Diversity is a vital component of our firm's culture, identity, strategic vision and well-being. A commitment to diversity fosters equal opportunity, respects the dignity of every employee, creates an open, positive and satisfying work environment, and promotes the highest standards and ideals of our legal system. By embracing diversity, we enhance our ability to serve and respond to our clients, fulfill our obligations as members of the bar, and cultivate opportunity and professional development on an inclusive basis.
Much Shelist defines the elements of diversity broadly to include race, color, gender, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability status and veteran status, as well as differences of personal history, lifestyle, work habits and other individual characteristics.
The firm strives for a work environment in which every individual is respected, supported and rewarded on the basis of personal achievement and contribution. We encourage attorneys and staff to recognize the value of diversity in achieving such an environment.
The firm's Diversity Committee is charged with putting our commitment to diversity into practice. We further promote diversity within the firm and in our communities by:
- Conducting ongoing evaluations of the firm's hiring processes, including policies, procedures and firm communications, to ensure that objectives of equal employment opportunity are followed
- Participating in the Chicago Bar Association's Call To Action, which fosters the advancement of women attorneys into leadership positions within their firms
- Encouraging attorneys and staff to support professional, civic and community organizations that advance the interests of those who are underrepresented in the legal community and the community at large
Much Shelist Women's Roundtable
The Much Shelist Women’s Roundtable is dedicated to the support and development of our female attorneys. Led by its facilitator, principal Sheryl Jaffee Halpern, the group holds regular meetings and events designed to build and strengthen relationships with clients, trusted advisors, and colleagues within the firm. The Roundtable also supports marketing and business generation efforts; fosters leadership development; and mentors up-and-coming associates and apprentices. The group’s mission is to:
- Provide a supportive forum to discuss issues facing female attorneys;
- Create and implement ideas and programs designed to improve the recruitment, retention, professional development, promotion, and work-life harmony of the firm's female attorneys;
- Encourage more experienced attorneys to mentor the firm’s female associates and apprentices; and
- Support and enhance the business generation efforts of the firm's female attorneys.
In addition, Much Shelist is a founding member of the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms and encourages membership and participation in other women's organizations such as the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI).
Through the efforts of the Women's Roundtable and other diversity-focused programs, Much Shelist continues to seek new ways to maintain a dynamic work environment that is inclusive and rewarding for all personnel.