BFKN is pleased to announce that co-managing partner, Roger H. Stetson, has committed to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's (LCLD) Leaders at the Front Pledge. The LCLD is an
organization of more than 400 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who have pledged themselves, through the Leaders at the Front initiative and other means, to creating a diverse U.S. legal profession.
The Leaders at the Front Pledge is designed to address the systemic barriers diverse lawyers face, and to build on what works to create sustainable “next practices” for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the legal profession by asking its members to make personal commitments to DEI and implement organizational changes that are specific, meaningful, and measurable.
Roger and the firm have committed to the following:
- I will lead and commit the firm’s Management Committee to support the development of a DEI training program that, beginning in 2023, will be mandatory for all attorneys and staff.
- Working with the practice group leaders of each of our core practices, I will ensure that diverse attorneys are getting the opportunities to work on matters that will advance their skills and careers effectively.
- I will actively participate in the succession planning for practice group leadership, as well as client relationships, to ensure they include historically underrepresented individuals.
- I will identify and sponsor an LCLD Fellow and/or a Pathfinder annually.
- I will meet, on a quarterly basis, with our firm’s Fellows, Pathfinders, and Alumni to learn more about their experience in the program and get their feedback on our efforts.
- The firm will achieve Midsize Mansfield Rule certification in 2023.
- The organization commits to working with diverse talent pipeline organizations that recruit and support diverse talent and who can assist our efforts to meet our goals to consider and retain diverse talent.
- We will pursue the establishment of an internal task force to implement a Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) program that considers all CSR involvement throughout our firm (charitable/educational Board service, DE&I efforts, individual volunteer work, etc.) to both highlight and support our collective contributions.
- We will encourage ongoing volunteerism firmwide by creating more opportunities for our attorneys and staff to volunteer at the firm’s partner organizations through the BFKN Foundation.
- We will focus on supporting diversity initiatives that blend our goals with those of our clients and create opportunities for collaboration across our entire firm (including staff members) with our clients’ teams.
- We will be intentional in our review and assessment of our firm’s diverse lawyer retention and path to promotion opportunities to ensure we provide a supportive and encouraging environment for our diverse lawyers to stay and build their careers.
- We will continue to be intentional in ensuring that DE&I is a consideration in major firm decisions including hiring, staffing, policies, partner admissions, succession planning, and business development initiatives.
To read more about the pledge, visit:
Roger H. Stetson is co-managing partner of the firm as well as a member of the Commercial Litigation, Antitrust & Commercial Competition, Real Estate, Financial Institutions, and Manufacturing, Distribution & Franchising Groups. He is a trial lawyer who litigates on behalf of individuals and corporations. Appearing 100+ times before judges in federal and state courts in jurisdictions across the country, Roger has been engaged by some of the world’s most prominent companies to represent them in their most significant legal disputes, including class actions, shareholder disputes, and derivative claims. Roger has a wealth of experience advocating on behalf of manufacturers, REITS, financial institutions, distributors, developers, and the officers and directors that work in these industries.