Organizational strategy

We are proud to celebrate our wide range of diversity and all of the steps we take to ensure that we are inclusive in our actions. We support organizations that share our commitment to diversity and inclusion with our time, talent and financial resources. Our diversity is broad-based and stems from varying ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, languages, nationalities and religions. All of these factors aid us as we strive for a workplace where all of our team members, without regard to title or position, can thrive as legal professionals.

The Firm is consistently looking inward for barriers which may impede the retention of women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ lawyers and lawyers who are differently abled. In conjunction with this process, we have engaged in extensive education, including interactive and honest dialogue, regarding these issues. The Firm continues its strong commitment to diversifying its team members in order to operate a superior law firm that is reflective of the communities in which we live and work.

Just a Sampling of Locke Lord's Involvement Includes: 

  • Locke Lord proudly achieved Mansfield Rule Certification 3.0 from Diversity Lab, recognizing the Firm for hitting targets designed to boost the representation of diverse lawyers – women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities – considered for recruitment, governance roles, equity partner promotions and inclusion in formal pitch presentations to clients.
  • Locke Lord achieved a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index for the fifth consecutive year, and Locke Lord predecessor firm Edwards Wildman earned a 100 percent rating for seven consecutive years from 2009-2015. A perfect score in this annual report evaluating policies and practices related to LGBTQ employees earns the Firm the distinction of being an employer of choice for LGBTQ employees.
  • Locke Lord signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ CEO Pledge, which aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
  • Locke Lord is a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, which aims to amplify voices oppressed by racism, use the law as a vehicle for change for communities of color and promote racial equity in the law. 
  • Locke Lord was recognized by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) with the 2019 Top Performer designation and Compass Award, underscoring the Firm’s leadership in building a diverse workplace and a more inclusive legal profession. Top Performers are LCLD’s most active members, and the Compass Award recognizes engaged participants in its Fellows, Pathfinder and pipeline programs.
  • Dallas Partner Arthur Anthony was recognized with the Hon. Cleo R. Steele Committed Mentor Award from the J.L. Turner Legal Association for his commitment and contributions to justice, equality and diversity in the legal profession.
  • Chicago Partners Miki Goodin, Jennifer Kenedy and Ashlee Knuckey were recognized as 2020 Notable Women in Law by Crain’s Chicago Business for their ability to effect change, serve as a role model and mentor to other women attorneys and promote inclusive practices in the workplace.
  • Chicago’s Wasim Bleibel and Nick O’Conner were selected as Fellows in The Chicago Committee’s inaugural Pathway to Partnership program, which is designed to help senior associates and other lawyers develop client relationships and increase the number of diverse partners at large law firms in Chicago.
  • Miki Goodin and Ernesto Palomo, Partners in Locke Lord’s Chicago office, were selected by Crain’s Chicago Business as 2019 Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting and Law honorees for their dedication to advancing the causes of justice and equality as well as mentoring a diverse generation of new lawyers.
  • Matt McTygue, Boston Office Managing Partner, was selected as the Boston Business Journal’s 2019 LGBT Business Trailblazer Award honoree in recognition of his distinguished record of leadership in the LGBT community.
  • Austin Partner and Executive Committee Member Michelle Earley was named to Austin Black Business Journal’s 2019 Top 10 Central Texas Super Lawyers List.
  • Art Anthony, Partner in Locke Lord’s Dallas office, was selected by the National Bar Association as a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Heman M. Sweatt Award.
  • In 2019, Senior Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Paulette Brown was inducted into the National Bar Association’s prestigious Fred David Gray Hall of Fame for her significant contributions to the cause of justice. She was also named to Savoy Magazine's 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America list for her work to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
  • Ernesto Palomo, a Partner in Locke Lord’s Chicago office and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, was honored as 2019 Latino Attorney of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association. He was also recognized as a leader in law in Negocios Now’s 2019 Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago.
  • Bilal Zaheer, a Partner in Locke Lord’s Chicago office, was selected as a Best Lawyers Under 40 honoree by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, recognizing his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and strong commitment to Asian Pacific American civic and community affairs.
  • Partner Carolyn Blessing was named to the 2019 “40 Under Forty” list by Law Bulletin Media, publisher of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer. The list recognizes up-and-coming lawyers for their intelligence, passion, success and work in the community.
  • Houston Partners Alicia Castro and Lauren Doughty were named to the National Diversity Council’s 2019 Top 50 Women Lawyers, an honor recognizing their leadership in the legal industry and ongoing role in championing diversity and inclusion.
  • Natalie Jersak, an Associate in Locke Lord’s Public Finance Practice Group in the Boston office, received the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys’ 2019 Analisa Smith-Perez Rising Star Award, recognizing her commitment to the Latino community.
  • Wasim Bleibel, an Associate in the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, was selected by Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization to receive the 2019 5 Under 40 Award for legal professionals in the Chicago area.
  • Jennifer Kenedy, a Vice Chair of Locke Lord’s Executive Committee, was named a Crain’s Chicago Business 2018 Notable Women Lawyer honoree.
  • In 2018, Locke Lord’s Health Care Practice Group, of which Denise Hanna serves as Co-Chair, was again named to Modern Healthcare’s “Top 30 Largest Health Care Law Firms” list.
  • Chicago Associate Wasim Bleibel was named to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's 2019 Pathfinder Program, which aims to identify, train and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.
  • Houston Office Managing Partner Laura Edrington was selected as a Houston Business Journal 2018 Women Who Mean Business honoree. Recognized in the Outstanding Leaders in Law category, she was one of only six legal professionals honored for her career achievement, contributions to the Firm, community involvement and leadership. She was also selected as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2018 by Houston Woman Magazine.
  • Senior Partner Paulette Brown, Locke Lord’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Past President of the American Bar Association, was selected to join the 2018 inaugural class of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity EDGE honorees for her outstanding contributions in the field of diversity. Brown has also received the American Bar Association’s prestigious Margaret Brent Women of Achievement and Spirit of Excellence Awards and the C. Francis Strafford Award, the highest bestowed by the National Bar Association.
  • Chicago Partner Carolyn Blessing received the 2018 Leadership Award from the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law.
  • Chicago Senior Counsel Nicholas O'Conner was selected as a 2018 Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization’s 5 Under 40 legal professionals, which recognizes his commitment to working toward increased diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal field.
  • Boston Associate Walter Rodriguez was named to El Mundo Boston’s 2018 Latino 30 Under 30, which honors young individuals making an impact on the Massachusetts Latino community.
  • In 2018, Senior Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Paulette Brown was selected by the Executive Women of New Jersey as a Salute Honoree for her exceptional professional accomplishments and advancing the cause of women’s leadership.

Looking Forward

While we know, as most law firms do, there is always room for improvement, based upon our previous accomplishments and the foundation which has been established, we believe we are poised to become a recognized leader of law firm diversity and inclusion.