Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck's strategy to pursuing diversity and inclusiveness begins with a Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee that ensures our efforts in this area are broad and effective.

We believe that the unique backgrounds, life experiences and world views of our attorneys and staff make us a better and more competitive firm in today’s marketplace. We recruit people from varied backgrounds, races, genders, religions, sexual orientations and national origins, both as a matter of business and because we believe in advancing diversity and inclusiveness in the legal community.

Our Gender Diversity Task Force is committed to identifying ways to enhance the diversity of our firm at all levels and across all offices. The Task Force led the charge in Brownstein’s commitment to and success in achieving the inaugural version of Mansfield Rule Certification in 2018, which recognizes our commitment to leading the charge toward greater diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. The Mansfield Rule measures whether participating law firms and corporate legal departments have affirmatively considered women and attorneys of color—at least 30 percent of the candidate pool—for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions. Brownstein has also achieved Mansfield Rule Certification in 2019, which includes LGBTQ+ lawyers in addition to women and attorneys of color. Created by the Diversity Lab, the Mansfield Program is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States.  

As an example, our firm offers a Women’s Leadership Initiative, a firmwide program that seeks to develop women attorneys and policy professionals within the firm into leaders in their respective practice groups by means of mentoring circles, presentations and the firm’s biennial Leadership Forum for Women.

We also participate in the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program, in which we invite a first-year law student from a diverse background to participate in our summer associate program. We participate in a similar program in Nevada, where we invite a second-year law student from a diverse background to work in our office.

As a firm, we also support local and national efforts. We are a proud partner of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI), a nonprofit organization that seeks to transform the entire profession by supporting private and public legal organizations in their efforts at inclusiveness. This campaign provides concrete how-to guides for organizations in addition to a safe forum in which law firms and corporate legal departments can brainstorm together about how to create an inclusive firm culture. As a member of CLI, we have honest conversations about what is working and what isn’t and address the tough issues with other member firms.

Our efforts in diversity and inclusiveness have been recognized locally and nationally. The American Lawyer recently released its Am Law 200 rankings and within its rankings, the publication ranked law firms by percentage of female equity partners. Brownstein ranked  No. 5 in the country due to the fact that women make up 28 percent of our firm’s equity shareholders. In 2016, Brownstein was ranked No. 28 on the National Law Journal’s Women in Law Scorecard, and Law360 ranked Brownstein in the top 50 of the 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys based on the firm's female representation at the partner and non-partner levels and its total number of female attorneys.

Brownstein was ranked No. 50 on the list of Top 100 Law Firms for Women and No. 11 on the list of Top 25 Law Firms for Native Americans in 2011. And in both 2011 and 2010, the firm was ranked in the MultiCultural Law Magazine’s Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity.

In 2010, Brownstein received the Qwest Diversity Leadership Award, presented annually by the Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the Colorado Bar and Denver Bar associations, and in 2008, we were selected as Qwest’s Spirit of Diversity Partner for the firm’s efforts in creating a diverse workforce. Brownstein was also ranked No. 132 on the Minority Law Journal’s 2009 Diversity Scorecard, and No. 13 in The American Lawyer’s first Women in Law Firms study in 2009. 

Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee Members
Women’s Leadership Initiative

In May 2014, the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) was created to formalize the mentoring and professional development that occurs amongst female attorneys and policy professionals at Brownstein. Specifically, the WLI seeks to develop women attorneys and policy professionals into leaders in their respective practice groups, the firm, the communities in which they live and the larger legal and lobbying professions and create and strengthen the network of support and collaboration amongst female attorneys and policy professionals at Brownstein.

Recently, WLI Co-chairs Nicole Ament and Ali Metzl coordinated with Dress for Success to use clothing collected during the firm-wide April clothing drive to provide a makeover for one of Dress for Success's Denver clients. Co-Managing Partner Ellen Schulhofer spoke with the Denver Business Journal about balancing her legal career with her personal life and described the women she works with at Brownstein as “some of the most talented women I have ever met.” The same publication also featured Nicole and Ali discussing the firm’s initiative. Additionally, the National Law Journal ranked Brownstein #28 on its list of Best Places For Women. 

The WLI programming primarily involves three components:

  • “Mentoring Circles” – The mentoring circles are comprised of small groups of female attorneys and policy professionals spanning seniority levels and practice groups on an office-by-office or regional basis, which meet every other month to discuss an article or topic relating to issues facing female attorneys and policy professionals today.
  • Firmwide Presentations – The WLI hosts firm-wide presentations, incorporating outside advisors or speakers, to facilitate discussion or provide additional training and insight into issues or topics that our female attorneys and policy professionals face.
  • Leadership Forum for Women – The WLI is the primary resource for planning and hosting the biennial women’s seminar, which is typically held in conjunction with the firmwide retreat. 

WLI Steering Committee
Nicole Ament (co-chair)
Ali Metzl (co-chair)
Lara Day
Martha Fitzgerald
Martine Wells
Kinny Bagga
Erin Elliott
Laura Bielinski Langberg
Stephanie Hastings
Lisa Hogan

WLI Advisory Board
Elizabeth Paulsen
Ellen Schulhofer
Ana Tenzer
Carolynne White
Jen Eiteljorg

Gender Diversity Task Force