Maynard Cooper is committed to promoting and investing in diversity in the workplace and the community. We have pledged ourselves to respect diversity in an atmosphere free from unwarranted bias and prejudice. This pledge governs our hiring and personnel policies, as well as our personal relationships within the firm. Maynard Cooper’s lawyers are also active participants in local and national organizations committed to enhancing diversity in the legal profession. In addition, our firm and our lawyers devote significant financial and human resources to local initiatives that empower those from diverse backgrounds.
Recruitment, Retention, and Promotion
Maynard Cooper embraces diversity as a hallmark of the firm and is committed to recruiting, hiring, developing, and promoting attorneys without regard to gender, race, disabilities, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, social or ethnic group. We recognize that our ability to provide clients with the highest quality of service in the local, national, and international marketplace is strengthened by a diverse workforce, among whom differences are accepted and valued.
We are therefore committed to maintaining a multi-cultured work environment. Toward that end, the firm has taken the following specific steps (among others) to ensure that our commitment is upheld:
- We seek substantial women and otherwise diverse student participation in our summer associate program, the hiring ground for the bulk of our lawyers. In 2020, the summer associate class consisted of 15 women and 5 minorities.
- Eight of the firm’s associate hires within the last 12 months have been women or minorities.
- We have made communicating our commitment to diversity a primary focus of our relationships with the law schools where we conduct on-campus interviews for prospective summer associates.
- Our attorneys conducting on-campus interviews make a concerted effort to identify minority candidates for employment and encourage female and minority candidates to interview in our offices.
- Since 1991, we have endorsed two diversity scholarships at the University of Alabama School of Law.
- We have a diversity sponsorship program which pairs our diverse associates with senior shareholders to enhance the young attorney's practice.
- We encourage female and minority attorneys to seek leadership positions within and outside our law firm. Our 9-person Board of Directors includes 2 female attorneys, and one of the firm's female attorneys served as President of the Birmingham Bar Association. We also ensure broad participation of female and minority attorneys on our firm's Recruiting Committee.
To further solidify our commitment to the development and growth of our diverse attorneys, Maynard Cooper consistently has female and minority attorneys recognized for their outstanding skills by the industries’ leading ranking services. Seventeen of the firm’s female attorneys and six minority attorneys are included in the 2017 Best Lawyers in America© and five of our female attorneys are ranked as Top Tier attorneys in the most recent edition of the prestigious Chambers USA®. Further, Maibeth Porter was named 2018 "Lawyer of the Year" for Product Liability Litigation by Best Lawyers®. In addition, an impressive 13 females and four minority attorneys are listed in the 2017 Mid-South Super Lawyers. Additionally three females in our firm are listed among the "Top 50 Alabama Super Lawyers" and four are listed among the "Top 50 Women Mid-South Super Lawyers." Sasha Rao, a minority female in the Firm’s San Francisco office, was named to the 2017 California Super Lawyers for her recognition in Intellectual Property Litigation. Cynthia Lamar-Hart of our Birmingham office, has earned the distinguished Band I Leading Individual accolade in the area of Private Wealth Law by Chambers & Partners.
Maynard Cooper is proactive in involving our female and minority attorneys in all matters where their skill levels and seniority are appropriate for the task. Our staffing of matters includes informing, promoting and assigning female and minority attorneys to work on matters whenever possible.
Minority Scholars LSAT Program
Since 2008, we have offered a Minority Scholars LSAT Prep Course to aspiring undergraduates in the region. To date, graduates of our LSAT program have matriculated to law schools at University of Alabama, Cumberland, Vanderbilt, University of Mississippi, Mercer and Washington University in St. Louis.
Maynard Cooper is making a concerted effort to create a culture that values and rewards minority student achievement in secondary as well as post-secondary education throughout our community. One component of this effort is Maynard Cooper’s collaborative partnership with SpeakFirst: An Alabama Debate Initiative. Beginning direct service in 2004, SpeakFirst’s mission is to enrich the academic experience of talented and motivated students from Birmingham's public high schools through participation on an “all-star” debate team. The debate training provided by SpeakFirst develops students’ critical thinking, writing, research and public speaking skills. Tutoring, college admissions guidance, standardized test prep and summer internships are also provided. SpeakFirst aims to provide participating students with the skills and knowledge they need to realize their talents and participate fully in society as students, leaders and citizens.
Maynard Cooper is pleased to be investing substantial resources into SpeakFirst. The firm is committed to a multi-year financial gift to support the team’s operations as well as providing office space for daily debate practices. In addition, our individual attorneys serve the organization through various volunteer efforts.
Our collaborative partnership with SpeakFirst reflects the Firm's long-standing commitment to both public service and to issues of concern to communities of color. Learn more about SpeakFirst.
Maynard Cooper’s commitment to diversity extends beyond the workplace to our community. Our firm has chosen to invest monetary resources and human resources in local organizations that promote and empower those from diverse backgrounds.
For example, Maynard Cooper is committed financially to:
- Restoration of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Birmingham Athletic Partnership (an alliance of businesses and individuals that is dedicated to strengthening high school athletics in the Birmingham city schools)
- Operation New Birmingham
- The National Conference for Community and Justice
- CampFire USA
Additional Leadership and Commitments
Maynard Cooper attorneys serve in various leadership positions that empower those of diverse backgrounds:
- Anthony A. Joseph served as President of the Alabama State Bar for the 2013-2014 term
- Our lawyers served as chairs of of the United Way of Central Alabama 2006 and 2014 Campaigns, with direct responsibility for raising 35 million dollars that funds over 80 local agencies
- One of our lawyers is a Board Member and Major Gifts Committee Member of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- One of our lawyers is a member of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- One of our lawyers is a former member of the Alabama Advisory Committee for the United States Committee on Civil Rights
- One of our lawyers is a former Board Chairman of Workshops, Inc. (training and sheltered employment for the severely disabled)
- One of our lawyers is a Board Member of the National Conference for Community and Justice
- One of our lawyers is a Board Member of Grace House Ministries (home for girls in family crisis situations)
- One of our lawyers is a Board Member of Cornerstone Schools of Alabama (private school for inner-city students)
- One of our lawyers is a Board Member of the Metropolitan YMCA (includes 10 metro branches, downtown youth center, camp and several initiatives for minority youth)