Schulte 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.
The firm’s Diversity Committee includes lawyers 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.
The firm currently has five Affinity Groups: Asian-American, Black, Latino, LGBT and Women. The groups, which meet on a regular basis, provide members with a forum in which to gather socially, network, mentor and discuss diversity-related work experiences. We also have a parents group to provide a space in which our attorneys can discuss issues and concerns that may be unique to working parents.
Women’s Affinity Group
Our Women’s Affinity Group is directed by a steering committee that includes women partners, special counsel and associates of various levels of seniority from practice groups across the firm. The group actively works to plan events for the firm’s women attorneys. This summer we sponsored a lunch for all women attorneys that was catered entirely by women-owned and women-run kitchens. Each year, the group promotes a firm-wide Dress for Success clothing drive benefitting disadvantaged women.
Women Partners Events
The firm 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 lawyers at the firm that included a lunch to encourage continued conversation about the topics raised by the film.
Local Community Outreach — Service and Sponsorship
Schulte 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.
Legal Outreach Program
Each year, 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 Schulte 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 the firm, gaining exposure to various practice areas and attending various workshops organized by firm lawyers, 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.
We have a long history as a leader in pro bono initiatives and have worked with a number of diverse organizations, including Partners In Health (providing health care in countries such as Haiti, Peru and Rwanda), the Innocence Project (working to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals using DNA testing), 100 Women in Finance (participating in educational programming and philanthropic endeavors), Hedge Funds Care (raising money to support abused children), Sanctuary for Families (defending battered women), Human Rights First (helping to protect human rights) and the Tanenbaum Center on Interreligious Tolerance (providing practical programs to combat religious discrimination).
Schulte 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, as well as partner with a number of diverse student organizations. 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 and the firm’s affinity groups host a variety of summer program activities, and the women summer associates have a dedicated event 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 also sponsors several of these receptions.