Bricker & Eckler has a long history of promoting and supporting diversity and inclusion. Today, we continue to strive to have the firm, from every perspective, reflect the communities and clients that we serve. We recruit, hire, and promote diverse attorneys and staff members, and actively support the Diversity and Inclusion Policy approved by our 7-member Executive Committee. The firm’s strong track-record of electing women and minorities to the partnership and to other leadership positions is reflected in the current composition of our Executive Committee, which includes two women.
Bricker & Eckler supports its commitment to diversity and inclusion with internal initiatives. The Walker Link Leadership Group is an employee resource group for African American attorneys at Bricker & Eckler. Our Women in Networking (WIN) group focuses on relationship building with local business women, encouraging our female attorneys to be actively involved in community and professional organizations, and supporting non-profits that provide services to women and children.
Our profession has recognized Bricker & Eckler's commitment to diversity and inclusion, and has honored us with recognition. Partner Jerry Allen was honored with the 2013 David D. White Award from Capital University Law School for significant contributions to the African American community. In 2013, Bricker attorney Pramila Kamath was recognized as one of Lawyers of Color (LOC) 100 early- to mid-career attorneys under 40 from the Midwest Region for its inaugural "Hot List." At the 2012 Barristers' Salute hosted by the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, Bricker & Eckler was honored with the "Outstanding Organization" award. This is the first time in the history of the award that a law firm was recognized. Additionally, former Bricker attorney Janine Hancock Jones was given the inaugural "President's Award" for her decade of leadership and commitment to central Ohio's minority bar association.
Bricker & Eckler is also proud of its #2 ranking on the Vault/MCCA Guide to Law Firm Diversity Program for our percentage of female equity partners. Our Managing Partner Kurt Tunnell received the “Champion of Diversity Legal Award” from the National Diversity Council in 2011.
Additional diversity initiatives:
The Bricker & Eckler LLP Charles H. Walker Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship
Charles H. Walker Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship was established by Bricker & Eckler to provide first-year law students with a valuable employment experience early in their legal career. This scholarship is awarded annually to a candidate who demonstrates leadership skills, academic strength, service to the community and an overall commitment to excellence.
Columbus Bar Association’s Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative
Bricker & Eckler LLP is one of the original participating firms in the Columbus Bar Association’s Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative, a unique collaboration launched in 2001 by 22 law firms, the Columbus Bar Association, the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law School. This has entailed adoption of three five-year action plans to develop strategies to attaining diversity that focused on recruiting and retaining minority attorneys, employing the best practices with respect to promoting diversity, conducting diversity training in firms, and making structural changes in firms to enhance diversity. Bricker & Eckler’s Managing Partner, Kurt Tunnell, currently leads the Initiative.
Progress from the start of the Initiative to the present has been impressive and all the firms involved in the initiative share in the success as well as an on-going commitment to diversity. The third phase of the Initiative is focusing on encouraging innovation, fostering honest conversations, transitions and preparation for the rigors of the profession.
Minority Bar Association
Bricker & Eckler encourages our attorneys to be actively involved in minority and women’s bar associations, provides financial support for that participation and regularly hosts local events sponsored by those associations.
John Mercer Langston Bar Association
Bricker & Eckler supports the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, Ohio’s affiliate member of the National Bar Association. Anthony Sharett, a member of Bricker & Eckler’s Litigation Practice Group, is a former president of the organization. Bricker & Eckler recently hosted a meeting of the organization at which Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor was the speaker.
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio
Bricker & Eckler supports the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio. Former Bricker attorney Nellie So is the current president of APABA-CO.
Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program
Bricker & Eckler is a member and supports the work of the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program.
Mentoring and Training Programs
- All associates are assigned at least two partner mentors who assist with career and skill development. In addition, the Firm actively participates in the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program.
- Bricker & Eckler holds “Corner Office Conversations,” a quarterly speaker series in which the Firm hosts diverse and dynamic leaders from around the state to talk to Bricker & Eckler attorneys about their perspectives on their business and leadership.
Recruiting and Pipeline Programs
- The firm participates annually in the Columbus Bar Association’s Minority Clerkship Program.
- Through the American Bar Association Section of Business Law, the firm is an active participant in mentoring minority law students interested in Business Law.
- The firm participates in “career day” at the Columbus Alternative High School, a school for inner city children who qualify to attend based on their grades.
- The firm participates in WrightChoice Pre-Professional Law Program. WrightChoice, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to create, promote and facilitate internship opportunities to under-represented populations in the employment arena. The mission of the Pre-Professional Law Program is to prepare minority students and students with disabilities who are interested in legal careers.
- The Firm is a participant in the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Law and Leadership Institute -- a program launched by the Supreme Court of Ohio, with support from the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Center for Law Related Education and the law schools in Ohio. The pipeline program is designed to help increase minority enrollment in the state’s law schools and ultimately, help increase the diversity of the legal profession.
- The Bricker & Eckler Recruiting Committee participates annually in a number of career fairs including Tri-State Diversity Recruiting Program, BLSA, Cook County Job Fair and, now, Lavender Fair.
Balancing Career and Family Life
Our firm recognizes the importance of balancing career and family life. We offer a number of alternative work arrangements to meet the individual needs of our attorneys. These options include job-share arrangements and various part-time schedule alternatives available to all attorneys. The firm also has a Part-Time Partner Track Associate policy. In addition, we also provide a number of benefits which assist our lawyers who strive for balance in their career and personal life.
Support for Diversity and Inclusion in our Communities
Bricker & Eckler supports the following organizations and associations that recognize, promote and celebrate diversity:
- Asian Indian American Business Group (AIABG)
- Boy Scouts of America
- The Capital University, David D. White Scholarship Endowment
- Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)
- Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO)
- Girl Scouts – Seal of Ohio Council
- The King Arts Complex
- Merry Makers Club Foundation
- The National Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
- Ohio Women’s Bar Association
- United Way’s Project Diversity Program
- The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
- Women Lawyers of Franklin County, Ohio
- The YWCA Women of Achievement Awards