Ethnic_DiversityWFBM understands the value of maintaining a diverse workplace and appreciates the varied experiences and perspectives that such diversity lends to a healthy work environment. Our firm continually strives toward maintaining a balanced group of talent that accurately reflects the clients which the firm serves. WFBM utilizes several "best practices" to retain and encourage the professional growth of all attorneys, regardless of gender, ethnicity, physical disability, or any other status protected by law. We believe that hiring and retaining diverse talent—at all levels—is the only way to create an exceptional team best suited for our clients' needs. Through a family-friendly firm culture, WFBM is able to recruit and retain the best attorneys and non-attorney staff members from a vast pool of applicants.

Our strong commitment to diversity is one of the characteristics that truly sets our Firm apart. At WFBM, our commitment to diversity is more than a formality – it is an integral part of our Firm culture.

bar_chart_1This is best demonstrated by the following statistics: 

•  27% of WFBM associates are part of an ethnic minority group, in comparison to the national average of 15% in Firms of a similar size, as reported by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Interestingly, 69% of comparably-sized Firms have less than the national average, and 29% have zero ethnic minority associates.

•  WFBM's overall percentage of ethnic minority attorneys (19%) is comparable to the most diverse and largest 200 Firms in the U.S., as reported by the Minority Law Journal's "2011 Diversity Scorecard".bar_chart_2

•  The percentage of ethnic minority partners at WFBM (12%) is over twice as high as the national average (5%) of Firms of a similar size (NALP).


Encouraging Leadership in Women

The firm's female attorneys play an integral role in the firm's leadership and currently hold positions such as Managing Partner (Mary Watson Fisher and Sharon Clisham), Marketing Partner (Dee Cohen Katz) and members of the firm's Executive Committee (Mary Watson Fisher, Sharon Clisham, Lisa Rice, Sandra Kennedy and Karen Agelson).

WFBM takes special pride in our commitment to fostering the leadership of women within the Firm. The Firm utilizes a mix of best practices to encourage the hiring, retention and promotion of women. This includes an active mentoring program, a part-time partnership track, and diverse hiring and management committees. Our results continue to be positive and our retention of women attorneys as associates and members in the Firm stands far beyond the national averages:

(as of March 2012)
National Average*

  Female Associates 68% 55%
  Female Non-Equity Partners 44% 25%
  Female Equity Partners 58% 15%
Female Managing Partners 100% 5%

WFBM is also proud that two of our women attorneys, Dee Cohen Katz (Orange) and Laurie E. Sherwood (San Francisco), have recently been invited to join the prestigious Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM).

Many of the firm's women attorneys also belong to the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).

* National Averages as reported by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL): "National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms", November 2011.