Diversity & Inclusion

“One Community, Identity of Many”

Mindful of the philosophical importance of diversity and inclusion, Snell & Wilmer has taken real action.

The firm has undertaken several formal initiatives and key collaborations to address matters of diversity and inclusion. In addition, members of the firm are engaged in a number of community, civic, and industry-related activities across the various geographic regions in which we live and work.

Many of those activities relate to matters of diversity and inclusion that contribute to the understanding of our communities' composition, the individuals we interact with, and how what we do as a firm impacts our communities.

Through community and professional engagements, key collaborations, and formal initiatives, Snell & Wilmer gains the multicultural sensitivities to develop a deeper understanding of diversity and inclusion from the perspective of various stakeholders. The list below demonstrates the breadth of the firm's engagement, the extent of corporate responsibility, and desire to lead the charge in diversity and inclusion initiatives:

Formal Initiatives

In our Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Denver offices, Snell & Wilmer hires diverse law students as interns in connection with the firm's support of law schools' diversity legal writing programs. Snell & Wilmer works with second-year minority law students from the local law schools in the spring semester to improve the students' writing skills and to expose them to real world clerking assignments in a private firm setting.

FAR is a pipeline initiative that provides selected fellows: (1) A Path for Admission; (2) Knowledge to Hit the Ground Running; (3) Tools to Compete; (4) Resources to Succeed; and (5) Empowerment. Learn more on how to Go FAR by clicking here.

This program pairs all associates with a partner or senior associate (or both, depending on the practice group) to help guide the associate through all stages of development until partnership. The Attorney Development Manager sends monthly emails to all Coaches to remind them of their responsibilities and provides links to articles or suggestions for monthly meetings. There are also periodic events aimed at promoting the relationship, like the annual Mentor/Mentee Pool Tournament, and periodic scheduled “coffee breaks” at Starbucks. All incoming first-year attorneys are asked if they have a preference regarding their Coach assignment, including whether there is a race or gender preference. If none is stated, race and gender are not primary considerations.

Each signatory to the CIG, including Snell & Wilmer, pledges to pursue certain goals related to full and equal participation of minorities and women in all professional levels in the law and the hiring and retention of minority and women lawyers.

Key Collaborations

This nation-wide program gives diverse and economically disadvantaged second-year law students a judicial internship over the summer. A large component of the program includes mentoring and administrative efforts to offer social activities throughout the summer. Snell & Wilmer attorneys participate in this program as mentors, as social programming coordinators, and as the lead contact for questions from the Phoenix students.

Snell & Wilmer is one of a few firms that has partnered with the AADC to create a year-long business development program entitled “Ladder Down: Leadership, Business Development, and Mentoring For Women Lawyers.” The objective of the program is to empower women lawyers by giving them directed training and providing them with practical, tangible tools for getting ahead. This is a unique program—particularly at the state and local level—in that the purpose is not to identify the difficulties women lawyers face, but to instead provide effective solutions for advancing their careers.

Snell & Wilmer is a member of the LCLD, which focuses on developing strategies to increase diversity in the legal profession and sharing those strategies with member law firms.

The MCCA was founded in 1997 to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA accomplishes its mission through the collection and dissemination of information about diversity in the legal profession.

Snell & Wilmer works with, and supports, MSAN, which is a national coalition of 25 multiracial, suburban-urban school districts that have come together to study and eliminate achievement gaps that exist in their districts. MSAN districts have student populations between 3,000 and 33,000, and are most often well-established first-ring suburbs or small/mid-size cities. Additionally, the districts share a history of high academic achievement, connections to major research universities, and resources that generally exceed neighboring cities.

The MBC provides a forum for Arizona's legal community to address the issues that confront diverse attorneys, celebrate the success of diverse lawyers in the legal profession, and encourage diverse attorneys to pursue their legal careers in Arizona. Snell & Wilmer does not simply provide financial support for the MBC. In recent years, our lawyers have provided CLE training at the MBC, served as fundraising chairs of the MBC, and in 2012, one of our attorneys co-chaired the MBC.

"It were not best that we should all think alike;
it is difference of opinion that makes horse races."

- Mark Twain