I, Brent Ballard, personally commit to the following:
- I will use my influence as a leader at Calfee to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the firm, in the legal profession, and in my community.
- I will use my position among the firm’s leadership team to advocate for meaningful changes to improve the equity of processes and systems, such as work assignments, hiring, promotion, and compensation.
- I will personally sponsor at least one diverse junior attorney. As part of this relationship, I will ensure each protégé receives a concrete stretch opportunity for internal and/or external visibility each quarter.
- I will meet with at least one general counsel client each year to discuss mutual DEI initiatives to help Calfee and the client’s organization meet our DEI goals and discuss our efforts, challenges, progress, and results.
- We will continue to provide mandatory DEI training and optional DEI programming on a variety of topics.
- We will successfully complete the Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification by complying with or exceeding all of the related initiatives that support advancement of our firm’s DEI goals.
- We will continue to support the nomination of diverse Calfee attorneys to participate in the LCLD Pathfinders and Fellow programs.
- We will fully support the firm’s sponsorship program for diverse attorneys and ensure full participation of those firm leaders serving as sponsors.
- We will continue to explore, as a firm and in partnership with firm corporate clients, specific initiatives Calfee can develop and/or support to help drive a meaningful increase in diversity for intellectual property and especially patent lawyers.
- We will continue to host our annual Summit on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession, inviting fellow local LCLD member firms and corporate counsel, law school DEI professionals and law students to participate in an afternoon of robust and candid discussions to generate actionable ideas that support progress and advancement of DEI initiatives.
- We will continue to develop, refine, and offer bespoke attorney and staff training programs that are based on identifying and optimizing each individual’s natural strengths, talents, and communication/leadership styles in an effort to create a shared, inclusive cultural language that honors unique differences.
- We will continue to serve as the Cleveland, Ohio City Lead for the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program, and our attorneys will continue to volunteer as mentors for the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program in our other offices.
- We will continue to participate in and support local and regional programs and organizations that support DEI, such as the Cleveland Gender Equity in the Legal Industry Forum (GELI), which is a collaboration of Cleveland law firms committed to identifying and addressing gender inequities at private law firms for which Calfee is a founding member and Ohio Business Competes, a non-partisan coalition of businesses committed to achieving nondiscrimination policies at the state level.
- We will continue to continue to participate in the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s “CommitCLE” program to support diverse businesses through intentional engagement with minority vendors and suppliers and track our progress in increasing the firm’s annual discretionary spending with MBEs and WBEs.