Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Bricker: A place where YOU belong
At Bricker & Eckler, we know that diversity in backgrounds, experiences and perspectives enriches the quality of our work. Our differences enable us to evaluate problems in our clients’ industries from a fresh viewpoint and to be creative and collaborative in our approach.
We have a strong history of groundbreaking diversity. Before many law firms became mindful of diversity, equity and inclusion, we were:
- The first central Ohio majority-owned law firm to hire an African-American attorney
- The first central Ohio majority-owned law firm to elect an African-American attorney to the partnership
- The first central Ohio majority-owned law firm to elect an African-American woman to the partnership
We have always strived to attract diverse talent and to cultivate a culture where our people are valued for their contributions to the firm and its clients.
We are committed to inclusion, the proactive behaviors and culture that make every attorney and staff member in the firm feel welcomed, engaged and appreciated for their contributions. Among our most significant efforts:
- Empowering women and minorities as leaders of the firm at the executive committee, practice group leader and manager levels
- Cross-generational mentoring of our young attorneys
- Training for all attorneys and staff on implicit bias
- Alternative work arrangements to help our people achieve work/life balance
- Recruitment and pipeline programs to attract diverse talent, including our Charles H. Walker Scholarship
We also collaborate with a broad range of national, regional and local organizations that value diversity, equity and inclusion. Our attorneys give their time, talent and financial resources to further the cause of these organizations and more.
At Bricker & Eckler, we believe our commitment to excellence is synonymous with our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all its forms.
This commitment requires thoughtful, deliberate and sustained action: If we are to maximize our abilities as a law firm, we must be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Our commitment must be more than stated; it must be demonstrated in our work with one another, with our clients and with our community.
We believe our people, and all the differences among us, are the tremendous asset that is at the core of our success. We seek to treat people fairly and equally no matter what makes them unique, such as their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status; we seek to embrace multiple perspectives, backgrounds and interests in all facets of our community; we seek to cultivate an environment in which each individual feels safe, respected and valued.
Mansfield Rule Certification
On October 18, 2022, Bricker & Eckler achieved Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Plus for the second year in a row. The law firm has demonstrated it not only took deliberate steps to expand the list of those considered for leadership positions within its organization but also achieved diverse representation in key leadership positions during this past year.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our second year of achieving this status, but more importantly, our decades-long commitment to this work,” said Jim Flynn, Managing Partner at Bricker. “Having a strong, diverse leadership team is a reflection of our purpose and business strategy that leverages diversity, equity and inclusion for more informed decision-making and to better meet the needs of the clients and communities we serve.” Read more >>
Charles H. Walker Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship
 For IL students only, an application will not be considered incomplete if grades have not been received by the application deadline. However, grades must be provided when the applicant receives them.
Women In Networking (WIN) Group
At Bricker & Eckler, we have a longstanding history of electing women and minorities to leadership positions. Our Women in Networking (WIN) group celebrates and encourages the talents, attributes and experiences that our women attorneys bring to the firm. WIN also provides opportunities for professional women to network in mutually beneficial ways and to support the needs of women and families in our communities.
The group holds two events each year, allowing lawyers, clients and friends of the firm to support area charities, such as the Children’s Hunger Alliance and the Columbus Metropolitan Library Homework Help Centers, and to foster professional relationships with other local businesswomen. Through the group’s efforts, we also support the involvement of women lawyers on boards, in community organizations such as Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) and in mentoring opportunities.
Walker Link Leadership Group
Diversity, equity and inclusion are a driving force for our firm’s future and an important part of our history. Two critical hiring decisions – our first African-American partner Charles Walker and our first African-American female partner Joyce Link – inspired the creation of the firm’s Walker Link Leadership Group, an affinity initiative that strives to promote opportunities and enhance the quality of work life for African-American lawyers at Bricker & Eckler and throughout the broader legal community.
One of the highlights of the Walker Link Leadership Group’s year is its sponsorship of the Corporate Counsel Summit. This day-long summit provides a forum for in-house counsel to share best practices and perspectives on a variety of topics including supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession, tackling employment and compliance issues in their organizations, and capitalizing on career growth opportunities. This event is the first of its kind and attracts a diverse group of in-house counsel at all levels of the profession.
The Walker Link Leadership Group also works to identify and promote community organizations and events Bricker & Eckler should support, such as the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, the David D. White Scholarship of Capital University Law School, the Columbus Urban League, and the King Arts Complex, to name a few. Additionally, the group assists with recruitment and helps encourage the best and brightest lawyers, law students and staff to consider Bricker & Eckler as a place to work.
Dr. Knight Included in 2024 Class of Women WELDING the Way
Bricker Graydon’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Rhonda Talford Knight, PhD was recently recognized by Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD), a national organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, known nationwide for developing and advancing women’s leadership to strengthen communities.More Jul 21, 2023
Bricker Graydon Awarded on the Forbes America’s Best Small Employers 2023 List
Bricker Graydon has been awarded on the Forbes list of America’s Best Small Employers 2023. This prestigious award is presented by Forbes and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The awards list was announced on July 18th, 2023, and can currently be viewed on the Forbes website.More Jul 18, 2023
Bricker Graydon to represent Harveysburg Free Black School
Bricker Graydon, in partnership with the Warren County Foundation and Springboro non-profit Parents Empowering All Children of Color (PEACOC), is pleased to announce its new legal representation of the Harveysburg, Ohio Historical Society as it relates to the Harveysburg Free Black School.More May 3, 2023
Chief DEI Officer Rhonda Talford Knight collaborates in the launch of The Equity Collective
The Equity Collective is a collaboration led by Black philanthropists and allies in Columbus, Ohio, representing a partnership with JewishColumbus, with a goal of deploying resources in areas with high strategic impact to enhance Black life.More Mar 14, 2023