Diversity Powers Profitability
Diversity permeates the best trial practices fundamentally, practically, and economically. Fundamentally, justice requires fairness. Fairness demands equality. Equality mandates diversity and inclusion. Practically, diversity and inclusion produce more persuasive advocates and wiser counselors. Economically, diversity is profitable – in fact, it’s extremely profitable!
Why I Invited Fellow Sheryl L. Axelrod
Through The Axelrod Firm, a certified, woman-owned law firm with offices in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, Sheryl represents companies in significant complex commercial and employment disputes.
Sheryl is also recognized as a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging expert. She has done deep research in the space, and as a result, understands the positive impact of diversity on law firm economics. As she discusses with me, her passionate commitment to diversity stems from her own experience with bias. She majored in economics at Brandeis University. After graduating from Temple Law School, her interest in diversity and background in economics converged, as she delved into the study of diversity in our profession. Her work pulls together the studies and data on the enormous positive impact of diversity on law firm profitability -- like, for example, the fact that more diverse law firms generate over $100,000 of additional profits per partner than less diverse law firms.
Sheryl has authored articles on the vanguard of the diversity conversation in the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today, in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) magazine, Diversity & the Bar, and in the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) magazine, the Women Lawyers’ Journal.
In addition, she co-founded The Fearless Women Network, and founded the Temple Law Alumni Association (TLAA) Women’s Initiative, the TLAA Diversity Committee, the TLAA Women’s Champion Award, and the TLAA Diversity Leadership Award.
She serves on the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Panel, co-chairs the Advisory Board of the Diversity Law Institute, serves on Women Owned Law’s Advisory Board, and serves on the Advisory Council of Women Lawyers on Guard's Conversations with Men. She earned the NAMWOLF Yolanda Coly Advocacy Award, the Diversity Law Institute Diversity Award, and the TLAA Women’s Champion Award. Sheryl was appointed to the NAMWOLF Board of Directors as well.
Recently, Sheryl graciously shared with me some information and insights regarding diversity and law firm profitability, and even offered a toolkit of resources to help us, and our law firms, minimize bias and increase diversity and inclusion. I encourage you to watch our conversation here.
Steve and Dottie Henry, and the fabulous LCA team are finalizing plans for our 2023 Conference and Celebration of Fellows which will be announced shortly. In addition, the Complex Commercial Litigation Institute will host its next conference at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs on February 23rd and 24th, 2023. I look forward to seeing you at these wonderful events! In the meantime, if you will be in South Florida, please let Theresa and me show you some hospitality.
“Disregard Diversity at Your Financial Peril: Diversity as a Competitive Financial Advantage,” Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Diversity & the Bar magazine, at: https://theaxelrodfirm.com/newsletter/diversity-as-a-financial-competitive-advantage/
“The Underrepresentation of Women at the Highest Levels of the Legal Profession,” The American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today e-magazine, at: https://43979f.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/ABA-Article-10.5.22-Sheryl-Axelrod-The-Underrepresentation-of-Women..pdf
"Championing Inclusion: Tools Law Firms, All Companies, and All of Us, Can Use to Create Positive Change" by Sheryl L. Axelrod, at: https://litigationcommentary.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/01.13.23.Tools-Firms-Can-Use-to-Increase-Inclusion.pdf
"2022 LCA President Michael Ehrenstein interviews 2018 LCA President Marguerite Willis on Gender Diversity in the Legal Profession" at: https://litigationcommentary.org/2022/06/07/2022-lca-president-michael-ehrenstein-interviews-2018-lca-president-marguerite-willis-on-gender-diversity-in-the-legal-profession
"2022 LCA President Michael Ehrenstein interviews LCA Senior Fellow Sidney Kanazawa on Diversity in the Legal Profession" at: https://litigationcommentary.org/2022/02/14/message-from-2022-president-michael-ehrenstein