Jenner & Block

Our Diversity & Inclusion

Jenner & Block works to promote diversity and inclusion within the firm, the profession, the community and society. Our actions reflect our deep-seated commitment to equality and social justice, as well as our belief that diverse teams arrive at better and more creative legal solutions. In keeping with our core values, we expect every individual in the firm to take personal responsibility for supporting diversity and fostering an inclusive environment. We are proud of the recognition our efforts have received and the societal impact of the legal matters our lawyers have handled.

Within the Firm
We recognize that a diverse team of lawyers is essential to our ability to provide our clients with the best possible legal services. We focus on hiring and developing lawyers who reflect the multiplicity of cultures, genders, ethnic background and viewpoints represented in an increasingly global economy. We also work hard to create an environment where everyone feels included, respected and able to contribute fully. The result is broader perspectives, better ideas and more creative solutions for our clients, as well as a supportive and collegial working environment for our people.

We have a variety of policies and support structures in place to promote and maintain the diversity of our legal and non-legal personnel and maintain our inclusive environment.  Our efforts are guided by our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which has existed at the firm for more than 20 years.  The D&I Committee is supported by an Associate Board that consists of associates appointed from throughout the firm. The D&I Committee and the Associate Board work together on projects and initiatives designed to promote diversity and maintain our inclusive environment.

Read more about firm activities that support gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity and LGBT diversity.

Within the Profession and Community
Jenner & Block provides leadership, sponsorship and financial support to various bar associations and organizations focused on promoting diversity within the legal profession. Examples include: the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia and Illinois, the Asian American Bar Association, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and the Hispanic Bar Association, to name a few. We also support and participate in conferences, such as the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association’s Lavender Law annual conference, National Bar Association Commercial Litigation conference, American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Awards and North American South Asian Bar Association conference.

In addition, many members of the firm serve in leadership positions in professional organizations whose missions involve the pursuit of equality and diversity in the legal profession.  Partner E. Lynn Grayson served as co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women, was a past chairperson of the Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Women in the Law, and was the co-editor of the Women in the Law newsletter. Lynn also served on the board of directors for the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations and was a founding member of the Chicago Women's Coalition of Law Firms. Partner Terri Mascherin is a past president of the Chicago Bar Association.

Jenner & Block also works with schools and other organizations to build a diverse “pipeline” of students interested in the legal profession. We sponsor a variety of scholarships at the law school and college level for minority students. We also sponsor and actively participate in numerous diversity-related programs and events at law schools around the country. Lawyers in all offices also volunteer with a variety of programs that introduce elementary school and high school students to law and the legal profession.  

Within Society
Jenner & Block lawyers also demonstrate their belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion through their work on a variety of legal matters, many with far-reaching impact. We are proud to have played an active role in major cases such as:

  • Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger – Relying in part of Jenner & Block’s amicus brief on behalf of 65 corporations, the Court upheld University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action admissions policy.
  • Fair Housing Class Actions – We helped obtain significant relief against racial discrimination in housing in Illinois, Baltimore and Miami.
  • Lawrence v. Texas – Jenner & Block was co-lead counsel with Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund in a civil rights decision overturning a Texas anti-sodomy law.  This decision is widely considered the most important gay rights decision in a generation.
  • The firm has advocated against the Defense of Marriage Act in state and federal court.

Human Rights Campaign
100% Rating, Corporate Equality Index – 2005-2015
Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Award – 2008


2016



2016

Diversity and Inclusion Publications
Focus on Diversity
Women in Focus
LGBT Community Service



Please click here to read "LGBT Diversity at Jenner & Block"

"LGBT Diversity at Jenner & Block"