Our commitment to diversity is reflected in a written policy, and supported by a daily commitment to the core values by which we manage ourselves. The firm's resolve to these principles is settled, but we remain flexible in light of the varying ways that challenges and needs confront our clients, our lawyers and our staff. Our efforts to build a culture of inclusiveness and appreciation for diverse backgrounds and needs include:
Minority Scholarship Program
The Smith Moore Leatherwood Scholarship is designed to promote law school opportunities for outstanding minority students and to enhance the likelihood that minority law school graduates will practice law in the Southeast, particularly in larger law firms. Each year, the firm provides at least one scholarship to outstanding minority students with North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia ties who anticipate entering private practice in the Southeast. In addition to the award of scholarship funds, the scholarship recipient also works in one or more of our offices as a summer associate following the first year of law school. Since 1998 the program has provided more than $250,000 in scholarship assistance to students from law schools including Duke, Harvard, North Carolina, North Carolina Central, Stanford, Texas, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Click here for more information.
An attorney retreat was dedicated to understanding and promoting diversity. A two-day workshop conducted by a nationally recognized speaker and author on workplace diversity was paired with community outreach assignments for all attorneys to work and play with children in day care and afterschool care settings, and to paint, landscape and maintain community service facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Alternative Work Schedule Policy
Smith Moore Leatherwood recognizes that having a balanced life enables individuals to excel personally and professionally. Our Diversity Committee led an internal study of reduced hour and flexible work schedule issues in 2006 which included a firm-wide survey and affinity discussion groups aimed at identifying and addressing concerns and opportunities. A revised policy was adopted by the firm's Management Committee that focuses on an individual analysis of each proposed alternative schedule.
Domestic Partner Benefits
The firm provides domestic partner benefits, consistent with its objective to further an inclusive set of values that unites lawyers and staff across all its offices.
Our attorneys are regularly engaged in efforts to promote diversity through religious, civic and charitable organizations. The firm and its lawyers support, with contributions of time, legal work, and money, state and local organizations that provide aid, legal services and social services in our communities.