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 September 13, 2021, Bricker & Eckler joined 117 leading law firms in receiving the Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification and was one of 93 firms achieving Certification Plus status. An idea that came from Diversity Lab, the Mansfield Rule’s goal is to grow the number of underrepresented groups of attorneys in leadership roles at law firms. Certification requires consideration of underrepresented attorneys, whereas Certification Plus status requires placement of underrepresented attorneys in leadership positions. Read more >>
Charles H. Walker Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship
Consistent with our rich tradition, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and in tribute to Charlie’s tireless work on behalf of the community, Bricker & Eckler LLP is pleased to present the Charles H. Walker Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fellowship for 2022.
Established to provide a first or second-year law student with a valuable employment experience early in their legal career, this fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who demonstrates leadership skills, academic strength, service to the community, an overall commitment to excellence and who has exhibited a meaningful commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
We proudly dedicate this opportunity in memory of our partner and trusted friend Charles H. Walker, whose career and service to our community exemplified a strong commitment to both the legal profession and Bricker’s tradition of diversity, equity and inclusion. Throughout his career, he served as a recruiter and mentor to our younger attorneys and helped guide Bricker & Eckler’s diversity, equity and inclusion commitment.
Students who are currently in their first or second year at an ABA-approved law school and who are presently authorized to work for the firm under U.S. immigration laws, are eligible to be considered. One fellowship in the form of a $10,000 cash award towards law school tuition and other law school related expenses will be awarded. In addition, the fellowship recipient will receive a paid summer associate position for the summer of 2022.
To be considered, eligible candidates should forward their résumé with a cover letter describing their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to the attention of Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Dr. Rhonda Talford Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. All résumés must be submitted/received by February 1, 2022. We hope to make the final selection by April 1, 2022.
All inquiries related to the 2022 Charles H. Walker Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fellowship should be directed to Jason Stuckey at email@example.com.
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.
Insights & Resources
Bricker Chief DEI Officer Rhonda Talford Knight Awarded 2022 PACESetters Award
Bricker & Eckler Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer, Rhonda Talford Knight, PhD, has been awarded a PACESetters Award for her work in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the PACE Marketplace.More Aug 5, 2022
Rickman featured in Cincinnati Bar Association’s “Black Lawyers Making An Impact”
The Cincinnati Bar Association is “shining a spotlight on local Black attorneys in the Greater Cincinnati legal community” as part of their celebration of Black History Month 2022, and Danyel Rickman was the first attorney featured in the series.More Feb 10, 2022