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We believe that being an equal opportunity firm means going beyond mere compliance with anti-discrimination legislation. At Shutts & Bowen LLP, we believe that our clients receive the highest quality service when their legal teams are drawn from professionals mirroring the increasing diversity of the marketplace. Our commitment to diversity is reflected in our firm’s policies, programs and committees, and through our efforts to build and maintain a culture that values and gathers strength from differences.

Cultivating Diversity

Shutts & Bowen recognizes the fundamental importance of achieving a diverse workforce of attorneys, professionals and support staff that bridges racial, gender, age, ethnic, national, sexual orientation and religious lines. Simply put, we believe that recruiting, developing and promoting talented minority and women lawyers is just good business. It is that diversity that enhances the creative strength of our legal team.

Moreover, in today’s increasingly multicultural global environment, the firm recognizes that the relative success of our clients’ business interests depends, in great part, on the judgments and divergent experiences that can only be found in a multifaceted work force.

The firm’s dedication to achieving diversity includes an emphasis on nurturing a positive workplace environment that supports the professional development needs of our minority and women lawyers. Our commitment reflects the firm’s strategic focus on a team-based approach to client service, marketing and community involvement. This approach enhances our ability to recruit and retain lawyers. Integrating our diversity efforts with our strategic plan also enables us to more fully develop economic opportunities and to encourage and support the professional and civic contributions of our minority and women attorneys.

Today, the firm is recognized for its efforts to reflect the diversity of the communities and clients it serves. In a Daily Business Review article, the firm was recognized as one of the top five firms in Florida for the total number of minorities, top five for most Hispanic attorneys, and top eight for the number of women attorneys. Partner Sidney C. Calloway was recognized by Onyx magazine with the Onyx Award for Community Service. This annual award pays tribute to African Americans throughout Florida who use their professional expertise to significantly contribute back to the community, demonstrate compassion and strong leadership skills, and make a difference in the lives of many. Mr. Calloway was also the recipient of the Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award presented by the Urban League of Broward County for inspiring change and demonstrating ongoing leadership in the advancement of social justice and race relations.

Rene Gonzalez-LLorens, a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee, was appointed to the Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights by one of the county’s Commissioners. The Commission is a quasi-judicial advisory board charged with the enforcement of Miami-Dade County’s civil and human rights ordinance. Its mission is to help improve the quality of life of all Miami-Dade County residents by combating discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, family leave and domestic violence leave.

In addition, minorities and women are well represented within the firm. At the end of 2015, there were 53 minority partners, eight of which have been with the firm more than 20 years.

As part of our ongoing efforts to hire and retain a diverse workforce, the firm actively participates in and supports a number of programs.

These programs include:

