Diversity & Inclusion

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Advancing diversity is one of Chapman's core values.

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.

Business Resource Groups

Chapman’s Business Resource Groups support attorney professional development and career advancement. Each of our Business Resource Groups — Ethnically Diverse Attorneys, LGBTQ Attorneys, Women Attorneys, Working Parent Attorneys, Attorneys with Disabilities and Their Allies, First Gen Attorneys, and Jewish Attorneys — provide a forum for mentoring, networking, training, and support.

Ethnically Diverse Attorneys @ Chapman

Chapman strives for an inclusive environment that enables our ethnically diverse attorneys to thrive. The firm’s Ethnically Diverse Attorneys Business Resource 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.

Chapman’s commitment to ethnic diversity has been recognized:

Partners Walt Draney, of the Corporate and Securities Department, and Juliet Huang, of the Banking and Financial Services Department, serve as co-chairs of the Ethnically Diverse Attorneys Business Resource Group.

LGBTQ Attorneys @ 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 Attorneys Business Resource 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 LGBTQ diversity has been recognized:

Women Attorneys @ Chapman

Chapman continuously strengthens and develops a variety of initiatives tailored to support the careers of its women attorneys. The Women Attorneys Business Resource 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 twelve 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:

Partners Kim Ahlgrim, of the Asset Securitization Department, and Rebecca Wallenfelsz, of the Trusts and Estates Department, serve as co-chairs of the Women Attorneys Business Resource Group.

Supplier Diversity

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. 

Diversity & Inclusion Updates

Chapman Named One of the Best Law Firms for Women

Working Mother Best Law Firms for Women

Receiving a “Hall of Fame” distinction, the Best Law Firms for Women 2020 list marks the twelfth time Chapman has been recognized by Working Mother for programs, policies, and best practices. For the fourth consecutive year, Chapman was also named among the top law firms for women attorneys in the Law360 2020 Glass Ceiling Report on gender diversity. 

Chapman Joins Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Initiative

Chapman is proud to join the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule initiative to increase the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership and governance roles.

Chapman Joins Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA)

We are proud to announce that Chapman has joined the new Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) formed to work on pro bono projects and regulatory advocacy initiatives that seek to correct injustices in our legal system and to promote racial equality in the law and government institutions.

Chapman Recognized for LGBTQ Equality

For the eleventh year in a row, Chapman received a perfect, 100% score on the 2020 Corporate Equality Index administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, earning the firm a place among the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality

Chapman Diversity Scholarship

Each year, 2L law students are invited to apply for the Chapman and Cutler LLP Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Diversity Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship, established to support a second-year law student who has demonstrated a commitment to diversity, is named for the late Maynard Jackson, the first African American Mayor of Atlanta and a public finance partner at Chapman (1982–1990). The application for the fourth annual Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Diversity Scholarship will be made available during the winter of 2020.

MetLife Diversity Award

MetLife has recognized Chapman twice for our inclusivity efforts spanning business resource group activities, mentoring and sponsorship opportunities, training and pipeline programs, and supplier diversity initiatives.

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. 

Chapman Diversity Matters

To learn more about diversity at Chapman, please see our brochure: Diversity Matters.

Diversity Partners:
Walt Draney
Juliet Huang

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