Diversity is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements.” At Taft, we understand that bringing together differing elements is critical to reviewing all options in an effort to create the best solution. Our professionals work to foster a culture of inclusion, one that embraces the value of diverse perspectives.
Our clients continually demonstrate how important diversity and inclusion is to them; they create and support programs that promote diversity in the workplace and in their communities. We share the same conviction and strive to support and encourage diversity and inclusion through our involvement with organizations including:
- Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC): Taft was a founding member of the Cincinnati Bar Association's Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC) Roundtable, which fosters discussion about — and promotes methods for — increasing minority representation in the legal profession. Taft not only participates in the organization’s mock interview roundtable, but also hosts a summer associate and holiday reception and sponsors the organization’s awards banquet. Taft was also a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program, which seeks to encourage corporations to retain minority suppliers.
- Indiana Council of Legal Education Opportunity (ICLEO): The Indiana Council of Legal Education Opportunity offers an intensive six-week study program to 30 minority or underprivileged people who are entering an Indiana law school in the fall. During the six-week study program, participants take classes and learn the basics of the law school process. Taft has a continuing relationship with ICLEO, which includes hosting an annual event where ICLEO scholars are introduced to the firm.
- Indianapolis Public School (IPS) 58: Taft has partnered with the United Way of Central Indiana and several other organizations to create a law exploratory and career readiness program for Indianapolis Public School (IPS) 58. The educational sessions provide inner-city students with opportunities to learn about various careers in law and safety. Representatives from Taft, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the IPS Police Department, and Reach for Youth visit the classroom for a career day presentation and discuss their positions, job responsibilities and career paths. In addition, Reach for Youth conducts an interactive explanation of Teen Court and discusses law concepts and terms for everyday use. The program concludes with a field trip to the federal courthouse that includes an orientation, a tour, an educational activity and a visit with a judge.
- Just the Beginning (JTB): Taft regularly partners with Just the Beginning, an organization dedicated to diversification of the legal profession through mentoring and skill development. Taft Chicago hosts a Legal Ethics Day for JTB’s high school summer institute scholars, and Taft Indianapolis hosts an oral argument competition for JTB’s Summer Legal Institute. In addition, Taft Indianapolis hosts an annual reception to help build support among corporate and community partners.
- Law and Leadership Institute (LLI): Taft hosts LLI students for a week-long internship in each of our Ohio offices. Taft attorneys work with students on assignments created through LLI that cover different areas of law, including business law, contracts and constitutional law. Students also have Q&A sessions with Taft summer associates about law school, participate in mock interviews and gain insight from lunch meetings with attorneys.
- Minority Clerkship Program: Each year, Taft employs one summer associate through the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Minority Clerkship Program, and Taft employs one 1L for the summer through the Columbus Bar Association’s Minority Clerkship Program. Taft also participates in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Fall Diversity Career Fair and the Columbus Bar Association Managing Partners Diversity Initiative.
- Professional Women’s Resource Group (PWRG): Taft’s highly successful Professional Women's Resource Group was established in 1996. The group strives to strengthen existing relationships with women clients who own or manage businesses or other organizations and forge new and continuing relationships with professional and executive women in our community. One of the group’s most popular events is a "Women in Leadership" breakfast forum, where outstanding women in business serve as guest speakers on a wide variety of topics. In addition, Taft's PWRG hosts roundtable discussions, book events where attendees can meet well-known authors, and opportunities to view special exhibits and performances.