Valuing All of Our Team Members
Segal Cambridge attorneys and staff represent the rich spectrum of diversity of skin color, gender, country of birth, sexual orientation and other factors that collectively make us human.
This diversity guides one of our core principles: We value everyone for who they are as a person. We are adamant in viewing one’s uniqueness as an asset rather than a limitation and insist that colleagues bring their complete selves to our team.
In the broader conversation around diversity, equity and inclusion, we readily acknowledge that the legal profession has historically lagged private industry and the community at large.
Fortunately, the legal profession is changing for the better, and Segal McCambridge is earnestly engaged in implementing this change. This includes providing 25 billable hours’ credit for DE&I-related work, whether it be training in inclusivity or promoting social justice within the community at large.
The firm has an extremely active Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee that formulates and shepherds our key initiatives relating to DE&I, such as:
The firm conducts various educational programs, including mandatory annual training, specialized seminars, workshops and lectures on issues pertaining to inclusivity, cognitive bias and related matters. We regularly invite presentations by DE&I thought leaders and trainers with the goal of ensuring that Segal McCambridge is welcoming and inclusive toward all team members, clients and members of the community.
We believe professional mentorship is critical to our firm, our clients and the associates receiving such mentorship. Mentoring facilitates associates’ development of professional skills and helps our mentors better understand the lived experiences of our associates.
To that end, we have a structured, formal mentorship program that includes all associates, with nearly half of mentors being from marginalized communities themselves.
The program serves to develop talented lawyers of all backgrounds for future professional opportunities and highlights the benefits and obligations attendant to working at Segal McCambridge. As a whole, the firm’s mentorship experience speaks to inclusion and builds respect, trust, community and friendship.
In addition to our mentorship program, in 2020 we launched Forward Together, a specialized mentorship initiative for female associates. Female associates across the firm are paired with a female shareholder mentor from a different office. Throughout the year, mentors and mentees meet to discuss associates’ career goals and outline steps to achieve them.
This mentorship provides female associates with access to shareholders nationally and creates shareholder advocates who are invested in the advancement of qualified female associates.
Forward Together includes education, networking and marketing programing designed to provide female associates with tools for advancement. Examples of recent programming include presentations on gender bias, the path to partnership at Segal McCambridge and financial planning for associates.
The firm’s New York office participates in the Thurgood Marshall Diversity Pipeline Initiative, which involves sponsoring high school students from diverse communities for summer internships. The program pays students to intern and provides them with opportunities to experience aspects of being a lawyer or legal support colleague, including attending court hearings, depositions and assisting in trial preparation.
We are proud that many of our interns go on to receive a college education with a plan to enter the legal profession. One intern returned to work for Segal McCambridge while attending college.
Segal McCambridge is actively involved in pro bono and public service initiatives addressing issues of justice and equality.
We proudly support many organizations that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession and in society, including:
- Law Firm Antiracism Alliance
- DRI Diversity for Success programs
- National Black Lawyers
- D&I Committees of the New York City Bar Association and Oakland County Bar Association
- Thomson Reuters Progressive Pathways
- Wayne State University Black Alumni Council
- Perrin’s Diversity & Inclusion Conference
- Black Women Lawyers’ Association
- Cook County Illinois Minority Job Fair
Click here for more on the firm’s pro bono and public service work.
In 2021, the firm began working with Ellie Krug, the only transgender lawyer turned diversity consultant and trainer in the country, who has helped refine and implement the firm’s diversity and inclusion roadmap.
Pronoun Designation Policy
The firm has adopted a pronoun designation policy for email signature blocks, a signal of our strong support for transgender and nonbinary-identifying persons.
In sum, Segal McCambridge is moving toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization at all levels.
DEI Mission Statement
Segal McCambridge is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion that provides opportunities to all our team members and empowers them to be their best whole person, professionally and personally.
We also seek to maintain a strong organization that effectively represents the interests of our clients, who also reflect the rich diversity of their organizations and communities, and we endeavor to hire, develop, retain and promote talent to ensure the firm remains a DE&I leader within the profession and community at large.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, comprising shareholders, associates and professional support colleagues, works to ensure that the firm is focused on DE&I goals and objectives. In particular, the committee works to:
- Ensure enriching and impactful DE&I training and education
- Recruit, retain and promote team members who are reflective of the greater community
- Continually encourage a culture of inclusion that values all team members
- Identify professional and community DE&I opportunities for personal growth
- Foster a connection between professional development and pro bono work, particularly work that helps people from marginalized communities
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Members
- Madina Axelrod, Co-chair, New York
- Kenneth Williams, Co-chair, Detroit
- Carmen Cartaya, Fort Lauderdale
- Jill Felkins, Chicago
- Nancy Ferguson, Chicago
- Joseph Moore III, Chicago
- Cameron Turner, Fort Lauderdale
- Carla Varriale-Barker, New York
- Stephanie Burnstein, Detroit
- Matt Frederick, New York