Statement from David Foltyn, Chair and CEO
Honigman’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a fundamental part of our culture and our continued success. We truly believe that the diversity within our firm enhances our ability to attract and retain talented attorneys and staff and helps us better relate to and serve our clients. In today’s world of global business, this is more important than ever before. Diversity and inclusion brings a broader perspective to our thinking, our client relationships, and our work product. More importantly, it fosters an atmosphere of collegiality and respect, which is at the core of our firm’s values.
Our DEI priority is to ensure that women, minority, and other underrepresented attorneys, professionals and staff are given the opportunity to succeed at Honigman. Among our continuing DEI goals are the identification, discussion and promotion of workplace policies and initiatives designed to ensure and encourage an inclusive and equitable work environment and firm culture. We also make a concerted effort to make sure our DEI values are reflected in our client teams and client service initiatives.
Honigman has also worked to expand how we contribute toward DEI in our communities by increasing our external community outreach through our social responsibility programs, such as Honigman Academy, Thrive Scholars, and other legal pipeline programs.
As one of metropolitan Detroit’s largest law firms, we are also strongly committed to doing our part to encourage and ensure equal voice, opportunity and legal representation for African Americans and other people of color. Our shared commitment is documented in our 2020 Joint Racial Statement.
All in all, we recognize that it takes time, commitment, and an investment in the success of individuals to create an environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion can flourish. Honigman is proud of the hard work we have done and continue to do to be an inclusive and rewarding workplace that contributes to a more equitable society.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
Honigman provides a workplace that encourages and supports diversity, equity and inclusion by:
- Creating a clear and transparent path to success by using core competencies, benchmarks, and performance evaluations to mark progress;
- Creating opportunities for professional growth through work assignments and leadership opportunities;
- Providing attorney training to build legal and professional skills, especially as they relate to the firm’s core competencies;
- Providing special training for staff to develop leadership skills, team building, and an encouraging work environment;
- Providing mentors to support attorneys with their growth and development as professionals;
- Regularly requiring diversity and inclusion training and programming;
- Allowing flexible work schedules to help accommodate work/life balance; and
- Assisting each attorney in developing their business through the use of internal and external business development resources.
In addition to the firm’s internal efforts, for several decades, Honigman has hired first-year minority law students through the Wolverine Bar Foundation’s Summer Clerkship Program.
Also, in 2007, Honigman established the Jack Miller Memorial Scholarship Fund at The University of Michigan Law School. The Fund provides a scholarship to an incoming first-year law student in the memory of Jack Miller, a founding partner of the firm. The Fund specifically targets financially challenged students from the Detroit metropolitan area, where Honigman was founded and headquartered, with the purpose of building a diverse student population at the law school.
Honigman also actively supports local and national organizations that advocate for and promote diversity and inclusion, such as the Corporate Counsel Women of Color Conference, the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law, Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization, NAACP, Stop Asian Hate, Thrive Scholars Program, United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Wolverine Bar Foundation. In addition, Honigman joined the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance in 2020.
Honigman also participates in the ABA Model Diversity Survey, Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Law Firm Diversity Survey, Vault Diversity Survey and Justice Bid. Recently, Honigman achieved Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Certification status for Mansfield 6.0, and is currently pursuing certification under the latest version of the Mansfield Rule.
For more information regarding Honigman’s DEI efforts, please contact:
Khalilah V. Spencer, Honigman’s Inclusion, Equity and Social Responsibility Partner
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
To further the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals and objectives, Honigman has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (“DEI Committee”) that is led by the firm’s Inclusion, Equity and Social Responsibility Partner, Khalilah V. Spencer.
The DEI Committee’s primary purpose is to: (1) identify and discuss issues and concerns regarding the firm’s policies and workplace culture; and (2) promote firm initiatives and policies designed to encourage an inclusive and equitable work environment. The DEI Committee includes a Steering Committee, which includes the firm’s CEO, hiring partners, business development partner and Chief Professional Development Officer.
The DEI Committee also has four subcommittees:
- Talent and Pipeline
- Policy and Retention
- Business Development and Community Engagement
- Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup
The overall DEI committee is comprised of firm leadership, practice group leaders, board members, partners and associates from all demographic backgrounds, i.e., men, women, non-minorities and minorities, LGBTQ+ persons and veterans.
Among the DEI committee’s programs and initiatives are:
- DEI Speaker Series
- International Women’s Day Celebration
- Women Partners’ Dinner
- Summer Associate DEI Committee Events
- Annual Diversity Training
- Annual Women’s Forum
Honigman is an equal opportunity employer. The firm prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status or any other characteristic or condition protected by applicable state or federal law. It is also against firm policy to discriminate against any qualified disabled employee or applicant, against a disabled veteran or against a veteran of the Vietnam era. The firm will ensure that applicants and employees are treated in all aspects of employment without unlawful discrimination because of these or any other protected bases. Applicable areas of employment include, but are not limited to, recruitment, hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, compensation and training. The firm’s policy also requires that the work environment for all employees be free from all forms of unlawful harassment of a sexual or other discriminatory nature. All conduct contrary to this policy is prohibited.
Celebrating our Diversity
- Women's Bar Association of Illinois 2023 Top Legal Employers in Leadership - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award
- JD Advising 2021 Diversity Sponsor
- Corp! Magazine 2021 Winner - Salute to Diversity Awards
- Recognized by the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance - Tipping the Scales Award, 2021 and 2023
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