Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Maynard, we work together as many, but move forward as one. This philosophy is enhanced by our strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We recognize that our value and our strength lies in our people, therefore collaboration is deeply valued in our Firm's culture. It is Maynard's mission to actively recruit, promote, retain, and foster a diverse legal team and an environment that encourages group input, ideas, dialogue, listening, and constant improvement.
A diverse team helps us to be better advisors to our clients and enriches our experience in working together, as we tackle the increasingly complex legal issues of today and tomorrow. We provide clients with the highest quality of service in the local, national, and international marketplace because our teamwork and our differences are valued and celebrated. Every day we promote our founding principles of professional excellence, teamwork, uncompromising integrity, balanced lives, and selfless loyalty; and nowhere are these more evident than in our efforts to have a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Firm for employees and clients.
Maynard was recognized in 2022 as a leader in DEI among the top four corporations in Birmingham, AL. Maynard's Chief Talent Officer, Stephanie Mays, was also recognized among 19 individual honorees for her efforts and success in promoting DEI at Maynard and in the legal profession and larger community. Our DEI best practices and ideas were shared in a D&I event and featured in a special publication of the Birmingham Business Journal.
We believe in building a diverse team and an inclusive environment to enrich our experience as teammates and make us better advisors to our clients.
Therefore, I pledge:
- To do my part in advancing diversity at the firm in recruiting a diverse team and promoting an inclusive environment that embraces group input, ideas, dialogue, and constant improvement;
- To better educate myself on issues of bias and discrimination;
- To listen to others and seek to understand experiences and perspectives different than my own;
- To invite and willingly accept feedback on my actions and words and hold myself accountable for them, even if it is uncomfortable to do so; and
- To intentionally and consistently use my actions and words to contribute to a firm, a community, and a world that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible for all.
In our efforts to constantly improve our diversity efforts and our services for clients, we recently implemented “Cultivate Maynard” discussions. These small group discussions go beyond DEI and implicit bias training to provide a resource and forum for education and dialogue about recent events and pressing issues facing our communities. The goal is to educate ourselves and facilitate productive conversations about our country's racial history, challenge our own implicit biases, and drive us to make positive changes in our lives and communities, including at the Firm. Through this internal forum, we are reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching movies that provide opportunities to learn and make progress toward racial equality.
Get to Know M.E. Video Series
Get to Know M.E. is an initiative highlighting Maynard Employees that aims to further connect us as One Firm. Through these periodic videos, we learn more about each other beyond what we see at work. These videos highlight and celebrate diversity in its many forms.
National Heritage Month Celebrations
Across the Firm and in varying forms, Maynard and its employees celebrate national heritage months, including recognition of Women’s History, Black History, AAPI, Hispanic, and Pride. The Firm hosts relevant webinar discussions, lunches, movie premiers, and more in conjunction with heritage and history months.
Maynard encourages all employees to get involved and participate in its DEI efforts and activities. In conjunction, the Firm allows attorneys up to 50 hours of billable hours credit for DEI initiatives including leading and participating in Cultivate Maynard discussions, heritage month celebrations, Maynard Law Prep, and LSAT presentations, among others.
RISE Sponsorship Program
Developing and retaining top talent is one of our Firm’s strategic goals. Investing in our people is vital to our success – as a Firm and as a community. The Firm’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee launched the RISE Sponsorship Program in 2020.
RISE is a formal leadership program for our third to seventh year high performing, high potential attorneys of color, attorneys with disabilities and LGBTQ+ attorneys. The goal of RISE is to provide training and leadership development, formal and informal, to develop, retain, and promote our attorneys from these traditionally under-represented groups.
At Maynard, we recognize that our female colleagues are vital to the business, culture, and our future success. The Women's Initiative seeks to attract and retain the best and brightest female attorneys, to foster their professional development, to advocate for their professional opportunities and recognition, and to promote their advancement to leadership positions within the Firm, the profession and community.
The Women’s Initiative Committee at Maynard is led by a group of female shareholders and associates and supported by the Executive Committee and Marketing Department. The Committee meets regularly to assess policies and practices as they relate to recruitment, retention, mentoring, and career development of our women lawyers at all levels, to coordinate the firm’s overall women’s initiatives, which views our female-focused efforts as a key strategic priority at the Firm.
