Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Are Core Values
Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP is committed to providing exceptional legal services, delivered by an organization that reflects and celebrates the unique viewpoints and goals of the clients and communities we serve. This core value is defined by our dedication to enhancing and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the firm.
We are committed to leading by example to ensure that the profession of law reflects the society in which we operate. To achieve this objective, we must embrace and cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusion as intrinsic priorities empowered by action. From our perspective, it is incumbent upon the profession of law, including our firm, to dynamically shift in strategy, mindset and practice.
Our enduring mission is to identify, develop and champion talent from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, religion, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. We are inspired to nurture a professional environment enriched by a culture of equity and inclusion, to the benefit of each individual touched by the firm.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team (DE&I Team) focuses on multiple issues as it strives to facilitate the firm’s ongoing efforts to advance an atmosphere in which our attorneys and business professionals can thrive as individuals with a variety of perspectives, abilities, and experiences. The DE&I Team pursues both transitional and long-term targets to help achieve this critical objective through employee training, attorney development, cultural competency, and engagement with the New Jersey community at large.
The DE&I Team meets regularly, and in collaboration with firm management and administration, to ensure that adequate resources are allocated to the strategic advancement and implementation of a broad range of diversity initiatives. The DE&I Team’s work is bolstered by the efforts of several dedicated focus groups, which concentrate on the recruitment and retention of talent, on community engagement and outreach, and on the promotion of women’s initiatives.
The DE&I Team and its focus groups have prioritized the development and implementation of the following initiatives:
- Exposing the firm’s members to the thought leadership of external diversity experts who provide training and share insights on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. All attorneys at the firm are required to participate in mandatory online DE&I education as a component of this initiative.
- Adopting professional development strategies that sustain a fully transparent and equitable attorney performance assessment and advancement process to ensure the firm’s appreciation of the unique talents and skills imbued in each attorney. This includes the implementation of a structured individual mentoring program that encourages more experienced attorneys to assist less experienced lawyers by providing substantive work product assessments and supporting career advancement through increasingly challenging assignments.
- Recognizing the value in mentorship and sponsorship and how both, in practice, may relate to ascending the legal industry leadership ladder. This includes preparing women and other underrepresented lawyers to assume greater responsibility in both law firms and corporate legal departments.
- Building ties with minority and women-owned businesses and encouraging cross-cultural community connections and support, including providing pro bono legal services through outreach to organizational partnerships and collaborative community-facing affiliations that cultivate measurable engagement with minority and underserved communities.
- Maintaining a dynamic recruitment process driven by increased activity within affinity bar associations, guided by impartial assessments of attorney potential and the principle that talent resides equally across law schools, law firms, and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and dedicated to the creation of a pipeline of diverse attorneys who can be elevated to leadership roles.
- Developing enlightened workplace policies, including greater flexibility in terms of working hours, providing options for remote work, and fine-tuning partnership track advancement, to help balance work and family commitments.
The firm is steadfast in its belief that proactively shining a spotlight on the issues that impact members of underrepresented groups is critical to meeting our diversity and inclusion mission. A number of our attorneys devote themselves to membership and leadership in professional associations focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, both within and beyond the legal industry.
This activity includes involvement in the following organizations:
- Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey – Irene Hsieh, Secretary, Former Director; Christine F. Li, member
- CREW Network – Ann M. Waeger, member, former Director, former Professional Mentor in Leadership Certificate Program; member, former Director and Past President, CREW-NJ chapter
- Diversity Law Institute – Steven Nudelman and Dennis A. Estis, members
- Garden State Bar Association – Joel Clymer, Secretary; Labor & Employment Law Committee; Gala Fundraising Committee
- International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation of New Jersey – Nancy Isaacson, member
- New Jersey State Bar Association, LGBT Rights Section – Emily A. Kaller, Chair
- New Jersey State Bar Association, Women in the Profession Section – Stephanie G. Reckord, Trustee and Past Chair; Emily A. Kaller, member and Past Chair
- New Jersey Women Lawyers Association – Jemi Goulian Lucey, Executive Board and Nominations Co-Director; past President (2020-2021); Jessica M. Carroll, Judicial Outreach Committee Co-Chair; Barbara J. Koonz and Maja M. Obradovic, members
Facilitating the Conversation
Members of the firm further demonstrate their commitment to our mission by regularly engaging in programming, authorship and other initiatives that seek to address inequities and advance inclusivity in professional opportunity and advancement. This thought leadership includes presentations to a broad range of audiences and organizations including the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Judicial College, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, the Association of Corporate Counsel New Jersey Chapter, the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, the Middlesex and Morris County Bar Associations, the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts, the New Jersey Realtors Diversity Forum, the New Jersey Association for Justice, the Rutgers University School of Law – Newark, and numerous providers of continuing professional education.
