Legal news publication, Law360, recently profiled Director of Attorney Development & Recruiting Jodi M. Dalton who recently joined BFKN. She spoke to Law360 about the firm's culture and positive work environment as well as the significant growth the firm is experiencing and the opportunity to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Barack Ferrazzano Hires BigLaw Vet As Recruitment Director

By Adrian Cruz

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP announced that it hired a veteran business development manager with experience at major law firms as its new director of attorney development and recruiting. Jodi M. Dalton joined Barack Ferrazzano last Monday after 4½ years working with Reed Smith LLP. She told Law360 on Friday that she was attracted to the firm by its culture, which she said is different from the BigLaw firms she had worked at.

Dalton added that previous experience working with Barack Ferrazzano's Chief Marketing Officer Sivan Galinsky at Sidley Austin LLP also influenced her decision to join the firm.

"The culture here is very refreshing," Dalton said. "There's a lot of BigLaw Lawyers that have come over, doing exceptional and sophisticated work in an environment that's really supportive. They're experiencing exponential growth right now, and they have a real desire to work on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and strong professional development."

As director of attorney development and recruiting, Dalton works mainly in the areas of talent acquisition and professional development while focusing on Barack Ferrazzano's DEI initiatives. One of the ways she said the firm can appeal to up-and-coming talent is by highlighting the complex work it gives first- and second-year associates.

"We've been bringing in a number of associates in a variety of practice areas and the appeal to them is the mentorship and ability to do sophisticated work for some incredibly marquee clients across different industries," Dalton said. "It's not unlikely for a junior associate to be tapped for trial work and that's pretty rare, especially compared to BigLaw. They're not just research lawyers here."

When it comes to DEI, Dalton said that one of the main reasons the firm hired her was because it was aware it needed improvement in that area.

"They want to do better in that area, and that's not unlike a lot of law firms," she said. "They know there's diverse talent out there, and they want to be in the position to recruit that diverse talent at the highest level in terms of pedigree and capability. We're really making an effort to recruit and retain individuals who want to practice law with a great group of people."

Chicago-based Barack Ferrazzano has around 130 attorneys and staff, according to the firm.

During her time with Reed Smith, Dalton served as senior business development manager, most notably as a lead role in the firm's merger of its U.S. and U.K.-based commercial disputes practices into a single worldwide practice group. She also led the creation of a multi-day global disputes conference, which drew a wide range of clients from all over the world.

"The merger of the two groups reflected the global platform of the clients they represented, which was exciting and helped bridge the gaps between client representation and keeping lawyers in such a large firm informed on what their partners were doing across the pond," Dalton said.

Before joining Reed Smith and Sidley, Dalton had stints with Mayer Brown LLP, Littler Mendelson PC and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jodi Dalton to our management team at BFKN," co-managing partner Roger Stetson said in a statement. "Jodi's vast experience working closely with all levels and roles of legal staff as well as leading a variety of professional development and DEI initiatives make her a perfect fit and great addition to the firm."

--Editing by Adam LoBelia.

To read more on Law360's feature, click here: https://www.law360.com/pulse/articles/1483854/barack-ferrazzano-hires-biglaw-vet-as-recruitment-director

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