Diversity & Inclusion

Committees and Leadership

Sheppard Mullin first established its diversity committee in the early 1990s to address a variety of critically important issues facing the legal profession. Since then, the firm-wide Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee – with top-down support – has guided and sponsored numerous initiatives and programs to help fulfill our mission in this area. The D&I Committee addresses key areas that include expanding diversity recruiting efforts, increasing the retention and promotion of women and diverse attorneys and enhancing diversity and inclusion in firm management and leadership.

In 2012, firm Chairman Guy Halgren created the Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Council (DISC). Under his leadership, a smaller core group of D&I leaders within the firm studies relevant data, develops related long-term strategic goals for D&I at Sheppard Mullin and identifies short-term, attainable objectives. DISC is held accountable for meeting objectives and producing results.

In addition to the D&I Committee and DISC, the firm recently engaged in a number of special initiatives to support the firm’s primary objectives with respect to D&I, namely to recruit, retain, promote and support our diverse attorneys and staff in a fully inclusive environment. These initiatives have included two special committees: the Women Attorneys Success Initiative Committee (WASIC) and the Attorneys of Color and LGBTQ+ Attorneys Success Initiative Committee (ACSIC), which used data in both quantitative and qualitative methods to generate innovative programs and initiatives that continue to drive the firm’s overall D&I program. They also included the creation of D&I Office Working Groups in each domestic office to provide local structure and support, as well as the addition of firm managers as liaisons to each of the affinity groups to ensure that each group has additional voices at the senior firm leadership and executive committee levels.

Our Current D&I Structure

  • National Committees
    • D&I Committee
    • DISC
  • National Committees
  • Affinity Groups
    • Diversity and Inclusion Network for Attorneys of Color (DIAN)
    • Out at Sheppard (OAS)
    • Women Lawyers Group (WLG)
    • Veterans at Sheppard (VAS)
  • D&I Office Working Groups
    • In each domestic office
  • National Leadership
    • Guy Halgren, Firm Chair and Chair of DISC
    • Rena Andoh, Chair of D&I Committee
    • Dianne Smith, Chair Emeritus of D&I Committee
    • Lois Durant, Director of Diversity & Inclusion