Olshan is committed to the fundamental principles of diversity and inclusion. We strive to create an environment that values each individual's contributions to our success, for our clients, our community and the firm. Embracing diversity allows us to draw from varied backgrounds, perspectives and experiences in order to recruit, hire, develop, promote and retain the very best talent, and deliver excellence to our clients. We believe that inclusion is integral to our collegial environment because it enables us to learn from one another, appreciate differences and collaborate more effectively.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Olshan's Diversity & Inclusion Committee is dedicated to fostering a diverse environment and promoting an inclusive culture in all aspects of firm life. We seek to engage with our community through a variety of professional and community-wide events and via free and open discussion.
Our programs and activities, which include participating in conferences, forums, networking events; in-house panels and roundtables on diversity topics; and social and volunteer activities, serve the following goals:
- Identifying, understanding and addressing bias
- Supporting diversity recruitment
- Client and community engagement
- Career development and mentoring
- Providing leadership opportunities for junior attorneys
The D&I Committee is led by partner Adrienne Ward, with support from counsel Kerrin Klein and Director of Administration, Heather Rutner and Director of Human Resources, William Lopez. All Olshan attorneys, from the most senior to law clerks, are invited to participate on the D&I Committee.
D&I Committee member Kenneth Silverman co-led Olshan Lawyer's Pro Bono Restaurant Project. The project assisted chef Greg Baxtrom in turning a restaurant into a showcase for Black chefs/food entrepreneurs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Olshan Litigation partner Adrienne Ward was appointed to New York City Bar Committee on Women in the Legal Profession.
Firm Sponsored Events
Annual participation in the Northeast Black Law Students Association (NEBLSA) Job Fair. This event draws over 300 diverse students and 80 employers from across the nation.
Sponsorship of Fiesta Con Sabor, the annual fundraiser by the Rutgers Law School Association of Latin American Law Students (ALALS).
Participation in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program sponsored by the New York City Bar through sponsorship of a NYC high school student intern. D&I Committee members have also participated in the City Bar’s Thurgood Marshall Professional Development Series, which provides NYC high school students the opportunity to learn about interviewing and workplace conduct and to engage with attorneys and legal professionals.
In-Firm Events and Community Outreach
Participation in the 21-Day Challenge in observation of Black History Month. Drawing from the American Bar Association's 21 Day Challenge, as well as Dr. Moore's 21 Day Challenge, the entire firm was invited to participate in a program developed by the D&I Committee designed to promote effective social justice habits and critical thinking. Readings and video selections were complemented by two discussion sessions.
Hosting the annual Thanksgiving Pot Luck Luncheon. The D&I Committee continued the tradition during the COVID-19 shut-down by hosting virtual potlucks that included a cookbook, a Zoom program featuring demonstration cooking videos by staff and attorneys; and a Zoom program featuring video cooking and mixology lessons.
Marking of International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a discussion of the book, “The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams,” by Jonathan Katz. Adams, a lesbian Polish Jewish immigrant, operated a tea room in Greenwich Village in the 1920s, was deported from the U.S. for obscenity and disorderly conduct, and later murdered at Auschwitz. Daniel Olsten, the nephew of Adams’ companion, joined the discussion from Switzerland.
Annual sponsorship of Winter Wishes. The Winter Wishes program matches children and teens with wish granters. The event culminates in a firm-wide wrapping party.
Annual participation in Monday Night Hospitality. This unique program serves restaurant-style meals to those in need in New York City.
Panels and Continuing Legal Education
D&I Committee panel, Economic Diversity and the Practice of Law (CLE)
D&I Committee panel, For Whose Sake: State Protection and Regulation of LGBTQ+ Lives (CLE)
Screening of the documentary “13th” followed by a roundtable discussion in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Other panels have addressed parenting; the women partners’ business development strategies; and mentoring