Putting people first has always been foundational to who we are and our values.

Our long-standing success is due in part to our commitment to building a team of diverse attorneys and business professionals whose life experiences and perspectives put us in the best position to provide our clients with the innovative solutions they need. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are at the core of our values, and we strive to create equal opportunities inside and outside our firm. We are dedicated to building a welcoming culture where everyone feels valued and safe to share their ideas and perspectives. That’s why we have a DE&I strategic plan focusing on recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse talent. Our DE&I Task Force steers our plan and provides ongoing firmwide educational programs and inclusion events like our Black History Month and Pride client-facing events.


Recruiting

Sherman & Howard strives to create an inclusive atmosphere where everyone can grow professionally and contribute meaningfully. We are committed to recruiting attorneys, associates, and business professionals who bring their unique life experiences, worldviews, knowledge, and skills to provide innovative and intelligent solutions for our clients. Our goal is to create a strong pipeline of diverse talent while also building goodwill within the local and legal community. 

As a charter signatory in the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Legal Group (The Pledge), we champion the increase in the number of diverse attorneys recruited, hired, and promoted by legal organizations in Colorado. The Pledge facilitates at least one diverse first-year law student to participate in our Summer Associate Program each year. In Arizona, we partner with the Diversity Legal Writing Program, a collaborative scholarship program between the Maricopa County Bar Association, the State Bar of Arizona, and other Phoenix law firms, to provide a diverse second-year law student a 12-week private law firm internship during their spring semester.

We participate in the Mansfield Rule program, which provides processes to achieve inclusive recruiting practices. The firm achieved its first Midsize Mansfield Certification for 2022-2023.

We support pipeline development through our partnerships with talent-feeder programs, including the Arrupe Jesuit High School Corporate Work Study Program and Law School Yes, We Can (LSYWC), a Denver-based pipeline development program.

Our recruitment practices include best practices from IAALS (Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System), which includes incorporating competencies and capabilities in the recruitment process to measure the full qualifications of candidates to broaden our hiring pool.

Finally, our recruiting efforts include investments in scholarships that make education and law school accessible for all at the following schools.

  • Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver
  • University of Colorado Law School
  • James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona
  • Inside Out, a nonprofit supporting LGBTQIA2+ youth and young adults in El Paso County, Colorado

As part of our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion, we partner with organizations such as LSYWC and CLLARO (Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization) to organize networking events for students from diverse backgrounds. These events also serve as a platform for students to learn more about our firm culture and the experience of working in a law firm.


Retention

Our people are our greatest asset. That’s why we devote substantial energy and resources to the development and advancement of all people at Sherman & Howard. We offer a range of internal and external diversity and inclusiveness training programs, including large-scale CLE seminars that focus on understanding micro-inequities, implicit bias, and allyship, as well as fun cultural celebrations that showcase the many cultures within our firm.

Our DE&I Task Force includes members of the Executive Committee, practice group leaders, associates, and business professionals. Together, we create initiatives that support our team members’ success. We launched the Women’s Initiative to foster greater connectivity amongst the women of our firm and encourage our team members to form other diverse networks to build a stronger community.

We also launched an investment hours policy that rewards attorneys with billable hours credit outside client work for time spent leading and enhancing our firm’s diversity goals and taking on pro bono assignments. In addition, our DE&I and pro bono billable hours program encourages and rewards attorneys for furthering the firm’s goals. We support professional development and external networking by paying for memberships to diverse affinity bar associations and the Colorado Diverse Attorney Community Circle of the Colorado Bar Association. This provides our attorneys with opportunities to build and connect their networks with the broader Colorado legal community.

We are proud to sponsor affinity bars, including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association, LGBT Bar Association, Sam Cary Bar Association, and South Asian Bar Association, and support their work in increasing representation within the legal profession.


Promotion

Sherman & Howard is proud to have many diverse attorneys involved in management at both the firm and practice group levels. Our active participation in the Mansfield Certification process ensures we consistently and consciously take a more inclusive approach when making important decisions that impact our firm and its next generation of leaders.

Diverse attorneys serve in roles including Executive Committee members and practice group leaders.