Schulte Roth & Zabel is committed to promoting equal opportunity for all and to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment. By recognizing and celebrating our individuality and diverse backgrounds, we are able to foster a supportive and collaborative environment for all employees, raise awareness within our firm of important diversity issues and better meet our clients’ needs by providing a diverse range of perspectives.
SRZ’s Diversity Committee drives the firm’s diversity initiatives relating to the recruitment, retention, promotion and general career development of our attorneys. The Committee’s members include attorneys from throughout the firm and at all levels of seniority, as well as members of our Recruiting and Professional Development Departments.
The Committee meets monthly to ensure that the firm’s diversity initiatives continue to be successful through community building, education, outreach and recruiting.
Five affinity groups for African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, LGBT and women meet on a regular basis and provide members a forum to gather socially, network, mentor and discuss diversity-related work experiences.
- Women’s Affinity Group
Our Women’s Affinity Group is directed by a steering committee that includes women partners, special counsels and associates of various levels of seniority from different practice groups. The Affinity Group actively works to plan events for SRZ’s women attorneys. The group recently promoted a firmwide Dress for Success clothing drive benefitting disadvantaged women and sponsored two women to attend a Women in Law Leadership Academy.
- Women Partners Events
SRZ hosts events specifically for our women clients, including the annual Women Partners’ Dinner in New York and a Women’s Soiree in London, which provide valuable opportunities for our clients to network with our women partners and special counsel and build stronger communities among women.
The Diversity Committee is committed to educating all members of the firm by developing awareness of and fostering conversation around important diversity issues. The Committee has spearheaded lively and timely discussions covering topics including bullying and the law, and the legal issues and ethical considerations surrounding immigration reform. The Committee also sponsored coverage of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and a private screening of the film Selma for all attorneys at the firm that included a lunch to encourage continued conversation about the topics raised by the film.
Local Community Outreach — Service and Sponsorship
SRZ is committed to diversity initiatives not only within our firm, but also within our local community. We regularly partner with a variety of organizations that support our diversity goals.
- St. Jean Baptiste High School in Manhattan
The Diversity Committee recently partnered with New York Cares and the Legal and Compliance Division of a global financial institution to conduct a college readiness workshop at St. Jean Baptiste High School in Manhattan. Volunteers from both organizations met with students at the all-girls high school, many of whom are from less privileged families and attend the school on scholarship. The evening included one-on-one mock interviews, panel discussions on strategies and opportunities for obtaining financial aid, and small group sessions focused on college application essays.
- Legal Outreach Program
Our summer associates and members of the Diversity Committee host a college readiness workshop for high school students from the Legal Outreach Program and College for Every Student, non-profit organizations that partner with SRZ annually to offer intensive legal and education programs designed to prepare urban youth from underserved New York City communities to compete at the highest academic levels. In these programs, students spend a week at SRZ gaining exposure to various practice areas and attending various workshops organized by SRZ attorneys, who provide them with information on financial aid opportunities and conduct one-on-one mock interviews. The firm also continues to support The Opportunity Network by providing space for its educational programs for students in need.
- Pro Bono
We have a long history as a leader in pro bono initiatives and have worked with a number of diverse organizations, including the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families, the Columbia University Sexuality & Gender Project, the Harlem Success Academy, the Harlem School for the Arts, the HIV Law Project, Immigration Equality Inc., the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Opportunity Agenda and the Tanenbaum Center on Inter-Religious Tolerance.
SRZ is a signatory to the New York City Bar Association’s Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention. As part of that commitment, we have increased our efforts to hire minority lawyers by interviewing at a broader range of law schools and diversity job fairs.
Recruiting a broad range of candidates is key to our diversity initiatives. Each year, we visit a variety of law schools in order to meet a diverse group of law students. For example, we actively participate in several diversity-focused job fairs each year, including the Lavender Law Career Fair held during the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association’s Annual Conference, the Northeast Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Job Fair, the Harvard BLSA Job Fair and the LeGal Career Fair.
Our summer program includes social events that recognize the diversity of the lawyers at the firm. The Diversity Committee co-sponsors an annual summer cooking class event at the Institute of Culinary Education, and the women summer associates have a dedicated dinner with women partners where they discuss their work experiences in an intimate environment.
Summer associates are also encouraged to attend summer events throughout the city held by diversity-related organizations such as Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS), AALDEF and the ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project. The firm sponsors several of these receptions.