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Diversity & Inclusion

Tipping the scales toward equality for all.

Diversity and inclusion have long been fixtures of Frost Brown Todd’s culture and indeed remain core to who we are. Still, we recognize that our work is never finished. We are constantly developing and refining our approach to create a more vibrant law firm for our colleagues, our clients, and communities. Our goal is for every member of the Frost Brown Todd team to have equal and ample opportunity to contribute, grow, and find fulfillment in their work.

Frost Brown Todd 

Statement on Racial Injustice

Juneteenth is an important day in American history which we should all know and celebrate. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, but many Black people remained enslaved until June 19, 1865, when a Union army general finally announced to Texas that all enslaved people in the United States were free.

This day has been celebrated by Black Americans since 1866, but it has thus far had little resonance outside of Black culture. Now, 165 years later and 64 years after the Civil Rights Act ostensibly ended legal segregation and discrimination, the senseless killings of George Floyd and too many others, along with the disturbing use of race against Chris Cooper, have resulted in widescale recognition that racial oppression continues to be embedded into our systems.

For many in America, this understanding has long been in plain sight. Black people have recognized and experienced racial injustice for generations. But these events appear to have activated non-Black Americans in a new way. Those of us who have not received the message before are both hearing and understanding it now.

Only when a critical mass of America acknowledges and accepts that systemic racial injustice in America is real and continues to plague Black people, and other persons of color, can we start to affect change. Frost Brown Todd believes that America is ready to push for the changes needed to realize a more fair and just society for all Americans. And Frost Brown Todd is ready to be part of that critical mass that will pave the way for change and will contribute to the critical work that will follow.

Frost Brown Todd has focused on diversity and inclusion efforts for well over a decade. We recognize, however, that we must do more. Our leaders, attorneys, and business professionals must all do more. And today we kick off just that – doing much more for not just our Black colleagues, but those in our local communities. Specifically, Frost Brown Todd commits to the following strategies and efforts moving forward:

  • Create and maintain forums for open dialogue among ourselves and with our communities about racism and racial injustice and what must be done to effect change
  • Further educate our leadership and colleagues on racial injustice and the need for each individual to take ownership in affecting change
  • Provide support resources to our colleagues most affected by racial injustice
  • Provide meaningful tools and resources for our allies, who are eager to promote racial justice
  • Provide financial support and personnel resources to organizations focused on racial equality
  • Relentlessly pursue more diversity and greater inclusion in our membership and leadership ranks

We take pride in being an organization that genuinely cares about its people. We recognize that our Black colleagues are grieving. The rest of us are grieving with you. We extend our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives to racial violence. Injustice wounds not only its direct victims, but all of society. As we come to terms with the injustice suffered by the Black community, let us take this opportunity to recognize that our educations are never complete, our perspectives are always limited by our individual experiences, and the fight for racial justice will not conclude with a few weeks of action. Justice requires an ongoing commitment to fighting injustice everywhere. Black lives do matter.

  • Adam P. Hall Profile Image
    Adam P. Hall

    Chief Executive Officer

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Kimera J. Hall Profile Image
    Kimera J. Hall

    Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair

    Dallas, TX

  • Robert V. Sartin Profile Image
    Robert V. Sartin

    Chairman

    Nashville, TN

Kimera Hall | Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair

“As Frost Brown Todd enters a new phase of D&I, with a sharpened focus on improving our diversity metrics, I would suggest adding an “E” to our efforts. The “E” stands for equity. We want to achieve increased equity for our diverse professionals — equity of opportunity, equity of voice, and equity with respect to professional development and advancement. With a combination of inclusiveness and increased equity, we are sure to see results.”

Diversity

Supporting the Future

Diversity Scholarship Fund

Our firm promotes building a pipeline of diverse attorneys in our local legal community by supporting diverse students in their education and exploration of the law. In addition to our attorneys’ mentorship initiatives, we annually award scholarships to five or more diverse law students who we believe will have a positive and lasting impact on the legal profession. Learn more.

Bernard McKay Award of Excellence for LGBT Scholars

Established by Frost Brown Todd Member Bernie McKay in 2014, the McKay Scholarship at Morehead State University recognizes and provides financial support to undergraduate students who self-identify as LGBT and who have demonstrated exceptional service to the cause of LGBT equality. Every four years, the full tuition scholarship is awarded to an incoming undergraduate and renewed for an additional seven semesters if certain academic requirements are met. In 2019, the first-ever McKay Scholar graduated from Morehead State. Learn more.

Recruitment

We participate in four regional diversity job fairs every year to be able to solicit a diverse pool of candidates beyond our local law schools. We also consider diversity from the start by using structured panel interviewing to guard against bias in the hiring process.

Community Engagement

Through various outreach programs, we connect with local and national organizations focused on righting the opportunity imbalance for diverse professionals. The following organizations are among those we routinely and adamantly support:

  • Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP)
  • Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC)/CBA Roundtable
  • Central High School Pipeline Program
  • Chart Your Own Course (CYOC)/Stakeholders
  • Columbus Managing Partner Initiative
  • Cristo Rey High School Pipeline Program
  • Diverse by Design, Cincinnati Regional Chamber
  • Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program (GCMCP)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Law & Leadership Institute (LLI)
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)
  • Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL)

Equity

We have programs in place to monitor and measure our diversity metrics, focusing particularly on the advancement and retention of our diverse professionals. These metrics have helped raise awareness about potential blind spots and led to the adoption of new change initiatives, the most recent of which are detailed below.  But, while we are proud that our efforts continue to pay dividends with respect to the employee experience, we acknowledge that we still have plenty of work to do. We know that being true leaders requires a purposeful commitment to EQUITY in every sense of the word.

Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified

Frost Brown Todd is one of a select group of U.S. law firms to achieve Mansfield Rule Certification, a rigorous 12-month benchmarking program that requires participating firms to consider at least 30%  women, lawyers of color, lawyers with disabilities and/or LGBTQ+ lawyers for 70 percent or more of the firm’s leadership roles, committees and other qualifying activities during the review period.

Frost Brown Todd  has also signed on to participate in the next iteration of the program, Mansfield 4.0, running from Summer 2020-2021. As part of the program, the firm has committed to participating in three-month, six-month and annual check-in surveys and data collection requests, while also engaging in community building and knowledge sharing with other participating firms.

Stay Interviews

Many companies ask departing employees to sit for an exit interview to understand why the person has chosen to leave the organization. Frost Brown Todd is in the process of establishing the convention of “stay interviews.” This will enable us to better understand why lawyers remain with the firm and what might cause them to leave.

Community Engagement

The following organizations are among those we routinely and adamantly support:

  • Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP)
  • CBA LGBT Committee
  • CEO Action Signatories
  • Equality Ohio
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
  • Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP)
  • Women in Law Empowerment Forum
  • Pride Parade Corporate Sponsor

Inclusion

Inclusion Training & Workshops

Creating an inclusive environment benefits us and our clients, who receive better service from the multitude of talent that can only be achieved with people of different backgrounds, distinct perspectives and varied experience. We conduct regular mandatory training on unconscious bias, micro inequities, inclusion and other cultural competencies to ensure that Frost Brown Todd continues to be a place where people can both express and be themselves.

We also host numerous voluntary workshops and luncheons throughout the year featuring nationally recognized speakers. These workshops are widely attended across our offices and are often participatory in nature, encouraging team members to share experiences and engage more deeply with topics through conversations with their colleagues. Below is a sampling of recent inclusion workshops hosted by Frost Brown Todd:

  • “A Conversation About Being Black in America”
  • “Generational Differences”
  • “Fail Better”
  • “Recognizing Bias Against Refugees and Understanding Our Neighbors’ Journeys”
  • “Memories of Heart Mountain”
  • “City of Cincinnati Poverty Simulation”
  • “Colorblindness and Internal Bias”
  • “We are the Solution, Not the Problem”
  • “The Reinterpretation of Women’s Rights in Islam”
  • “Let Me Tell You Something: Creating an LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Workplace”
  • “How Emotional Intelligence Can Produce a More Diverse Workplace”
  • “The Impostor Syndrome”

In addition to training, we conduct employee surveys and monitor firm-wide metrics on recruitment, advancement and compensation. This ensures that we remain vigilant and continue to make progress toward our inclusion goals.

Quarterly D&I Reports

Being a truly inclusive law firm requires hard work, ingenuity, and the courage of one’s convictions. But it can also mean getting to work with young people, amazing community organizations, and having a good deal of fun in the process. In addition to relating new developments in our diversity and inclusion journey, these periodic reports are a testament to the extraordinary people who work for us and with us and whose service to diversity is an example and inspiration for us all.

The Frost Brown Todd Diversity & Inclusion Award

Every year we come together to recognize attorneys and business professionals who have gone above and beyond in their service to our diversity and inclusion goals. The recipients of the Frost Brown Todd Diversity & Inclusion Award are true champions of fairness and equality, as evidenced by their support for colleagues and the work they do outside the firm to enrich the lives of their fellow community members.

Recognition

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

  • Kimberly S. Amrine Profile Image
    Kimberly S. Amrine

    Director of Diversity & Inclusion

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Victoria E. Beckman Profile Image
    Victoria E. Beckman

    Member

    Columbus, OH

  • Jenai M. Brackett Profile Image
    Jenai M. Brackett

    Member

    Indianapolis, IN

  • John A. Gaviglio Profile Image
    John A. Gaviglio

    Senior Associate

    Ann Arbor, MI

  • Ryan W. Goellner Profile Image
    Ryan W. Goellner

    Managing Associate

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Adam P. Hall Profile Image
    Adam P. Hall

    Chief Executive Officer

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Kimera J. Hall Profile Image
    Kimera J. Hall

    Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair

    Dallas, TX

  • Miles R. Harrison Profile Image
    Miles R. Harrison

    Managing Associate

    Louisville, KY

  • Alicia S. Kappers Profile Image
    Alicia S. Kappers

    Director of Professional Development

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Kimberly K. Mauer Profile Image
    Kimberly K. Mauer

    Women's Initiative Committee Chair

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Nilesh (Neal) Patel Profile Image
    Nilesh (Neal) Patel

    Member

    Cincinnati, OH

  • Janine Tate Webb Profile Image
    Janine Tate Webb

    Associate

    Lexington, KY

  • Jared M. Tully Profile Image
    Jared M. Tully

    Member

    Charleston, WV

D&I Perspectives

We have amazing people with a true passion for diversity and inclusion. We asked a few of our own to lend their perspectives on what this work means to them and for new colleagues just getting started at the firm. Watch the short video to learn more.

Newsroom

Explore our latest D&I-related press releases, insights and awards.