Diversity

“We strive to be an innovator and leader within the legal industry and our local communities when it comes to matters of diversity.”
– Rich Benenson, Managing Partner

Our diversity and inclusiveness programs reflect Brownstein’s core values of All In, Excellence, Respect and Giving Back. We have never needed to develop a business case for diversity; instead, we believe diversity uplifts our core values and makes us all better professionals and serves our clients’ best interests.

Our vision and values include fostering a firm culture where all talented lawyers, policy advisors and staff professionals—regardless of gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion or national origin—will flourish within the firm and our community. At Brownstein, this is more than lip service. In fact, our firm’s strategic plan includes concrete goals, objectives and tactics for cultivating a more diverse workforce as measured by our attorney and policy advisory recruitment and retention policies and practices; equity shareholder promotions and statistics; and leadership roles within the firm.

Awards & Recognition

Brownstein’s diversity and inclusion initiatives have received important external recognition of which we are extremely proud.

Demographics & Leadership

Brownstein’s core values reflect the fact that our diversity, unique backgrounds and life experiences make us a better firm and enable us to deliver unsurpassed legal expertise to navigate complex issues. This is reflected in the diversity of the firm’s leadership.

Committee on Diversity, Inclusion & Equity

The Committee on Diversity, Inclusion & Equity (CODIE) is the governing body for Brownstein’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Its top priority is ensuring that diverse talent is developed, retained and promoted into leadership positions. CODIE also coordinates the many firm initiatives and investments for celebrating and advancing our diverse talent firmwide. Lastly, CODIE strives to ensure that we have a full range of benefit programs and policies to support work/life flexibility and the needs of our diverse workforce.

Women’s Leadership Initiative

Brownstein’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) was launched in 2014 to foster greater connectivity amongst the women of the firm, provide additional professional development tools and training for women and advocate for greater opportunities for women in partnership and leadership positions. Its motto is “Empowered Women, Empower Women.” Reflecting on its five years of progress, the following are just a few of WLI’s many accomplishments:

Mansfield Rule Certification - Brownstein achieved Mansfield Certification in 2018 and 2019. Modeled after the “Rooney Rule,” the Mansfield Rule measures whether firms have considered women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions. We have furthered our commitment by signing on to pilot the Mansfield Rule 3.0 in 2020 which includes attorneys with disabilities in addition to women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+ lawyers. Our Mansfield certification is the direct result of the WLI efforts.

Mentoring and Connecting - Programs include office specific, cross-departmental group mentoring circle meetings; female associate lunch ‘n learns; WC3 Program: Women Conversing, Collaborating and Cross-Selling for female shareholders; and the Working Parents Network.

Professional and Business Development - Launched the ‘Daunting to Doable’ business development coaching program focused on expanding the group of female rainmakers and hosted numerous training programs on unconscious bias, silencing, leadership, negotiation, self-advocacy and more.

Policy Changes and Enhanced Benefits - Implemented “Transitions Matter” programs (ramp-up/ramp-down reduced hours policies, alternative work schedule policy, Mindful Return and Milk Stork programs); gender neutral, enhanced parental leave policies; and Bright Horizons Emergency Back-up Care program.

Networking and Community Engagement - Host biannual WLI Retreat and annual WLI networking events; the H2O Women Conference; and annual WLI Dress for Success clothing drive.

Cultural Awareness Initiative

The Committee on Diversity, Inclusion & Equity (CODIE) implemented a program to bring greater awareness to and appreciation of the many diverse cultures, histories and traditions of our employees. Brownstein’s Cultural Awareness Initiative honors and institutionalizes the following cultural celebrations in each of our offices:

Hispanic Heritage Month

Black History Month

Women’s History Month

Jewish History Month

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Pride Month

    Recruitment Initiatives

    One of the greatest challenges for law firms is recruiting diverse professionals. Brownstein engages in a variety of outreach efforts to increase our recruitment of diverse lawyers and policy professionals. These efforts are targeted towards both lateral recruitment and on-campus recruiting. The Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program facilitates at least one first year diverse law student to participate in our summer associate program. A similar program through William S. Boyd School of Law is deployed in Nevada, where a second-year diverse law student interns for the spring semester. 

    Retention & Advancement Initiatives

    Brownstein devotes substantial energy and resources to the development and advancement of all of our people, including these programs that benefit our working parents and new mothers.

    • Parental Leave Policy that provides paid parental leave without distinction based on gender or primary/secondary caregiver status.
    • Parental Leave Transition Support which includes ramp-down and ramp-up periods for expectant and new parents, and free express delivery of breast milk so that nursing mothers can send milk home when they must travel for work.
    • Reduced Hours Program offers alternative work schedules for those who prefer to work a reduced or alternative schedule.
    • FlexCommute Policy that provides the flexibility, based on position, to work remotely on a regular basis.
    • Working Parents Network through Bright Horizons

    Our professional development and mentoring programs support the advancement of diverse attorneys and policy professionals. Brownstein has a diversity and inclusion training series that includes both mandatory and elective training on understanding micro-inequities, implicit bias, effective mentoring for diverse associates and sponsorship engagement. 

    Brownstein is a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, which demonstrates our commitment to retaining top talent, strengthening organizational culture and enhancing performance through diversity and flexibility.

    Sponsorships & Partnerships

    We support many women, minority and LGBTQ organizations that provide networking, development and business development opportunities. Just a sample of our sponsorships and memberships include:

     

    Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado

    Association of Women in Water, Energy & Environment

    California Legislative Black Caucus

    California Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation

    California Women in Energy

    Center for Legal Inclusiveness

    Colorado Hispanic Bar

    Colorado LGBT Bar Association

    Colorado Pledge to Diversity

    Colorado Women’s Bar Association

    Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce

    Commercial Real Estate Women

    Diversity Lab - Mansfield Rule 3.0

    Equality California

    Global Gaming Women

    Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

    LGBTQ Victory Institute

    Mexican American Business and Professional Association

    National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

    National LGBT Bar Association

    San Diego LGBT Community Center

      Vendor Diversity

      We believe that good corporate citizenship includes supporting vendors who are equally committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Our Business Leadership Team, who makes firm purchasing decisions, strives to expand business with diverse suppliers and those who support diversity in the communities in which we live and work. Purchasing decisions are made after considering the diversity of the account team serving Brownstein and the vendor’s level of commitment to diversity in its workplace.