Diversity is one of Christian & Small’s core values. We believe that diversity in backgrounds, experiences and ideas enriches our lives and enhances the quality of all aspects of the work performed by the firm.
To this end, Christian & Small is intentional in taking a lead role in diversity driven organizations and associations to learn and share best practices in talent development, to build collaborative relationships with businesses and educational institutions and to look to the future to identify and tackle challenges in diversity and inclusion.
Christian & Small is the first Alabama-based firm to join the prestigious Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD). Formed in 2009 to advance diversity in the legal profession, the LCLD is an organization of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to a truly diverse profession.
Deborah Alley Smith and Ken Simon attended LCLD’s First Annual Membership Meeting in October, 2010 and have attended every annual meeting since. Each year, LCLD focuses on a different aspect of diversity and inclusion and goes beyond discussions of race to include diversity of faith, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, and the need for flexibility for caregivers. Debbie currently serves on the Talent Development Committee, one of four strategic committees formed at the first LCLD meeting in 2010.
Mike Vercher and Jon Macklem are graduates of the LCLD Fellow’s Program and Muhammad Abdullah is a current LCLD Fellow. The LCLD’s Fellows Program is intended to increase diversity in the legal profession by producing attorneys with strong leadership and networking skills who enjoy relationships with industry leaders — and who are committed to fostering diversity within their individual institutions and the legal profession as a whole. The program has several components, including three in-person conferences throughout the year and small group projects focused on an actual legal problem within an organization.
The Firm also recognizes the need to provide opportunities for diverse lawyers. Christian & Small attorneys act as mentors to work with area law school students. The mentors work directly with the recipients of the Christian & Small LLP Diversity Scholarship Fund. The most recent Cumberland Scholar recipient, Lisa Ramirez has attended firm lunches and business functions with our attorneys to gain a better understanding not just of the law, but of the business of a law firm and building a law practice.
Finally, Christian & Small is educating diverse groups of elementary to high school students about law as a career by hosting students in our offices and coaching high school students in mock trials, and by actively engaging our lawyers with diverse educational institutions and students groups.