Women" list; 20th in its "Top 25 Law Firms for African-Americans" list; and 20th in its "Top 25 Law Firms for Hispanic-Americans" list.
- Minority Law Journal: The 2010 Diversity Scorecard ranked Hinshaw 95th among the 249 largest and highest grossing law firms.
- Daily Business Review: Lists Hinshaw as a law firm in South Florida that has experienced the highest percentage increase in minority attorney employment over the previous five years. The Diversity Scorecard also lists Hinshaw among the top 10 firms in the categories of "Firms With the Most Black Attorneys," and "Firms With the Most Women Attorneys."
Established Affinity Networks
Hinshaw’s diversity and inclusion efforts have been expanded with the introduction of our Affinity Network Policy. Hinshaw's established affinity networks operate on a firmwide basis and work to enhance our diversity mission and goals. The affinity networks are based on various factors, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, and are intended to promote diversity and inclusion within our firm. They are the:
- Asian Pacific American Affinity Network (Co-Chairs: Wendy Wen Yun Chang and Jason J. Kim)
- Black Attorney Affinity Network (Chair: Khardeen Shilingford)
- LGBT Affinity Network (Chair: Todd M. Young)
- Hispanic/Latino Attorney Network (Co-Chairs: Barbara Fernandez and Diane E. Webster)
- Women Attorneys Network (Co-Chairs of the Women’s Initiative Subcommittee: Elizabeth S. Baker and CharCretia V. Di Bartolo)
Hinshaw’s affinity networks have been active in the legal and business communities, sponsoring, presenting and attending events as well as supporting causes of concern to their particular communities.
Leaders in Professional Organizations
At Hinshaw, we encourage our diverse (ethnic/racial minorities, female and/or LGBT) attorneys to participate in organizations and associations that enhance their professional, civic and cultural development.
- David J. Alfini: Steering Committee Member of StartOut.
- Sergio E. Acosta: Board Member for the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.
- Avanti Bakane: Governor of the Central Region for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Associate Board Member of the LIFT Foundation.
- Jennifer M. Ballard: Board Member and Continuing Education Director for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Board Member for the Women’s Bar Foundation, and Board Member for the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago.
- Yvette M. Boutaugh: Executive Committee Member for the St. Louis County Bar Executive Committee.
- Paula-Lee Chambers: Vice Chair for the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee by the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association (ABA) and Co-Chair of its CLE Webinars Subcommittee by the TIPS of the ABA.
- Wendy Wen Yun Chang: Advisor to the California State Bar’s Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Member, ABA Standing Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Co-Chair of the Judiciary & Executive Nominations and Appointments Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Advisory Board Member for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles, Advisor for the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Advisory Counsel of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Los Angeles.
- Terese A. Drew: President of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
- Barbara Fernandez: Trustee for the Dade County Defense Bar Association.
- Victoria R. Glidden: Board Member for the Winnebago County Bar Association, and Board Member and Vice Chair of the Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Rockford, Illinois.
- Cecilia A. Horan: President and Board Member for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago.
- Bradley H. Logan: Board Member for the Naturopathic Physician Board of the state of Arizona.
- Concepcion A. Montoya: President of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York (FALA of NY) and Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.
- Renee J. Mortimer: State Representative for Indiana for DRI and Secretary and Board Member for the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.
- Daniel L. "D.L." Morriss: Representative for the Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) Class of 2016 and LGC Fellow.
- Yvonne C. Ocrant: Chair of the Equine Law Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section of the American Bar Association.
- Carlos A. Ortiz: Member of the Diversity Task Force for the State Bar of Wisconsin and Advisory Board Member for the Northern Illinois University Political Science Department.
- Ronald Pena: Board Member for the Dade County Defense Bar Association and Board Member for the Eleventh Circuit Historical Society.
- Untress L. Quinn: Board Member for the Illinois Center for Autism, Board Member for the Office of Inspector General/Illinois Department of Human Services Quality Care Board, and Board Member for the Student Nurse Achievement Program at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Illinois.
- Maria S. Quintero: Northern California Association of Defense Counsel Board Member and Co-Chair for both their Diversity Committee and Insurance Subcommittee.
