At Phillips Lytle, we believe that our commitment to diversity and inclusion enables our firm to offer the highest level of service to our clients and our communities. The Phillips Lytle Diversity & Inclusion Committee is comprised of attorneys firmwide. Our Committee is dedicated to fostering our firm’s ethos that a commitment to diversity and inclusion has a tangible impact both internally and externally. The Committee does so by ensuring (1) that ours is a community in which each attorney is given the tools and support necessary to succeed and (2) that the firm remains fully engaged in what is important to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Our strong belief in diversity and inclusion are at the core of our work both inside the firm and within our communities.
Diversity and inclusion are core values at Phillips Lytle. We recognize that differences among people are a key part of providing the highest level of client service, and that we are strengthened by the different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences of every colleague in our organization. To that end, the firm’s culture, policies, and the initiatives of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee support these core values and prepare us for a global marketplace. By appreciating and respecting diversity, we are elevated as a firm and as practitioners.
A Community-Minded Organization
Phillips Lytle’s pro bono program is an important component of our commitment to diverse communities. We strive to assist those in need and to provide support for organizations that contribute to the quality of life in our communities. Over the last three years, Phillips Lytle has provided more than $3.1 million in legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families, and not-for-profit groups.
Employing Thoughtful Individuals
We continue to build on our commitment to bettering our communities through corporate volunteerism efforts. Phillips Lytle’s Volunteer Crew was established in 1994 and is managed by a committee of Phillips Lytle employees. The group provides a means to champion valued local causes. The core team of volunteers recruits and coordinates the activities of hundreds of employees and attorneys of the firm and their family members. Thousands of hours are spent working on initiatives such as delivering meals, partnering with clients in school mentoring programs, staffing community events, cleaning, and painting. This grass-roots corporate volunteerism is a natural extension of our tradition of philanthropy, and is a key part of our corporate citizenship program.
Phillips Lytle Leads by Example
Phillips Lytle’s civic participation is significant. At the firm level, we sponsor hundreds of charitable and educational events annually. We further encourage our attorneys to be active members of their communities and to serve on boards or organizations of their choice. As a result, our attorneys take leadership, sponsorship, committee and other roles in professional and civic organizations which promote the advancement of diversity in the business community. The organizations we support are many and are broad-reaching throughout all of the communities we serve.
Phillips Lytle believes that a commitment to diversity and inclusion within the firm starts in the communities we serve. This belief is the core of our Phillips Lytle pipeline program, a program through which Phillips Lytle has dedicated itself to a variety of initiatives committed to creating and fostering a pipeline to the legal profession for diverse and underserved students in our communities.
Since 1990, the firm has bolstered its commitment to diversity in our legal community through the establishment of Phillips Lytle Diversity Scholarship at the University at Buffalo Law School. Each year the firm awards scholarships to promising law school students showing financial need, outstanding legal aptitude, and a commitment to the practice of law in Western New York. This scholarship was one of the first of its kind in the nation.
The Phillips Lytle Peace Out! program embodies Phillips Lytle’s pipeline to the legal profession. Peace Out! is a fun, engaging mock-trial program designed and facilitated by Phillips Lytle’s attorneys for local students in underserved communities. While grappling with realistic case scenarios together with the students, our attorneys impart their knowledge of the law and the art of creating a ‘winning’ argument. Ultimately, through this engaging program our attorneys demonstrate that carrying out justice in the legal profession depends on valuable ideas from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Since its inception in 2011, Phillips Lytle’s Peace Out! has reached over 1,200 students, cultivating a future generation of diverse attorneys.
In 2015, Phillips Lytle began partnering with community leaders to host and facilitate the biannual Leaders in the Making Conference. A valuable part of our Phillips Lytle pipeline, this event provides an opportunity for over thirty Phillips Lytle attorney volunteers to contribute time and expertise to advance the important mission of preparing promising, economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students for success in higher education and in the legal profession. Early indications have been promising; as one student wrote of the conference: “You and your volunteers have helped to reaffirm my dream to become a lawyer.”
Phillips Lytle is committed to cultivating an inclusive environment where all individuals have the opportunity to succeed, personally and professionally. We believe individual self-realization is the foundation upon which effective teams are built. A diverse and inclusive workforce fosters creativity and growth, enabling us to deliver exceptional results while engaging meaningfully with clients and the community at large.
The Phillips Lytle Women’s Affinity Group seeks to develop and promote women lawyers and maximize their opportunities for business development and leadership. Innovative programs and ongoing dialogue are at the core of this initiative. The group promotes networking, mentorship, and training of women attorneys by hosting regular meetings discussing relevant and timely topics affecting women in the law and fostering an environment of candid discussion of the same.
Phillips Lytle Is Recognized for Its Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion