Spilman will never stop striving to achieve a more diverse workplace. The pursuit of diversity is not merely the right thing to do; we know that diverse teams produce greater results. When it comes to diversity, our philosophy is that there is no finish line.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
At Spilman Thomas & Battle, we foster a professional environment that enables individuals from different backgrounds to grow to their full potential. Our ability to draw from our diverse workforce creates competent, innovative, solution-oriented teams that serve our clients' needs and seek the best outcomes. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is reflected in our efforts to recruit, retain, and invest in our talent as we continue to strengthen our firm so people of all backgrounds regardless of race, color, national origin, age, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or transgender status), religion, veteran status, disability, and socio-economic status are welcomed and supported. At Spilman, expect different.
We believe that offering competent, innovative, client-focused solutions is best achieved by a legal team comprised of diverse talent, competencies, experiences, and backgrounds. Spilman is committed to recruiting, retaining, and investing in our workforce to meet these goals.
We are committed to fostering an environment where people of all backgrounds regardless of race, color, national origin, age, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or transgender status), religion, veteran status, disability, and socio-economic status are welcomed, supported, and advanced based upon their commitment and contributions to the firm. To that end, we implemented a DEI Plan that includes training, mentoring, and networking opportunities designed to identify bias, to eliminate obstacles to individual success, and to foster an environment where everyone can excel to their full potential.
Led by our DEI Committee, we are actively engaged in outreach to diverse communities through involvement and partnership with organizations that share our commitment to advancing equality within the legal profession, within our communities, and within society.
Our commitment to DEI is further evidenced by our membership in the following organizations.
The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
(LCLD) is an organization of more than 400 members, each of whom serves as either general counsel of major corporations or managing partners of the nation’s leading law firms. As part of our membership in the LCLD, Spilman has committed to be a leader in championing DEI measures.
Spilman is pursuing Mansfield Rule certification
in 2023. The Mansfield Rule requires participating law firms to commit to consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers — women, racial and ethnic minority lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities — for a variety of leadership roles and roles that lead to membership and leadership positions. Law firms receiving the Mansfield Rule certification demonstrate a commitment to diversity in their partnership and leadership.
Spilman also has joined the Minority Corporate Counsel Association
(MCCA), a nearly 25-year-old organization that champions the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in corporate law departments and law firms. Membership in the MCCA provides critical resources to strengthen and implement the initiatives in Spilman’s DEI Plan.
SUPPORTING DIVERSITY IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW
Spilman is dedicated to supporting diversity in the practice of law. That support has been demonstrated in various forms, including financial support of minority scholarships, bar dues, job fairs, seminars, mentoring programs and research projects. We are involved with several law school minority hiring programs. We also have hired local minority high school students as summer interns to encourage them to attend college and, ultimately, law school.
In addition to the mentoring all associates receive at Spilman, the firm has connected diverse associates with successful professionals outside the firm who share the same status. It is our goal to assist our minority lawyers in adjusting to professional life and provide them with networking opportunities.
In furtherance of our commitment to diversity, Spilman historically has supported the following initiatives with monetary support, participation or leadership:
Scholarships earmarked for minorities and women
Internships earmarked for minorities and women
MAGNET research study on regional diversity by Charleston Area Alliance
The Hispanic National Bar Association
The National Black Law Student Association
The Diversity Law Institute
SUPPORTING DIVERSE WORK ARRANGEMENTS IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW
We recognize and accommodate diversity of work style to support our personnel in pursuit of work-life balance. On many occasions our firm has allowed and even encouraged Spilman attorneys to scale back to part-time or independent contractor status with proportional pay and proportional benefits. This “win-win” arrangement is beneficial not only to the individual attorney, but also to the firm and to clients. Such flexible arrangements enable talented attorneys to tailor their workload in ways that allow them to balance the demands of work and family (or life outside work). These attorneys are welcome to return to the firm, as full-time or part-time attorneys, whenever they wish to do so.
Finally, we believe it is noteworthy to mention that Spilman “re-engineered” its career progression model a few years ago, abolishing the typical “up or out” career track paradigm. As part of our Associate Development Program, the firm allows diverse attorneys to choose from a variety of practicing roles/statuses to balance professional expectations and demands with individual preferences and lifestyle needs.
DEI SUPPORT IN OUR COMMUNITIES
We are proud to support the University of Charleston's Enlightened Living Days, held each year to coincide with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The event celebrates the university's mission of educating each student for a life of productive work, enlightened living and community involvement. Students take part in several activities during the day, including diversity conversations and breakout sessions on mindfulness, enrichment, diversity, race, religion, and other topics. Over the three days, the campus community will have access to panel discussions, keynote addresses, and films – rich content stressing important topics like mental health, societal privilege, justice, access to health care resources, implicit bias, and civil community engagement.
Also in partnership with the University of Charleston, Spilman sponsors and serves as mentors during the university's i3 event, a weeks-long event wherein students develop, build a business plan for, and make a judged presentation about an idea that is capable of being launched and monetized. The category Spilman's resources are devoted to is centered around developing important public initiatives geared toward improving social justice, access to healthcare, and/or race relations.