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I, Patrick Whalen, personally commit to the following:

Personal Commitment

  • I will use my position in the Firm to model our Firm value of Equity and Inclusivity.
  • I will use my voice and role as a leader in the firm to advance the development, engagement, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys across all offices.
  • I will continue to educate all levels of leadership including, but not limited to, our Executive Committee, Compensation Committee, Practice Group Leaders, Office Managing Partners, Shared Services leaders, and committee leaders on the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ensure the commitment is a priority in all facets of decision-making.
  • I will cultivate a sense of belonging and purpose by fostering connections and encouraging authenticity among firm members.
  • I will advocate for needed change in the legal industry by helping to identify and remove obstacles that may influence the growth and advancement of diverse attorneys.
  • I will continue to collaborate with clients and diversity-related organizations seeking to advance DE&I initiatives.
  • I will meet quarterly with the firm’s Fellows, Pathfinders, and Alumni to discuss their experiences, and request each participant to bring a recommendation for how the firm could improve.
  • I will use my leadership position to examine the firm’s governance, recruiting, and promotion practices to identify potential barriers for diverse firm members and work to remove such barriers.
  • I will participate in the DEI Committee’s strategic planning sessions to ensure the Executive Committee and DEI Committee are working hand-in-hand to support the firm’s DEI efforts.
  • In partnership with the DEI Committee, I will provide Practice Group Leaders and Office Managing Partners with the direction and resources necessary to achieve certain DEI goals, including programming, engagement, mentorship, and retention within their respective groups.
  • I commit to devoting appropriate Firm resources to the DEI Committee, and will meet regularly with the Committee Chair to discuss what additional tools, resources, and support are necessary to achieve the committee’s priorities and advance the firm’s progress on DEI initiatives.
  • I commit to ensuring that the individuals leading the Firm’s DEI efforts are compensated and rewarded appropriately for their commitment and leadership.

Organizational Commitment

  • Spencer Fane will continue to ensure that DEI initiatives and discussions are included in Executive Committee meetings, partner meetings, monthly office managing partner and practice leader meetings, attorney retreats, and in firm-wide meetings.
  • Spencer Fane will continue to prioritize educating our attorneys and professional staff by providing internal and external trainings, including, but not limited to, additional training on interrupting unconscious bias.
  • Spencer Fane will provide DEI leadership training for our Executive Committee members, Compensation Committee members, Practice Group Leaders, Office Managing Partners, DEI Committee members, and Shared Services leaders.
  • Spencer Fane will continue to prioritize engagement of our diverse firm members through internal programming, such as Spencer Fane Connects conversations which highlight our diverse firm members, DEI Book Club discussions, and our International Women’s Day celebration.
  • Spencer Fane will identify how we track and monitor our diversity supplier spend and identify opportunities to enhance our supplier diversity program.
  • Spencer Fane will continue to collect and accurately track firm diversity statistics, identifying all attorneys and professional staff including women, people of color, LGBTQ+, disabilities, and veterans.
  • Spencer Fane will ensure diverse attorneys have the opportunity to participate in training and individual coaching for business development efforts and all attorneys have the opportunity to receive training on developing diverse teams.
  • Spencer Fane will identify opportunities and include diverse attorneys in client succession planning.
  • Spencer Fane will continue to encourage all firm members to become involved in DEI work within the organization, their communities, and the industry by sharing such opportunities through our monthly DEI newsletter and providing monetary support for such efforts.
  • Spencer Fane will work to strengthen relationships with diverse law school student groups and expand recruiting efforts to attract more diverse candidates.
  • Spencer Fane, through its DEI Committee members, will commit to establishing regular touchpoints between a DEI Committee member and diverse attorneys to continue to foster open lines of communication.