“Firms and their clients benefit from building case teams with a diversity of perspectives, and LGBTQ+ lawyers should feel empowered to bring their life experiences to the table.”
How did you choose Sidley as your professional home? Did the firm’s LGBTQ+ initiatives or support for diversity and inclusion play a role?
My path to Sidley was slightly less traditional, joining as a 3L hire after completing a summer program at another firm. I chose the firm because I had the benefit of knowing fellow law school students that had summered and accepted offers at Sidley — and I knew those were the people I wanted as my colleagues. While Sidley’s diversity and LGBTQ+ initiatives weren’t necessarily the primary driver of my decision, I wouldn’t have joined the firm if I had any concerns that it wasn’t a welcoming and supportive place to work.
In your opinion, what more needs to be done within the legal profession in terms of creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment for the LGBTQ+ community?
The legal profession has come a long way. I believe that Sidley, along with many of its peer firms, recognizes the importance of attracting a diverse group of associates. These firms are making great strides in the representation of LGBTQ+ lawyers in their ranks. However, in the legal profession — and in big law more specifically — there remains some implicit pressure to conform to the traditional, outmoded stereotype of a lawyer. The profession needs to continue its efforts to attract and retain LGBTQ+ lawyers, but it also needs to encourage an environment where those lawyers feel comfortable as their authentic selves while practicing. Firms and their clients benefit from building case teams with a diversity of perspectives, and LGBTQ+ lawyers should feel empowered to bring their life experiences to the table.