- Leslie Richards-Yellen: Commissioner of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and Chair of its Diversity Committee, President and Board Member for the National Association of Women Lawyers, Board Member for the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, Advisory Board Member for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Board Member of the Cornell Black Lawyers Alumni Network and Co-Chair of its Midwest Region, and Board Member for Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation.
- Dawn A. Sallerson: Board Member for the Memorial Law Committee of the St. Clair County Bar Association and Member of the Illinois Appellate Court Selection Panel.
- Jason Santos: Board Member for Equality Illinois.
- Gretchen Harris Sperry: Treasurer of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association (ALA).
- Daniel A. Trevino: President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) and Commissioner and Secretary of the Illinois Medical District.
- Michele A. Vargas: Deputy Regional President for Region VIII for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA).
- Jenny H. Wang: Fellow of the 2015 Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).
- Diane E. Webster: Chair of the ALPFA Chicago’s Corporate Advisory Board and Executive Committee Member for the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance For Women.
Hinshaw is a participating signatory of the Chicago Bar Association's Alliance for Women's "Call to Action," a project to promote women's leadership in the legal profession. Hinshaw is also a participating signatory of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s No Glass Ceiling Initiative whose main goals include having at least 25 percent of women in partnership positions and at least 25 percent of women in management positions.
In the last year, diverse members of the firm have received the following designations:
- Rafael Rivera Jr. and Michele A. Vargas were named to Diversity MBA’s 2016 list of "Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Emerging Leaders" in July 2016.
- Cheryl Wilke was selected as a recipient of SFBJ's 2016 Power Leaders in Law & Accounting in May 2016.
- Sergio Acosta received the Aguila Award from the HLAI, May 2016.
- Leslie Richards-Yellen received a Vanguard Award from the Chicago Bar Association, April 2016.
- David J. Alfini was selected for the 2016 Fellows Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), February 2016.
- Elizabeth S. Baker was honored as one of "50 Years, 50 Voices" in the Miami, Florida area, October 2015.
Other mentions in the last few years include:
- Untress L. Quinn was named in The National Black Lawyers Top 100 for 2015, May 2015.
- Jessica L. Magnuson (formerly Nelson) was named a 2015 "BTI Client Service All-Star" by BTI Consulting Group Inc. (BTI), February 2015.
- Daniel A. Trevino received the "Top Lawyers Under 40" Award for 2015 by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), February 2015.
- Jenny H. Wang was selected for the 2015 Fellows Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), February 2015.
- Elizabeth S. Baker received The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, January 2015.
- Barbara Fernandez was named as one of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida, October 2014.
- Barbara Fernandez was named as one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders, July 2014.
- Cheryl Wilke was named by South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ) as an influential businesswoman in July 2014. The title of influential businesswoman is reserved for those who have earned the trust of clients and colleagues through a firm establishment of one's practice and commitment. Previously, Ms. Wilke was selected as a recipient of SFBJ's 2014 Power Leaders in Law & Accounting in May 2014, and was also recognized with the 2014 International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology Client Choice Awards—USA & Canada—for Employment & Labor in Florida, April 2014.
- Elizabeth S. Baker was recognized by Florida Trend Magazine as a "Florida Legal Elite," one of the top 1.8 percent of Florida's 56,000 lawyers, July 2014.
- In 2013, Diane E. Webster was selected by her peers and named by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine as one of the top "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch."
- In 2013, Barbara Fernandez was selected as one of the Daily Business Review’s "Rising Stars," which recognizes South Florida lawyers aged 40 and under who have made a significant impact at their law firms on behalf of their clients and respective communities.
- In 2012, Wendy Wen Yun Chang was appointed moderator of the "Conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor" at the 2012 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) annual convention.
- In 2012, Barbara Fernandez was included in the South Florida Business Journal's 40 Under 40.
- In 2012, Diane E. Webster was named to Diversity MBA Magazine’s “2012 Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders” list.
- In 2012, Leslie Richards-Yellen was awarded the DePaul Black Law Students Association 2012 Mentorship Award.