As we’ve watched the events over the last few weeks unfold, we have experienced an overwhelming feeling of sadness, as a firm and as people. Blatant—and repeated—disregard for black lives across the country has shaken what we as lawyers value to the core – freedom, equality and social justice. The senseless death of George Floyd is only the most recent in a long line of social injustices, and unfortunately, not the last. As lawyers, we believe we have a greater duty to see and defend injustices in our community. To that end, we are committed to listening, learning and acting for the greater good. Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett stands in solidarity with the peaceful protesters against racial injustice in policing, hoping and praying to make the vitally needed systemic changes to our society.
Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett prides itself on its commitment to diversity, both within the firm and in our community. We are committed to supporting organizations that promote opportunities for diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and social and economic background. However, we must—and we will—do more to actively combat racism and bigotry in our country and community.
Two years ago our firm instituted our annual Diversity Summer Associate Clerkship Program, wherein we hire several first year law students from diverse backgrounds to participate in an intensive four-week program where they experience first-hand the nature and breadth of our day-to-day corporate legal practice, and our unique firm culture. Our program provides enhanced mentoring to ensure that our Summer Associates have a meaningful and productive clerkship, learning firsthand what it means to practice law at a highly rated regional firm. They gain practical legal experience and insightful instruction in the process, hopefully leading to more and better job opportunities in the future.
But we are committed to doing more to enhance diversity and corresponding social justice in our legal practice and our community. For instance, we will encourage our attorneys to seek out and partner with minority-owned law firms when selecting outside counsel and responding to requests for proposals and qualifications; we will support our attorneys providing pro bono services that advance racial equality and promote social justice; and we will provide annual diversity and inclusion training for all partners, associates, and staff.
We challenge ourselves to continue to listen, learn and hold ourselves accountable through established processes for measuring our progress. Please join us in doing so.
Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett McCollam Duplantis & Eagan, LLC