First Annual Lambda Legal Diversity Forum a Success Hermes Sargent Bates joins to support and promote diversity (Dallas) − June 24, 2005, marked a change in the Dallas legal community: the first annual Lambda Legal Diversity Forum. For the first time in history, seven local legal organizations teamed together to discuss and encourage diversity in the Dallas legal community. The four-hour Forum was presented by Lambda Legal, the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, J.L. Turner Legal Association, the Dallas Asian American Bar Association and the Dallas Women Lawyers Association, and covered by Texas Lawyer. Hermes Sargent Bates, a firm committed to diversity, was proud to be involved with the event. Senior Associate Amy Davis Benavides, co-chair of Lambda Legal and chair of the Forum, stated that the Forum provides corporate and outside counsel the opportunity to publicly commit to support diversity and inclusion within the profession. She hopes this Forum will serve as a pilot for similar programs throughout the country. Partners Frank Alvarez and Monte Hurst participated on the panel of Dallas law firm management, which also included Carol Glendenning, Managing Director for Strasburger & Price; and Randall Ray, Hiring Partner for Gardere Wynne Sewell. The panel discussed the programs and initiatives their firms use to attract and maintain diverse legal professionals. “Hermes Sargent Bates will continue its commitment to diversity as a firm while encouraging change throughout the Dallas legal community,” says Mr. Hurst. “To see these organizations and professionals pull together to bring attention to this cause is very encouraging.” Mr. Alvarez agrees, “As the largest firm in Texas with a female name partner, we are proud of our track record in attracting women and minorities [20 out of their 46 attorneys are women]. We recognize the importance of diversity to our firm’s long-term success, and are thrilled to be a part of this very worthwhile event.” In addition to the panel discussion, attendees listened to keynote speaker Wendy Tice-Wallner, recently elected Chairman of the Board of Directors for Littler Mendelson, a national law firm with 400 attorneys in 17 states. Since 1999, Tice-Wallner has served as the first female managing director and president of Littler Mendelson. She joins only a handful of women in comparable roles at other major law firms. She spoke of her firm’s efforts to increase diversity among its lawyers and staff, citing challenges encountered, as well as practices that firms of all sizes can implement. Following Tice-Wallner’s speech, senior corporate counsel and human resource leaders from several Dallas-based Fortune 500 companies, including Citigroup, JP Chase Morgan, Co., ePartners Incorporated and American Airlines, addressed diversity initiatives for outside counsel. Ms. Benavides believed the event to be a success, stressing, "Not only is diversity and inclusion the right thing to do, it is a business necessity in today's global economy." Hermes Sargent Bates, a full-service commercial firm, works with a wide array of local, national, and international clients in the risk, manufacturing, services, and commercial sectors. Named the sixth fastest growing firm in Texas by Texas Lawyer, the firm handles a wide range of cases, including: accounting malpractice, appellate and litigation support, banking and finance, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, commercial litigation, construction litigation, director’s and officer’s liability, employment and labor, healthcare, insurance coverage and defense, legal malpractice and grievance defense, mass tort litigation, medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, professional liability, real estate, securities, transportation, and workers’ compensation. The attorneys also have a broad depth of experience in advising clients on non- litigation matters. For more information on the forum, please contact attorney Amy Davis Benavides at 214-749- 6548, or Lauren Laughead at 214-749-6569. The firm’s website can be found at www.hsblaw.com.
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