Archer maintains a strong commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in the firm and strives to create a workplace environment which embraces differences in perspectives and cultures so that all can work in an atmosphere of inclusion and respect. This not only provides Archer employees with an opportunity to flourish in their careers, but also optimizes the firm’s ability to provide exceptional service to its clients. Diversity widens our experience and perspective for understanding the needs of our clients and the community and enhances our ability to serve a broad client base while also creating additional opportunities to attract and develop talented professionals and staff.
The firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is put into practice through a variety of initiatives. Leading this charge is Shelley R. Smith, Archer’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. Shelley also serves as Chair of Archer’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Led and supported by employees at all levels, the firm’s initiatives focus on recruitment and retention, mentoring, professional development and advancement, education, client partnerships and community outreach.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Archer was created to review, recommend and implement policies and initiatives which put into practice our overarching goal of building a diverse team of attorneys. Committee membership is approved by the firm’s Board of Directors and the President of the firm sits on the Committee. Members of the Committee include attorneys from a variety of backgrounds, professional roles, practice areas, and are from several of the firm’s office locations.
Members of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee include:
- Shelley R. Smith, Chair
- Christopher R. Gibson, Archer President
- Carlos M. Bollar
- Nilufer O. DeScherer
- Deborah A. Hays
- Carlton L. Johnson
- Allen G. Kadish
- Marie E. Lihotz
- Thomas A. Muccifori
- William T. Rogers
- Debra S. Rosen
- Stacey J. Sinclair
The core functions of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee include:
- Working on a collaborative basis with the firm’s Personnel and Hiring Committees and firm management to review current practices regarding recruitment, hiring, training, mentoring, evaluation and advancement and to make recommendations that will enhance the firm’s opportunities to recruit, develop and retain diverse candidates.
- Reviewing and recommending initiatives for diversity and other training to enhance communication and education at all levels.
- Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of initiatives and best practices in the legal industry for enhancing diversity and inclusion at the firm and serving as a resource for those who request the Committee’s advice or support.
- Recommending opportunities, such as conferences, networking events and organization membership, which enhance professional development and support the firm’s diversity initiatives.
Archer’s commitment to diversity is put into practice through a variety of initiatives, highlights of which include:
Archer’s Women Lawyers Network: Archer’s Women Lawyers Network provides mentoring and networking to the firm’s women attorneys, with particular focus on professional and practice development, career advancement, and work/life balance.
Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG): Archer is a long-standing member of the PDLG. The PDLG creates programs to enhance recruitment and retention of lawyers of diverse backgrounds by law firms and corporate law departments in Philadelphia region. Over the years, many first-year students have spent their summers working at Archer, been hired back for a second summer and received offers to join the firm.
Archer’s Diversity Scholarship at Temple University Beasley School of Law: Archer awards an annual scholarship to a diverse second-year Temple University Law School student. This acclaimed program has provided over $100,000 in scholarships since 2011, and has led to the hiring of many summer associates as full-time Archer employees over the years.
Archer’s Diversity Scholarship at Rutgers Law School: Since 1999, Archer has awarded a scholarship to diverse first-year law students at Rutgers Law School in Camden. To date, over 18 Rutgers Law students have received over $250,000 in grants, plus summer associate positions.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Workshops: In support of Archer’s continuing commitment to improving its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion culture, the firm holds a series of trainings for all employees on topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Microaggressions, and Cross-Cultural Competency.
Affinity and Community Organization Support, Membership and Leadership: Archer’s attorneys are leaders and active members of affinity, charitable and civic organizations that support our diverse community. Within the legal profession, our attorneys have held leadership roles in affinity organizations such as the Hispanic National Bar Association, Asian American Bar Associations of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, the Women’s Law Project, the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, the Garden State Bar Association, and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, among others. Our attorneys also are leaders in their communities, providing hands-on help when and where it’s most needed. Our attorneys lend their time and leadership skills to organizations such as Community Legal Services, the Support Center for Child Advocates, and Habitat for Humanity, among others.
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