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Partner Dave Stern has been invited to serve as a guest panelist at Emory University School of Law’s Leadership Conference on January 18th, 2018, at the Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims. During the Leadership Conference, he will speak alongside some of the top federal judges and private practice lawyers in the nation.

Dave will be discussing diversity and inclusion in the practice of law, a topic that he has advocated for and prioritized throughout his career. Dave was recently featured in The Legal Intelligencer’s case study, “Diversifying the Plaintiffs Bar, One Small Firm at a Time”, which noted that Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano has taken a unique approach to “outdo most of its peers.” He explained the two driving factors that help the firm maintain diversity: making sure lawyers in leadership don’t all come from similar backgrounds, and facilitating business development.

“Anybody who’s here, it doesn’t matter what you look like, you have the ability to get significant autonomy and leadership roles here with hard work,” Dave said. “There’s really not a lot of mystery in terms of who is going to be the next person to advance here. If you’re the next person in line, the opportunity is yours.”

Senior Associate Melissa Chandy, a member of The Legal Intelligencer’s 2017 Diversity Roundtable, discussed how giving diverse attorney’s opportunities to lead helps to empower others.

“Partner Dave Stern has been critical in putting me in a leadership position, so it’s either having partners that take an interest in diversity or finding that one partner who wants to take an interest, which will help to retain diverse attorneys,” said Melissa, who has been with the firm for 10 years. “We’ve done a great job of retaining diverse attorneys. You’re not just hired and then kind of immersed in this culture. You’re seeing diverse attorneys who have input in decisions and who have input in strategy.”

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