Like our clients, Frantz Ward values the importance of equity, inclusion, and diversity, and understands that a diverse workplace enriches the personal and professional lives of each of our employees. We believe we provide a stronger and better place to work, think and grow when we draw from the views of people with diverse backgrounds and characteristics, such as different races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientation, abilities and ages.
We recognize that achieving a truly inclusive and diverse working environment is an on-going process, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone at Frantz Ward has a meaningful work environment and that our clients benefit from our differences. It's this strong belief in the benefits diversity and inclusion bring to our firm that, shortly after the firm's founding in 2000, we created an internal Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee that focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion and raising awareness of its importance throughout the firm and our community. Partner Allison Taller Reich is Chair of the Frantz Ward Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee. As part of this Committee, our Women's Initiative, chaired by Partner Maggie Metzinger, also helps build a firm culture where all can thrive and build successful and rewarding legal careers.
Below are some highlights of our work to promote diversity and inclusion within the firm and throughout our community.
- Annual third-party diversity training to all attorneys and managers of the firm.
- Internal mentorship program for all associates.
- Third-party guest speakers/roundtables open to all employees to discuss critical diversity and inclusion issues.
- Participant/employer of the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP) for women of color law students.
- Participant/employer of the Saint Martin de Porres High School Corporate Work Study Program.
- Participant/sponsor of the FDCC Ladder Down Program focused on training women lawyers in the critical areas of leadership, business development, and mentorship.
- Participant in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Midwest Diversity Fair.
- Recruit from a diverse group of law schools, including historically black law schools, and advertise all open associate positions with minority bar associations.
- Sponsor events for organizations such as Karamu House, Rainey Institute, Near West Theatre, The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, National Diversity Center, Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation, Irish American Law Society of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mandel Jewish Day School, West Side Catholic Center, Urban Community School, and Values in Action.
- Participate, in fact four partners hold leadership roles, in the Racial Equity And the Law (REAL) Working Groups developed through the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association taking action for Continuing Criminal Justice Reform; Police Reform; Interrupting the Legal Profession's Systemic Inequities; and Promoting and Growing White Allyship.
- Host several internal events and projects to promote inclusion, including commissioned artwork by McCain Arts - a female-owned business - to capture the words of the staff and attorneys on what Frantz Ward means to them; conducted a painting party involving a tree to connect staff members together; incorporated historic wall art and named a conference room after Kadish, Hinkel & Weibel, after joining Frantz Ward in 2019.
We are also extremely proud of our diverse individual attorneys and employees who are routinely recognized for their efforts in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the community:
- Partner Marc Sanchez named to the inaugural Latino Leaders Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity.
- Partner Christina Niro named to the Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity.
- Bradley Ouambo named to the "Twenty in their 20s" list by Crain's Cleveland Business.
- Partner Marc Sanchez recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award from El Barrio Workforce Development Program and recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Foundation Leadership Award.
- Partner Melissa Jones recipient of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland's Women of Professional Excellence Award.
- Partner Christina Niro recipient of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland's Distinguished Young Lawyer Women Award.
- Partner Marc Sanchez named to the "40 Under 40" list by Crain's Cleveland Business.
Frantz Ward is excited to share that it is participating in the Mansfield Rule for Midsize Firms, an innovative national initiative to foster meaningful positive change in diversity, equity, and inclusion in leading law firms.
Through its participation in Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule initiative, Frantz Ward reaffirms its commitment to consider an intentionally diverse pool of candidates for entry level and lateral attorney positions, as well as promotions, leadership, and high visibility positions within the firm. The Rule also includes a commitment to be transparent in the firm’s internal governance, particularly with selection guidelines and job descriptions for existing management roles and committees, and a knowledge and information sharing process with other participant firms. The process is an eighteen-month review period which can lead to certification beginning in March 2022 through June 2023.
The rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States. It was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law.