  • Professional Opportunities Program for Black Law Students – Administered by the University of Miami, the firm has supported and participated since the program’s inception.
  • South Florida Minority Mentoring Picnic – The firm is a regular sponsor and participant. Drawing on support from Florida’s judiciary, law firms and professional organizations, the event includes all of South Florida’s minority law student associations and attracts nearly 3,000 attendees. The event’s theme is to celebrate and encourage diversity throughout the state’s legal community. The ultimate goal is for every law student who attends to go home with at least one mentor, helping to ensure their individual professional success.
  • Cook County Bar Association Minority Job Fair – Sponsored by the oldest African American Bar Association in the United States, the job fair attracts more than 600 law students from the top 30 law schools, historically black colleges and universities, Midwest law schools, and students that are fellows or associates of the Council on Legal Educational Opportunity (CLEO) program.
  • Focus on Women – In 2005, Shutts & Bowen women attorneys established a program to provide mentoring and collaboration on professional advancement both in the firm and the community. As a result, the group adopted two organizations which receive both financial and volunteer support from the group. These organizations, Casa Valentina and Educate Tomorrow, concentrate their efforts on assisting children who “age-out” of the foster care system.  Our Group participated in the National Association of Women Lawyers Night of Giving and was able to raise more than $2,500 for Casa Valentina residents.
  • T.J. Reddick Bar Association Professional Development Series – In collaboration with the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, the firm presented a program on professional development aimed at minority law students and young professionals in South Florida. The goal of this unique diversity program is to better equip black lawyers and law students with the tools they need to succeed in their legal careers.
  • Fort Lauderdale High School’s Law Magnet – Designed to give high school students insight into legal careers, Shutts & Bowen was one of the first law firms to participate in the High School’s Career Day program.  Attorneys in our office coached students to prepare for their Mock Trial Competition, and acted as judge and jury members in their dress rehearsals.
  • Miami Central High School – Partners in the Miami Office worked with the school’s Speech and Debate Group and Mock Trial Team and attended competitions throughout the school year.  Additionally, the firm underwrote the expenses of a visit by 28 students in Miami Central’s Law Academy to the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee, Florida State University, Florida A&M and the University of Florida.
  • Dade County Bar Association’s eMentoring Program – Members of the firm are active in this program where attorneys volunteer to be mentors to students interested in legal careers.  In the eMentoring Program, attorneys and students discuss various current events related to the law  through  weekly emails.  In addition, the eMentoring Program sponsors 2-3 field trips annually to local law firms, courthouses, police departments, or the U.S. Coast Guard so students can see the legal profession in action.
  • ChairsScholars Foundation – Attorneys in our Tampa office are active in this Foundation which has funded more than 800 four-year college scholarships for severely physically disabled children at colleges and universities ranging from trade schools to Harvard and Stanford.  The Foundation often awards scholarships to needy students as early as the 7th grade in exchange for a written contract requiring that the student remain drug and crime free through college.  Assistance is given to the Foundation in matters ranging from its charitable status to corporate governance and fundraising.
  • HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) – Attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office are active in this organization which provides services to youth up to the age of 23. The firm has given $10,000 in scholarship money to HANDY. Attorneys from the firm serve on the Scholarship Committee, mentor children and are involved with HANDY’s “Street Law” program which educates youth on the legal system and provides them an opportunity to participate in a mock trial held at the Broward County courthouse.
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association – Members of the firm participate in MCCA conferences.
  • Minority Counsel Program of the American Bar Association – Members of the firm participate in the the Minority Counsel Program. Developed under the auspices of the ABA’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the MCP is designed to encourage corporations to retain lawyers of color as outside counsel.
  • National Lesbian and Gay Law (NLGLA), an affiliate of the American Bar Association – We are a member of this national association of judges, lawyers and other legal professionals which promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community.
  • University of Miami OUTlaw – Our attorneys participate as mentors in this program sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law to educate the law school  and legal community on the issues faced by GLBT students.
  • Hispanic Business Initiative Fund – We participate in this leading Hispanic economic development, nonprofit organization in Central Florida that specializes in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their business in that community.
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association – In conjunction with the Bar Association, our West Palm Beach Office participated in A Day of Giving and employs a minority law school intern.
  • Cuban American Bar Association – In addition to having several members active in CABA, the firm has provided financial support by sponsoring CABA’s Annual Installation Gala.
  • South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – In November 2011, Shutts & Bowen was recognized by the Chamber as the Law Firm of the Year at the 17th Annual Sunshine Awards.
  • POPS (Professional Opportunities Program for Students) – As part of this program, our Fort Lauderdale office works with high school students to provide personal and professional development for teenagers who face social and economic barriers.  The goal of POPS is to prepare students for future success through tutoring, mentoring, counseling and training.

Additionally, our attorneys are members of, and participate in, a variety of programs sponsored by organizations such as the Diversity Committee of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar; Central Florida Women Lawyers’ Association; Florida A&M University; Gwen Cherry Black Women Lawyers’ Association; Haitian Lawyers’ Association; Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association; Boys & Girls Club of America; Dade Marine Institute; Habitat for Humanity; Handy, Inc.; and the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association, among others.

Looking to the Future: Shutts & Bowen Diversity Initiative

To ensure the long term success and thorough integration of our workforce, the firm has adopted a firm wide diversity initiative. Designed by professional diversity consultants, the plan is built around four key tenets – Representation, Education and Training, Culture/Work-Life and Policy Review – each one equally essential to developing a culture which not only includes but fully integrates minorities and women into the fabric of the firm.

Specifically, these tenets address:

Representation

Representation in the firm must go beyond “who” and “how many,” focusing on representation at all levels and beyond, and include:

  • Recruiting
  • Representation within the firm
  • Representation in the community
  • Outreach programs to the community

Education & Training

Acknowledging that diversity can be attained only through retention, we provide education and training opportunities for existing and new employees, including:

  • Diversity awareness and diversity management
  • Feedback and coaching skills for managers
  • Diversity communication strategies
  • Mentoring and orientation programs

Culture & Work/Life Balance

Critical to a diversity initiative is the culture and work environment of the firm. Key issues being addressed include:

  • The firm’s attitude toward employees, clients, and community
  • Employees’ attitude toward the firm and each other
  • Work/life balance
  • Employee benefits
  • Work-share programs