When putting together client pitches, Heidi Levine, the global co-leader of the product liability and mass torts practice at Sidley Austin, says her group puts together “little facebooks” of the team that potentially would work on any matter for a client. Why include a collection of names and headshots of the Sidley lawyers who might be involved in the assignment? With clients increasingly calling on law firms to put together teams of lawyers that better reflect the gender and racial diversity of their customer bases, the “little facebooks” might just be a competitive advantage for Sidley.
In the core team of 20 lawyers in Sidley’s product liability practice, Sidley reports 90% of the partners are women as well as more than 80% of associates. Out of the more than 50 lawyers who spend a significant amount of their time working on product liability matters — including appellate lawyers, litigators and e-discovery lawyers — nearly 70% are women and 20% are people of color.