Diversity: Good for us, good for our clients
At Jackson Walker, we believe that diversity makes us better. By actively recruiting, retaining, and advancing a diverse workforce, we are better equipped to serve our sophisticated, global clients and to contribute to making our communities better places.
We foster diversity by promoting a culture in which all individuals are afforded the opportunity to excel. Our Diversity Committee (whose membership is made up of both lawyers and staff) develops and administers our goals, and provides advice and recommendations in order to improve our diverse workplace.
Jackson Walker is proud of the diversity we have achieved in our firm. As a result of our targeted efforts:
Our commitment to diversity is seen in the recognition that individual Jackson Walker attorneys and the firm have received for our efforts to support diversity in the legal profession. For example:
Jackson Walker was named among the "Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity" in MultiCultural Law magazine's highly competitive ranking. The firm was also ranked seventh on the magazine's "Top 25 Law Firms for Hispanic-Americans" list.
Jackson Walker was honored as a "Diversity Champion" for its involvement in the Houston Bar Association's Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Summer Internship Program. The internship was created to help first-year law students obtain exposure and opportunities in corporate legal departments, government legal departments, legal aid organizations, and law firms.
In 2013, Jackson Walker received the Outstanding Firm award from the Travis County Women Lawyers Association and Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation. The award recognizes law firms and organizations focused on the development and retention of women attorneys.
Jackson Walker ranked among the top five Texas firms in American Lawyer's 2012 Diversity Scorecard, an annual survey of the percentage of minority attorneys and partners at the nation's largest firms.
Jackson Walker Partner Robert Soza was recently named a "Minority Rainmaker" by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. The honor is given to minority lawyers throughout the U.S. who have achieved success through innovative, consistent, and proactive business development.
In 2011, Jackson Walker Partner Tracy Wallace and Associate Lauren Mutti accepted (on behalf of the firm) Lambda Legals' Law Firm Equality Award. The award recognizes Jackson Walker's support of Lambda Legal and that organization's continuing efforts to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people and those with HIV.
In 2010, Jackson Walker Partner Randy Farber, who is legally blind, received the Promethean Award from the Texas Rehabilitation Association. The award is given to a person with a disability who has demonstrated self-motivation and personal courage in overcoming their disability beyond the assistance provided by any public or private service agency.
Jackson Walker Partner and Diversity Committee Chair Bruce Ruzinsky was nominated for a Trailblazer Award by the Texas Minority Counsel Program. The nomination is based on efforts to promote diversity within the legal profession.
Recognizing the importance of having a diverse law firm, Jackson Walker has historically been active in recruiting women and minority attorneys. Our recruiting department participates in a variety of recruiting events targeting minority attorneys and law students, including the Dallas Consortium on Minority Hiring and Sunbelt Minority Hiring Conference. The firm also supports scholarship programs, student organizations and events that are designed to enhance opportunities for women, minorities, LGBT individuals and persons with disabilities in the legal profession.
Student organizations and events
Read more about our diversity recruiting efforts.
Historically, law firms have been less than successful in retaining women and minority attorneys. Jackson Walker has confronted this challenge with the following three approaches: mentoring, supporting, and promoting. Our efforts include:
In 2007, Jackson Walker launched jw2 (Jackson Walker Women), an initiative dedicated to the attraction, retention, and promotion of women professionals. Through its programs, jw2 creates opportunities for women attorneys to build strong networks to sustain a successful and satisfying legal career, while supporting women in their efforts to make an impact in the community.
Both as a firm and through the involvement of individual attorneys, Jackson Walker supports organizations that promote diversity within the legal and business communities. Examples include:
As a further reflection of our commitment to diversity recruitment, we support a variety of pipeline programs that provide diverse students with opportunities to explore the possibilities of pursuing a career in law. Examples of our involvement include:
Pipeline Committee of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity: Managing partner Wade Cooper is a member of the Pipeline Committee of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
Committee on Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession: Bruce Ruzinsky, partner and head of the Diversity Committee, has served on the Houston Bar Association's Committee on Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession for over 10 years. He has twice co-chaired the Committee and has served as Chairman of the First Year Summer Clerkship Program Sub-Committee.
YMBL Sunshine Foundation of Austin: Jackson Walker partner Tim Taylor served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the YMBL Sunshine Foundation, of which he was a founding director and its first president. This foundation provides financial support for The Sunshine Camps, which have provided disadvantaged Austin children with leadership and scholarship programs in camps and at their schools.
Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Street Law Program: In conjunction with the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the ACC, Jackson Walker hosted students in the Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, which is designed to engage students, teach them more about civil law, and encourage them to consider careers in the legal profession.
Houston Urban Debate League (HUDL): Jackson Walker recognizes that academic debate in urban schools increases the pipeline of diverse high school students who are interested in attending law school and ultimately joining the legal field. To this end, the firm sponsors victory tournament trophies and provides opportunities for mentoring students in the Houston Urban Debate League.