Dinsmore Selects Four Summer Associates to Attend National Summit on Legal Diversity

May 24, 2017News Releases

Today, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP announced the names of four summer associates who will be attending this week’s 2017 1L Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars Summit in Philadelphia. LCLD is an organization of more than 265 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to creating a diverse U.S. legal profession.

The LCLD Scholars Summit consists of panel discussions, distinguished speakers and networking opportunities for diverse first-year law students. It was started in 2011 by Sandra Leung, General Counsel of Bristol-Myers Squibb. The program has put hundreds of young attorneys on a path to leadership through law school.

Dinsmore’s Diversity Committee Chair Marty Dunn said the four scholars selected will have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and be a leading voice on the importance of diversity in the legal community.

“We strive for multiple perspectives in our firm and among our summer associates,” said Dunn. “Diverse voices and worldviews ensure we are providing our clients with comprehensive counsel from varying viewpoints, which is critical in an ever-changing business climate. We’re sending some of the best young talent to this year’s Scholars Summit and look forward to the contributions they will make at Dinsmore.”

The four selected scholars include:

Danielle Cortez
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Leon A. Hampton
University of Cincinnati College of Law

Kelly N. King - Procter & Gamble/Dinsmore Diversity Fellow
Washington University School of Law

Tarah K. Remy
Salmon P. Chase College of Law

After the summit, which ends Thursday, all four scholars will join Dinsmore’s Summer Associate Program. The 2017 class of summer associates is the firm’s most diverse since it began the program, with 12 of the 29 (41%) summer associates representing traditionally underrepresented groups firm-wide, including eight of the 15 summer associates in Dinsmore’s Cincinnati office. The new summer associates start this week across nine locations: Charleston, W.V.; Chicago; Cincinnati, Columbus; Detroit; Huntington, W.V.; Louisville; Morgantown, W.V.; and Pittsburgh.

Diversity continues to be an area in need of improvement across the legal profession. Earlier this year, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) published its NALP 2016 Report on Diversity based on data collected for the 2016-2017 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE). The report revealed the overall percentage of women associates has decreased more often than not since 2009, and the percentage of Black/African-American associates has declined every year since 2009, except for a small increase in 2016. Representation of Black/ African-Americans among partners stands at 1.81 percent today, and the percentage of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) attorneys stands at 2.48%, according to the report.

In recognition of this disparity, Dinsmore has hired several students from external and internal interview programs designed to encourage minority hiring. Dinsmore also provides diversity scholarships for summer associates in addition to their weekly salaries. For certain students, the firm encourages retention by making early decisions on offers of permanent employment.

Dinsmore Recruiting Co-Chair Alan Abes said finding the best lawyers requires interviewing and hiring people of all backgrounds, and understanding the life experiences and perspectives they bring with them.

“We want the best lawyers,” Abes said. “Becoming materially more diverse will never happen by sitting back and hoping for the best. We look aggressively for promising lawyers wherever we can find them, and do not let timidity stand in the way of making offers, both for summer associates and for permanent associate positions.”