The Forum of Alabama Businesswomen (“FAB”) is an external program series led by our Women’s Initiative. Held in the spring and fall each year, the program provides a forum for businesswomen and female leaders in the community to network and build relationships with existing clients, prospective clients, and referral sources. For more information on the program, you can read the latest FAB Newsletter here.
Maynard 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. These efforts reflect the Firm's long-standing commitment to both public service and to issues of concern to communities of color.
We have pledged ourselves to provide 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. We seek substantial women and other diverse student participation in our summer associate program, the hiring ground for the bulk of our lawyers. 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. For more than three decades, we have endorsed two diversity scholarships at the University of Alabama School of Law.
Some of our specific initiatives Student & Pre-Law Initiatives are highlighted below.
Lateral Hiring Policy
In 2020, Maynard implemented a Lateral Hiring Policy requiring that at least 30% of lawyers interviewed are Historically Underrepresented Lawyers (lawyers who identify as women, of color, with disabilities, LGBTQ+, or veterans). To implement this policy and enhance our hiring and interviewing practices, the DEI Committee presented two training sessions on Recognizing and Interrupting Implicit Biases During the Interview and Hiring Process and Best Practices for Reviewing Resumes, Interview Questions, and Evaluation of Candidates for all attorneys at Maynard.
Maynard Law Prep
In keeping with our goal to identify and create a pipeline of diverse attorneys, Maynard launched its first annual minority pre‐law program, Maynard Law Prep, in 2021. Maynard Law Prep’s primary objective is to identify diverse undergraduate talent who reflect the potential to be candidates for our summer clerkship program upon entering law school. We seek to attract the best talent and provide them with tailored opportunities for personal and professional development.
Minority LSAT Prep Course Scholarship Program
For more than a decade we have offered a Minority Scholars LSAT Prep Course to highly-motivated undergraduate minority students who intend to pursue a career in the law in the region. Offered in an interactive group setting with approximately 10 students, the class teaches proven LSAT strategies and methods covering every skill tested on the LSAT exam. The class schedule is designed to allow participants to take the LSAT Exam held in June of each year. The course will be provided to qualified students selected by the firm. Acceptance into the program will be based on college GPA, resume, personal statement, and an in-person interview. The LSAT Prep Course is one of our signature pipeline programs, which has seen great success in terms of completion and advancement into law school. To date, graduates of our LSAT program have matriculated to law schools at the University of Alabama, Cumberland School of Law, Vanderbilt, University of Mississippi, Mercer University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Summer Associate Mentoring
Our diverse summer associates participate in a mentorship program during their clerkship. Maynard’s diverse attorneys participate in events with the diverse summer associates. The diverse summer associates have opportunities to meet with firm leadership.
Vital Records Project
The Firm runs a pro bono clinic providing advice and pro bono legal services to transgender individuals and their families, and Maynard is listed as a provider firm on the National Center for Transgender Equality’s list of network firms throughout the United States. Led by Cynthia Lamar-Hart, the team of Jessica Trotter, Starr Drum, Kathy Collier, and Carmen Chambers have helped over 70 families to complete the petitions and court proceedings necessary to change the name and birth certificate of a transgender family member.
Magic City Bar Association Partnership
Maynard partners with the Magic City Bar Association, an organization that promotes the professional advancement of African-American attorneys in Birmingham, AL, to provide training and resources to minority lawyers who advise business clients. The Firm has dedicated office space for partnership use.
Maynard’s commitment to diversity extends beyond the workplace to the legal profession, our nation, and our communities. Our lawyers are active participants in local and national organizations and initiatives focused on DEI. Maynard has chosen to invest monetary resources and human resources in national and local organizations that promote and empower those from diverse backgrounds, including:
- Equal Rights Advocates
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- National Conference for Community and Justice
- National LGBT Bar Association
- South Asian Bar Association
- UNCF (United Negro College Fund)
- CampFire USA
- Advancing Justice Los Angeles
- Impact America - SpeakFirst
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Black Law Student Association, University of Alabama School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School
- Cornerstone Schools of Alabama (private school for inner-city students)
- Grace House Ministries (home for girls in family crisis situations)
- Magic City Bar Association
- Metropolitan YMCA
- Restoration Academy
- Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
- United Way of Central Alabama
- Workshops Empowerment, Inc. (Organization helping people with disabilities reach their employment potential)
- YWCA of Central Alabama