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Our Commitment to Diversity

Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and with non- traditional qualifications. The firm is committed to diversity by providing an inclusive workplace that fosters growth, respect and engagement.  

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee

Because we believe that actions speak louder than words, several years ago, we established the firm’s committee to determine where we could improve and to define steps to accomplish change. The committee meets regularly to assess needs, create objectives, and to set actionable goals to advance this commitment.  Some of the initiatives referenced below are the result of the committee’s work and the firm’s commitment to the advancement of equity in our firm and community. 

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

In June 2020, the firm announced its charter membership in the newly developed Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA). Nearly 250 law firms across the country are working collaboratively through a number of large-scale initiatives to help in the advancement of race equity and equal justice in the law profession. 

The stated mission of the LFAA is to “leverage the resources of the private bar to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to better use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and to promote racial equity in the law and in government institutions.” 

As part of our involvement with LFAA, we participated in the Fall 2020 Summit that served to educate the members on diversity issues in the legal profession and presented initiatives in support of future antiracism advocacy. 

Friday Forward

Friday Forward is a fellowship program that supports non-traditional law school candidates.  It was developed by attorneys in the firm and is available to qualified law school candidates.  The program provides support each year to a select group of 10 undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to help them prepare to pursue a legal education. Each Friday Fellow selected for the program receives a scholarship that pays for a LSAT preparation course to ready them for law school and later, financial assistance for a bar preparation program upon law school graduation. Importantly, Fellows also participate in a mentorship relationship with attorneys in the firm, with the ultimate goal of being considered for a clerkship with the firm subject to meeting GPA/class rank criteria while in law school.

Sponsors of Student Associations Supporting a more Diverse Legal Community

We also support student associations aimed at supporting the needs of students from various backgrounds and sponsor law school programs that encourage the development of a more diverse law community. For example, our lawyers support initiatives such as the Summer Pre-Law Program at the University of Arkansas (SPPARK),Lawyers Beyond Siloes, National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), and the Southwest Black Law Student Association (SWBLSA).

SPPARK  is an intensive pre-law program for first-semester college students and others historically underrepresented in law school. The program is held at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville.  Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP is the only law firm in Arkansas to participate as a sponsor of the program.

Lawyers Beyond Siloes is a program created through a collaborative partnership between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and the Unsiloed organization. Unsiloed’s goal is to work with partners in a journey to reach their highest aspirations for equity, inclusion and culture transformation.

Several of our attorneys served as judges for the 2019 NBLSA National Convention Moot Court Competition.  NBLSA is a nationwide organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and to effectuate change in the legal community.

Other Efforts

Many of our lawyers and staff members participated in the American Bar Association’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge followed by weekly roundtable lunches to discuss that week’s topics. This allowed our lawyers and employees to engage in important discussions that the challenge encouraged.

Also as part of the Firm’s ongoing efforts to address diversity, inclusion and social equity, we provided a series of discussions and training sessions for our attorneys and staff that was led by a representative from System Critical, a cultural competency- company based in Little Rock. The six-week program featured topics related to unconscious bias, race and ethnicity, intersectionality and sex, gender and biology.

Women in Leadership

We pride ourselves in promoting the development of women lawyers and professionals in our leadership and management positions.  Many women are active members of our firm’s leadership teams.

Diversity and Equality Policy

Friday Eldredge & Clark, LLP aims to create a workplace environment where diversity is encouraged and in which every member of the firm can realize his or her potential for excellence.

This policy is intended to guarantee equal opportunities for all firm members including students, legal and non-legal staff, associates, and partners.

Discrimination on the grounds of race, religious beliefs, color, gender, physical or mental disability, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or family status is prohibited at Friday Eldredge & Clark, LLP in any work-related activity, or in any of the firm's employment or recruitment practices.

Friday Eldredge & Clark, LLP acknowledges that barriers to equality are often systemic; that discriminatory practices and attitudes are often entrenched as custom within workplaces, and are not recognized as harmful; and that sometimes, employees must be treated differently in order to achieve substantive equality.

Friday Eldredge & Clark, LLP has undertaken a critical examination of its policies and practices and will continue to take positive measures to ensure that employment terms, conditions, and opportunities are implemented in accordance with equality principles for all employees and prospective employees.

 

 

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