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.
Results Oriented Commitment
Hinshaw has a longstanding 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 77 lawyers in the firm are diverse, and 14% of those attorneys are minorities and 2% are LGBT
- Approximately 153 female lawyers practice with our firm
- Female partners serve as partner-in-charge of seven of Hinshaw's 23 offices: Belleville (Dawn A. Sallerson), Boston (CharCretia V. Di Bartolo), Edwardsville (Dawn A. Sallerson), Fort Lauderdale (Cheryl Wilke), Schererville (Renee J. Mortimer), Rockford (Penelope M. Lechtenberg) and St. Louis (Terese A. Drew)
- Robert J. Romero, a minority partner, serves as partner-in-charge of Hinshaw's San Francisco office
- Five female partners: Marissa I. Delinks (Professional Lines) and Terese A. Drew (Personal Injury & Property Damage), Duana J. Grage (Insurance Services), Marcia L. Mueller (Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation) and Allison D. Rhodes (Lawyers Professional Responsibility/Risk Management) chair or co-chair national practice groups
- Three female partners: Bethany K. Culp (Minneapolis), Renee J. Mortimer (Schererville) and Cheryl Wilke (Fort Lauderdale) serve as Department Business Development Partners
- 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 20 different languages.
We are proud to say that our firm has been recognized by prominent organizations as a recipient of awards and honors. This year, the firm received the following awards and ratings:
- Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC’s) Corporate Equality Index (CEI): For the fifth year in a row, 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.” Only 81 of the 145 law firms who participated in the HRC's CEI received a 100% HRC rating.
- 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:
- 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 (Chairs: Wendy Wen Yun Chang, Jason J. Kim and William Yu)
- Black Attorney Affinity Network (Chairs: Montel Gayles and Khardeen Shilingford)
- LGBT Affinity Network (Chair: Todd M. Young)
- Hispanic/Latino Attorney Network (Chairs: Ronald Pena, Richard B. Polony and Allison Rhodes)
- Women Attorneys Network (Chair: Laurie S. Randolph)
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.
- Sergio E. Acosta: Board Member for the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois; Board Member for the Leadership Greater Chicago.
- Avanti Bakane: Co-Vice President of Events for the Indian American Bar Association (IABA).
- Jennifer M. Ballard: Board Member and Continuing Director for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
- Yvette M. Boutaugh: Board Member for the St. Louis County Bar Executive Committee.
- Stacy Campbell-Viamontes: President of the Center for Disability and Elder Law, Young Professionals Board.
- Paula-Lee Chambers: Co-Chair of the Women's Involvement Subcommittee for the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the TIPS Practice Section of the American Bar Association.
- Wendy Wen Yun Chang: Co-Chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Judiciary Committee.
- Barbara Fernandez: President of the Dade County Defense Bar Association.
- Daniel A. Garcia: Deputy President for the Hispanic National Bar Association Broward County, Florida.
- Raylene DeWitte Grischow: Communications Director and President of the Sangamon County Bar Association.
- Terese A. Drew: President of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
- Nabil G. Foster: Board Member for Minority Legal Resources, Inc.
- Jennifer K. Gust: Board Member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC); Board Member for the Coalition for Women's Initiatives on Law; Co-Chair of the Coalition for Women's Initiatives on Law, Leadership Forum Committee.
- Sherry L. Harlan: Board Member of the Winnebago County Bar Foundation.
- Corinne C. Heggie: Director for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
- John Mark Hongs: President of the Missouri Asian American Bar Association.
- Cecilia A. Horan: Board Member for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago.
- Penelope M. Lechtenberg: Board Member for the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
- William M. Lopez: Board Member for The Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago; Director on the Board of Equality Illinois.
- Daniel L. ("DL") Morriss: Board Member for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boys and Girls Club.
- Concepcion A. Montoya: Co-Chair of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Litigation Committee.
- Yvonne C. Ocrant: Chair of the American Bar Association Equine Law Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section.
- Jessica D. Osborne: Board Member for the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association.
- Ronald Pena: Trustee for the Dade County Defense Bar Association.
- Untress L. Quinn: Board Member for the Illinois Center for Autism.
- Anne O’Niell: Chair of the San Francisco Bar Association Senior Lawyers Section.
- Starr M. Rayford: Vice-Chair for the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Young Lawyers Division.
- Linnea L. Schramm: Board Member for the University of Florida Alumni Association.
- Leslie Richards-Yellen: Treasurer for the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL); Chair of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms.
- Daniel A. Trevino: Officer and Board Member for the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI).
- Diane E. Webster: Chair of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) Chicago’s Corporate Advisory Board.
- William Yu: Board Member of the International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL) Overseas Board of Governors for the U.S. Central Region.
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.
Recently, female members of the firm have received the following designations:
- 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," 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, September 2013.
- Stacy Campbell-Viamontes received the Illinois State Bar Association Diversity Leadership Award in June of 2013.
- Dayna E. Underhill was elected to sit on the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates (HOD), by a majority vote of the membership of the Oregon State Bar on April 15, 2013.
Other mentions in the last several years include:
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, Stacy Campbell-Viamontes was selected to Just The Beginning Foundation’s 20 Under 40 List.
- 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, Benchmark Litigation named Beth K. Culp as one of its “Top 250 Women in Litigation" in 2012.
- In 2012, Leslie Richards-Yellen was awarded the DePaul Black Law Students Association 2012 Mentorship Award.
- In 2010, Montel M. Gayles was awarded the Chicago Defender "Men of Excellence"
- In 2010, Leslie Richards-Yellen was awarded the Cook County Bar Association’s President’s Award
- In 2010, Leslie Richards-Yellen was awarded Chicago Defender “Woman of Excellence” Award
- In 2010, Leslie Richards-Yellen was awarded the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago Helping Hand Award
- In June 2009, DiversityMBA Magazine named Jennifer M. Ballard to the “Emerging Leader” section of its “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders” list
- In 2009, Wendy Wen Yun Chang was honored by NAPABA as one of its “Best Lawyers Under 40”
- In 2009, Wendy Wen Yun Chang was the recipient of NAPABA's Presidential Award
- In June 2009, Carlos A. Ortiz was selected by the Wisconsin Law Journalas an “Up and Coming Lawyer”
- In November 2008, Robert J. Romero was featured in the Diversity & The Bar publication of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association as one of 16 “leading law firm rainmakers” nationally.
- In 2008, Untress L. Quinn was awarded the 54th Annual NAACP’s Freedom Fund Award for Excellence in Law
- In 2008, Leslie Richards-Yellen was awarded the Cook County Bar Association’s President’s Award in 2008 for her work with the first-year minority law students’ reception.
- In 2008, Sergio E. Acosta became the Recipient of the Chicago Bar Foundation Richard J. Phelan Public Service Award
- In 2007, William Yu was honored by NAPABA as one of its “Best Lawyers Under 40”
- In 2007, Joel D. Bertocchi received the Helping Hand Award from the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago