February 17, 2021
Stroock, an AmLaw firm with more than 250 attorneys nationwide, has an immediate opening for a director of diversity & professional development. The ideal candidate will lead the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and lawyer professional development efforts firm-wide. The director will serve as a subject matter expert and resource to firm leadership, and will actively collaborate with practice leaders, committee leaders, and the firm’s Executive Committee to develop and drive the execution of the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. The director will be responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive professional development strategy, including the development and curriculum for training offerings that are aligned with the firm’s benchmarks and competencies. The director will also be responsible for developing and executing policies and strategies to retain and promote diverse attorneys; and serve as an advocate for the firm’s lawyer professional development and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. This role works in collaboration with the director of legal personnel to ensure a comprehensive approach to talent management.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Advise leadership on diversity and inclusion strategies, trends, and best practices across the profession.
- Provide inspirational leadership, coordination, and strategic planning for the development and implementation of firm-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.
- Collaborate with the Diversity and Inclusion Council to promote transformational excellence across the firm, and successfully implement diversity and inclusion strategies.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
- Serve as a thought leader for the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Partner with practice group leaders and firm leadership to develop and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives to attract, develop, retain, and advance talent from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
- Collaborate with internal committees and departments focused on hiring, professional development, mentoring, and marketing to further the firm’s diversity objectives.
- Design programs to leverage the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts in business and client development.
- Provide consulting and coaching expertise on diversity issues to firm members at all levels.
- Design and execute internal diversity meetings, events, and trainings.
- Provide support to Diversity and Inclusion Council Co-Chairs, and Affinity Groups.
- Develop actionable metrics to ensure accountability in tracking and monitoring diversity and inclusion initiatives in support of the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategies.
- Lead efforts across the firm to develop a culture of respect and inclusion.
- Provide recommendations on diversity-related sponsorship/contribution requests, award nominations, and leadership positions.
- Research, track, and analyze firm data with respect to recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse attorneys.
- Conduct periodic internal assessments.
- Develop, manage, and report on the diversity budget.
- Prepare and respond to requests for information regarding the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
- Monitor career development of diverse attorneys.
Serve as the Firm Ambassador of Diversity and Inclusion
- Represent the firm at various internal and external functions, including student associations, recruiting events, and other similar functions, serving as a firm spokesperson on diversity and inclusion issues.
- Maintain collaborative relationships with minority bar and student associations to attract candidates from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
- Collaborate with Marketing and Business Development to:
• Identify opportunities to elevate external visibility of the firm’s attorneys from
historically underrepresented backgrounds through articles, speaking
engagements, client events, panel discussions, etc.
• Develop partnerships with clients and communities that advance diversity and
• Ensure the RFP process, pitches and proposals, and client diversity surveys are
accurate and complete.
• Create and oversee the execution of the firm’s communication strategy to promote
the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Responsible for providing leadership guidance to the senior manager of Professional Development.
- Partner with the Associates’ Committee to identify and address issues of importance, with regard to professional development, by creating and implementing responsive initiatives
- Develop relationships with associates and special counsel in order to provide individualized guidance with respect to issues of professional development.
- Collaborate with other departments with responsibilities relating to the associate and prospective associate experience, including Legal Recruiting and Marketing.
- Oversee the development and implementation of the firm’s Benchmark and Competencies initiatives.
- Assist partners to identify and understand their expectations with respect to junior lawyers and to develop and implement responsive initiatives.
- Maintain relationships with outside consultants with respect to issues impacting associate and special counsel performance.
- Present to firm management and partners on issues relating to associates and special counsel professional development and participate in partner meetings on attorney performance.
- Assist in developing and implementing improvements to the feedback and assigning processes.
- Work in conjunction with the senior manager of Professional Development on the semiannual review process for associates and special counsel.
Skill and Work Requirements
The responsibilities of this position requires a Bachelor’s degree and J.D. or advanced degree strongly preferred in addition to a minimum of five years’ experience in a similar role in a law firm. The director should have excellent interpersonal skills and a proven track record of successful accomplishment of goals, experience with the motivation and management of professionals, strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize effectively, the ability to work well under pressure, juggle multiple projects simultaneously and be a team player. The qualified candidate should be empathetic and understanding, assertive, flexible and dedicated to the enhancement, development and inclusion of all attorneys. The director will have a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion as a key driver to business success.