- Our People
- What Makes Us Unique
- Our First 100 Years
- Our Clients
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Making a Difference
We use our Diversity symbol to encourage a work environment of inclusion and acceptance. We take pride in the uniqueness of our employees and their ideas and perspectives.
To learn more about diversity at Chapman, please see our community brochure: Diversity Matters.
Diversity & InclusionPrint Page
At Chapman, supporting a diverse workforce is about more than good corporate citizenship; we believe that different perspectives mean better, more effective solutions for our clients.
Our diversity and inclusion efforts create the foundation for a Chapman community that supports equal opportunities for individuals of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and abilities.
Chapman’s Affinity Groups provide focused mentoring and support for our diverse attorney population. The Affinity Groups offer opportunities to Chapman attorneys through business development guidance and leadership training, networking events, mentoring, and career advancement. Each of our groups — the Ethnically Diverse, LGBTQ, Women’s, Working Parents, Attorneys with Disabilities and their Allies, and Jewish Attorneys affinity groups — addresses the unique challenges that relate to the circumstances of the demographic of the group.
Ethnically Diverse @ Chapman
Chapman strives for an inclusive environment that enables our ethnically diverse attorneys to thrive. The firm’s Ethnically Diverse Affinity Group brings together attorneys who benefit from or are supportive of the group’s mission of supporting mentoring, networking, and career development opportunities that promote the interests of our ethnically diverse attorneys. Excellence is not bound by color, gender, or sexual orientation, but rather is cultivated through the talents and unique perspectives of each individual employee.
- Chicago Scholars: Chapman and our Ethnically Diverse Affinity Group sponsor an Interview Night each year for Chicago Scholars. In 2017, more than 2,100 academically talented, first-generation, and underserved high school students across Chicago applied for 675 spots in the Chicago Scholars three-tier mentoring program, a unique seven-year college access, success, and leadership development program. Chapman attorneys volunteer to interview students for the program and serve as mentors to students who have earned high GPAs and are actively involved in their schools and communities.
- Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) Minority Law Student Job Fair: Chapman and our Ethnically Diverse Affinity Group sponsor the Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) Minority Law Student Job Fair. Chapman actively recruits and hires students from the job fair, and as part of our sponsorship, we host a breakfast for the student participants.
LGBTQ @ Chapman
One of Chapman’s core diversity values is to cultivate and maintain a diverse workforce, but our commitment transcends just the hiring process. Openly gay attorneys participate in the firm at the highest levels of management, serving as our Chief Operating Partner and as management committee members and in other visible leadership roles.
Cultivating an inclusive workplace has been a part of the firm’s rich history. In 1998 Chapman received a special commendation from Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley and the predecessor to Equality Illinois as one of the first 14 of the major law firms in Chicago to provide insurance benefits to same-sex couples. Since that time, Chapman has examined other workplace policies, such as those relating to adoption, to make sure that comparable benefits are available to all of its families.
Chapman’s LGBTQ Affinity Group offers LGBTQ attorneys an excellent opportunity to regularly share experiences, mentor younger attorneys, and participate in strategic discussions of ways to increase our legal business and client contacts through individual networks of friends, families, and business associates. This vibrant group spearheads the firm’s support of and relationships with many LGBTQ organizations, including Equality Illinois, the National LGBT Bar Association, and Lambda Legal. Bill Libit, the firm’s Chief Operating Partner, serves on the National Leadership Council of Lambda Legal and LGBTQ attorneys are active in mentoring law students from local OutLaw groups.
Chapman’s commitment to its LGBTQ attorneys has been recognized by a number of outside organizations:
- The Human Rights Campaign has named Chapman one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. Chapman has received 100% score on the Corporate Equality Index for the past nine years.
- The American Lawyer has ranked Chapman as one of 22 law firms with the highest percentage of self-reported LGBTQ attorneys among the Am Law 200.
- Equality Illinois has recognized Chapman as one of the state’s top law firms supporting inclusiveness and equality for LGBTQ attorneys. For eight consecutive years Chapman has appeared on Equality Illinois’ list of the top law firms demonstrating a commitment to equality.
Women @ Chapman
Chapman continuously strengthens and develops a variety of initiatives tailored to support the careers of its women attorneys. The Women’s Affinity Group hosts networking events, business development training, and mentoring sessions to help prepare women attorneys for leadership roles.
Chapman’s commitment to women attorneys is highlighted by its eight appearances on the 50 Best Law Firms for Women list, published by Working Mother. The award acknowledges law firms that display a commitment to providing career and business development initiatives that help retain and advance women attorneys.
Additionally, Chapman’s women attorneys routinely contribute to women’s and industry groups, including by serving in leadership roles. Chapman is an active sponsor of women’s and industry groups such as:
- Alliance for Women Committee endeavors to provide professional development resources to women attorneys through educational programs, special projects, and networking events.
- National Association of Women Lawyers strives to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance the careers of women attorneys.
- Women’s In-House Counsel Leadership Institute provides women attorneys a framework for long-term career planning and professional growth.
- Women in Public Finance is a professional organization for women working in the public finance industry that provides educational activities, and leadership and networking opportunities.
- SFIG’s Women in Securitization Roundtable connects women in structured finance to colleagues and mentors and encourages women’s advancement within the securitization industry.
Partners Kim Ahlgrim, of the Asset Securitization Department, and Rebecca Wallenfesz, of the Trusts and Estates Department, serve as co-chairs of the Women's Affinity Group.
Chapman is committed not only to diversity at all levels within the firm, but also to ensuring that we do our part to foster diversity in our purchasing practices. As a national law firm, we have purchasing power to make a difference that spreads beyond the walls of our office buildings. Every day, we rely on strategic partnerships to provide the resources and tools we use to manage our practice and deliver the service we provide clients. We believe that utilizing a diverse array of vendors and suppliers allows us to promote inclusion and better serve our diverse and unique clients and personnel.
To this end, we prioritize purchasing supplies and services from vendors that are women, ethnically diverse, and LGBTQ-owned. We are dedicated to promoting diversity across the spectrum of our professional relationships.