In the latest case study by The Legal Intelligencer, “Diversifying the Plaintiffs Bar, One Small Firm at a Time,” Partner David Stern highlights the importance of maintaining diversity in the legal field. Where most plaintiff firms in Philadelphia are demographically homogeneous,Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano has created a diverse staff of 20 male lawyers and 17 female lawyers. Stern notes that the firm screens from a large pool of applicants, which allows candidates from a variety of backgrounds to be considered during the hiring process.
“I think that the lawyers who represent the clients…should fall in line in terms of having some diversity,” Stern said.
Stern says that the two factors that help maintain diversity include making sure lawyers in leadership don’t all come from similar backgrounds, and facilitating business development. He suggests that Senior Associate Melissa Chandy, who was recently featured at the TLI’s Diversity Roundtable, is the perfect example of this.
“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,” Stern 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.”
While Stern is proud of the diversity at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, he still believes that the firm should continue to do more to improve. “I think we do a good job, [but] I don’t know that I’d give us an A-plus,” Stern said.