Our Diversity Commitment and Initiatives
Diversity and equality are essential to the support of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings’ core values, business strategies, professional behavior, and to our relationships with clients and the communities in which we work and live.
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is a limited liability partnership in which minorities and women hold ownership interests. The firm’s partners set high expectations and empower individuals within the firm – and always have. We have a strong nondiscrimination hiring policy and actively recruit qualified women and minority candidates. We hire applicants without regard to age, ancestry, gender, color, national origin, disability, place of birth, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any legally protected status. Our culture is one in which the unique talents and perspectives of attorneys and employees are understood, valued, and leveraged.
Evidence of our commitment to diversity can be found more than fifty years ago when Ellene Winn of the Birmingham office became the firm’s first female partner (and the first female partner in a law firm in the Southeast). Today, there are 32 women partners in our firm, and many women in the associate ranks. Women also hold key leadership positions in the firm, including positions on the firm’s executive and other key committees.
To fully appreciate the firm’s commitment to diversity, one has only to look at the “The Birmingham Pledge,” written by our partner, Jim Rotch. The pledge is a statement of belief that seeks to eliminate racial prejudice, one person at a time. Tens of thousands of supporters worldwide have signed the pledge which has been recognized by both a Joint Resolution of Congress and a Presidential Proclamation. In 2006, Jim Rotch participated in a presentation to Congress with the EEOC and spoke on the Pledge. Information about the Pledge can be found at www.birminghampledge.org.
The firm’s Diversity Committee proudly builds upon this tradition and commits our lawyers’ time to attract, promote, and retain talented lawyers with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds at every level in the firm. Both through this committee and the actions of the lawyers generally, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings commits time and resources to increasing the diversity of its workforce through many activities, including the following:
- Awarding the Annual Diversity Scholarship award to two deserving students. A $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student in his or her second year of law school, and a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student in his or her first year of law school. For more information visit our Diversity Scholarship page.
- Providing summer internships to high-achieving college students from ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in the legal profession.
- Creating cross-generational mentoring groups for our female lawyers.
- Supporting the Black Law Students Association at various law schools through sponsorships and community projects.
- Instituting the Winn Initiative, named after Ellene Winn and designed to help mentor female lawyers in their practice development and assist in elevating them to positions of leadership. In developing the Winn Initiative, our lawyers have participated in national, state and local leadership and diversity programs.
- Sponsorship of the Momentum Women’s Leadership Program in which our lawyers regularly participate.
- Hosting women lawyers and law students at an annual luncheon featuring speakers from inside and outside the firm.
- Participating in the Youth Employment Program (YEP) of the non-profit Operation Shoestring by hosting minority high school students as summer interns in Jackson, Mississippi.
- Co-sponsoring the “Breach of Peace” art exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Art to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.
- Supporting the R. Jess Brown Scholarship for Leadership in Racial Reconciliation at the Mississippi College of Law by donating $25,000.
- Supporting an endowment for the Bradley Arant Boult Cummings/William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation Law School Scholarship, the first of its kind in the nation, at the University of Mississippi.
- Conducting a legal clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, for the Stewpot Community Services organization.
- Sponsoring the Birmingham Pledge Foundation, a grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of racism.
- Hosting construction and business law seminar for minority contractors in conjunction with the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority.
- Sponsoring the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association’s annual Day of Leadership and award reception, honoring the MWLA’s Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year.
- Actively supporting the National Bar Association, Defense Research Institute’s Diversity Committee, the American Bar Association’s Woman Advocate Committee, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, local bar associations’ minority divisions, as well as various state and local bar associations representing affinity groups.
- Participating in and sponsoring minority recruitment job fairs in our legal markets.
- Providing minority student scholarships for the David Lipscomb University Law Camp in Nashville, Tennessee, including support for three high school students chosen from the My Brother’s Keeper mentoring program in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Supporting various projects of the Birmingham Urban League, including Multi-Racial Friendship Luncheon and golf tournament.
- Hosting a breakfast seminar (“Chat and Chew”) for minority summer associates in Nashville, Tennessee area.
- Sponsoring Women in Commercial Real Estate Economic Forum in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Sponsoring scholarship dinner for the ACE Mentor Program of Alabama, which encourages minority high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction.
- Supporting the Annual Birmingham Diversity Summit organized by the Birmingham Business Alliance.
Diversity is about values and relationships. The firm matches its commitment to diversity with its commitment to pro bono activities by involvement in cases advancing issues and concerns of people from diverse communities and backgrounds. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings is the only Alabama-based law firm that is a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project, sponsored by the American Bar Association. As a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, we instituted a formal policy encouraging each attorney to provide a minimum of 60 hours of pro bono work on an annual basis.