Diversity is one of the firm’s core values. We believe that diversity in backgrounds, experiences and ideas enriches our lives and enhances the quality of the work performed by the professionals at Christian & Small.
Our strategic vision states: “Christian & Small is committed to being a dedicated, diverse and supportive team of legal professionals partnering with our clients to render superior service and exceptional value in the areas of litigation and business.” To ensure that we maintain this vision and our culture of inclusion, Christian & Small has a three-part diversity strategy.
The first priority is to retain and mentor diverse attorneys and staff. This is being implemented by:
- A Supervising Attorney program where each associate is assigned a mentor to assure the associate quality and quantity of work, exposure to wide range of clients and matters and an advocate apart from the attorney with whom the associate primarily works.
- Actively encouraging and supporting attorneys and staff to be involved in diversity initiatives and volunteer activities.
- Including diverse attorneys in firm leadership.
- Providing a formal flex-time policy for attorneys.
The second priority is to provide opportunities for diverse lawyers through hiring, both laterally and from law schools. This goes beyond recruitment and includes educating diverse groups of elementary to high school students about law as a career, by actively engaging our lawyers with diverse educational institutions and student groups, and by funding law school scholarships for minority students.
Third, 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, LCLD is an organization of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to a truly diverse profession.
Managing Partner Deborah Alley Smith attended the LCLD First Annual Membership Meeting in October 2010, and Mike Vercher and Jon Macklem are graduates of the LCLD Fellows Program, which is intended to help diversify 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. The program has several components, including three in-person conferences throughout the year. Fellows work together in small groups on a specific project throughout the year that will address an actual legal problem within an organization.
Christian & Small is an equal opportunity employer.