Some recent and upcoming speaking engagements in which our attorneys are program coordinators, panelists and/or moderators follow:
- The Value of Authentic Leadership – April 2022
- Practice What You Preach: Diversity and Inclusion in Hiring and Retention – December 2021
- Blazing Your Own Trail: Insights from Women Leaders of the Bench & Bar – October 2021
- Pathways to Leadership With NJWLA Past Presidents – October 2021
- The Architecture of the Workforce: Achieving Permanent Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession – June 2021
- Employment Discrimination Claims After Bostock v. Clayton – May 2021
- How Title VII and Title IX Co-Exist Under the New Title IX Regulations – April 2021
- 2021 LGBTQ Rights Annual Update – March 2021
- Diversity, Inclusion, and the Elimination of Bias: A Roadmap, A Mirror and A Toolkit for Legal Professionals – March 2021
- Black Women in the Law – March 2021
- Pathways to Leadership – March 2021
- Ladies of LAC: 2021 Act Like a Lady Think Like a Boss Retreat – March 2021
- Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging: Tools for Eliminating Barriers to Opportunity in the Legal Profession – December 2020
- Professionalism, Advocacy, and the Woman Lawyer – December 2020
- Title IX – The New Regulations – November 2020
- Notorious RBG – The Life and Legacy of an Icon – October 2020
- Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession – July 2020
- Gender Bias in the Legal Profession – October 2019
- Equal (And Unwelcome) Opportunities for Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace: Going Beyond #MeToo to Consider #MenToo – September 2019
- Eliminating Gender Bias and Stereotypes in the Legal Workplace – August 2019
- On the Basis of Sex: RBG’s Fight for Women’s Rights – March 2019
Women's Advancement Initiative
The firm’s Women’s Advancement Initiative (WAI) serves as a strategic resource to assist women attorneys in realizing their professional goals by providing them with tools to help them to develop, flourish and reach their full potential. To this end, the WAI facilitates the implementation of fruitful business generation initiatives, leadership training, and effective professional development practices through encouragement, advocacy, educational programming, and networking opportunities.
The WAI strives to advance and expand women’s leadership within the firm, the legal industry, and at the highest levels of business as a whole. Through curated programming centered on the unique needs and perspectives of women professionals, the WAI focuses on best practices in business development and professional relationship building. These efforts are directed towards laying the framework – and building an essential toolbox – for capitalizing on career advancement and leadership opportunities.
Investing in Our Future Leaders
We are proud to provide opportunities through the Rutgers Law School Minority Student Program (MSP) and to participate as a Summer Internship Program (SIP) Employer Partner, playing our part in helping develop members of the legal industry's next generation of lawyers. Rutgers Law School’s MSP is a nationally-acclaimed post-admissions program that serves students of any minority race or ethnicity who have faced discrimination or overcome social and economic hardships. The program offers guidance on developing legal skills, academic support, alumni mentoring and networking, internships and other opportunities.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leadership
Outreach & Community Engagement Focus Group
Jemi Goulian Lucey
Joseph M. Oriolo
Dina M. Vanides
Recruitment & Retention
Darren C. Barreiro
Maja M. Obradovic
Women's Advancement Initiative
Emily A. Kaller
Barbara J. Koonz
Jemi Goulian Lucey