Managing Partner — Tucker Ellis LLP
I, Joseph Morford, personally commit to the following:
At Tucker Ellis, equity, diversity and inclusion are an important part of our culture. We approach the term “culture” with a staunch belief that being authentic matters. Being fair with everyone matters. Allowing people to be themselves matters. Being respectful of one another matters. Balancing work and fun matters. Having a sense of humor matters. Empathy matters.
We pledge to do everything we can do, day in and day out, to hire diverse talent across our organization and train, mentor, listen to, learn from, promote, and provide opportunities to each person we hire, lawyers and staff alike – to help them succeed in building a meaningful career. We focus on making sure that all of our people feel that they fit in, that they matter, and that they are making an important contribution.
My personal efforts include the following commitments:
- As Tucker Ellis Managing Partner, I will identify and champion opportunities for changes that increase equity across our firm, including efforts to increase our successes in recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, compensation, and the staffing of matters.
- I will continue to ensure and increase diversity among our firm leadership, including practice group leaders, department leaders, and directors.
- Following the lead of the Supreme Court of Ohio, we will hire an equity, diversity, and inclusion professional at a senior level to strategically and collaboratively drive and support all of our EDI commitments and initiatives, including recruitment, retention, development, and engagement.
- I pledge to ensure that all potential associate-to-counsel promotions and elections to partner include at least 30% diverse candidates.
- I will routinely monitor and ensure that our compensation system is fair and unbiased.
- I will meet regularly with our Equity & Inclusion Committee and affinity group leaders, including our Women’s Initiative and lgbTE, to reaffirm my personal commitment to EDI and discuss concerns and suggestions for improvement to ensure that we are making progress.
- Externally, I will take advantage of my position as Tucker Ellis Managing Partner as a prominent voice in support of EDI within both the legal profession and the communities where we live and work.
- Externally, I will partner with clients, colleagues, and community members to share, brainstorm, and create/follow EDI best practices and improve EDI within Tucker Ellis, the legal profession, and the greater community.
The Tucker Ellis Equity & Inclusion Committee will pursue the objectives of our Committee, including:
- Through the engagement of internal and external speakers, programs, initiatives, and training sessions (including, by way of example, training on unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and blind spots), the Tucker Ellis Equity & Inclusion Committee will continue to identify opportunities to educate and enlighten our attorneys and staff on EDI issues to help foster a more inclusive, understanding, and empathetic culture. This includes hosting CLE programs within our annual In-house Counsel Summit and internal programs geared toward all Tucker Ellis personnel.
- We will encourage engagement in, as well as continue to sponsor and support EDI through and with our affinity groups and various organizations within our community. We will also continue to organize our own events to promote EDI within our firm and the greater community.
- We will include in our In House Counsel Summit program for our clients at least one panel focused on inclusion issues including issues related to race, gender, transgender rights, unconscious bias, and/or LGBTQ issues.
- Tucker Ellis will continue to make EDI a priority by diligently and thoughtfully pursuing our commitment to Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Program and complying with Mansfield Certified Plus expectations, including staffing decisions, personal development, promotions, and leadership appointments.
- Through our award-winning pipeline program:
- Tucker Ellis will continue to engage with high schools to educate and encourage students from underrepresented communities to learn about the law and pursue careers in the legal profession.
- Tucker Ellis will continue to proactively connect with colleges, law schools, student groups, and bar associations to increase our pipeline efforts at the secondary and law school levels.
- Tucker Ellis will continue to support and engage with the California Minority Counsel Program, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, National Black Law Students Association, Greater Cleveland Partnership, and other minority bar associations and organizations to actively involve our diverse and non-diverse attorneys and communicate our EDI commitment to the greater community.
- Tucker Ellis will partner with our clients to consistently propose client teams that are at least 30% diverse.
- Tucker Ellis will internally monitor and measure our progress in achieving our EDI goals and our inclusiveness efforts through an annual blind firmwide survey.
- Beginning in June 2022, Tucker Ellis will observe Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday for all Tucker Ellis employees. To mark our inaugural year and make our celebration more meaningful, we will honor the importance of Juneteenth by educating ourselves – as individuals and a firm – on its significance.
- Tucker Ellis pledges to incentivize our attorneys to advance our EDI initiatives by contributing time – both pro bono and volunteer – to promote equity within the legal profession, as well as within the communities where we live and work.
- Tucker Ellis will make EDI a priority within all leadership training efforts and offer inclusive leadership training.
- To better engage clients in our EDI efforts, Tucker Ellis relationship attorneys will proactively send personal emails to share our progress, such as our Mansfield Rule successes/Certified Plus/press releases and other EDI news, and to ask them what they would like to see from us regarding EDI efforts going forward.