Statement of Values
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Fredrikson & Byron. To serve our clients and to reflect our community, we endeavor to hire and retain men and women of diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and sexual orientations.
Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
We recognize that a statement alone will not help us achieve a more diverse workforce. Considered steps and actions directed at hiring and retaining lawyers of diverse backgrounds is imperative.
Fredrikson & Byron’s diversity and inclusion initiatives are led by a committee composed of board members, attorneys and recruiting professionals. The committee is responsible for identifying and recommending steps for the firm to take to more effectively recruit and retain attorneys of diverse backgrounds at the associate, senior attorney and partner levels.
Feedback from our current attorneys of diverse backgrounds, as well as from those who have left the firm, is an important component in helping us learn more about their overall experiences at the firm, identify what obstacles to success they have encountered, and uncover opportunities for improvement. This feedback is extremely important to creating an atmosphere in which all Fredrikson & Byron attorneys feel they can succeed.
Pursuit of diversity and inclusion as core values enables our firm to be a home where professionals and staff who reflect the diversity of our community can achieve success and career fulfillment – individual by individual – which will enrich the professional and personal experience of everyone at Fredrikson & Byron.
We acknowledge both the moral and business imperatives for promoting diversity and inclusion within our firm and community. Our clients inspire us to create diverse teams of individuals in order to provide innovative solutions to their legal needs.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
We aspire to be a leader in both our profession and our community in reflecting diversity and inclusion as core values. We are proud to highlight a few of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives:
- With particular reference to our female attorneys, Fredrikson & Byron has proactively encouraged the formation of a Glass Ceiling Task Force Committee, whose recommendations not only assist the firm with the retention of women, but it helps women to thrive in our culture. This was so successful we created an Attorneys of Color Task Force to proactively come up with recommendations to help support the building of their practice.
- We also created an Attorneys of Color Task Force to proactively develop recommendations to help support our attorneys of color. In connection with that effort, Fredrikson & Byron was proud to host a Twin Cities event designed to gather all women lawyers of color. The program provided a forum for a discussion about how women of color in the Twin Cities have successfully navigated their legal careers with their sponsors and mentors. Attendees participated in dynamic discussion circles led by distinguished women of color leaders in the legal community.
- The firm’s hiring efforts include activities designed to increase the diversity of both entry level and lateral level attorneys, including participation in minority job fairs, targeted outreach to associations of minority and other law students and lawyers, and expanded recruiting to include schools with significant diversity in the classes. Additionally, the outreach efforts include establishing relationships with key faculty and/or administration staff to help in identification of candidates for more direct and personal outreach.
- The firm has taken a number of steps in an effort to break down barriers and help confront unconscious bias. One example is our successful diversity and inclusion training series which has included hosting events on topics such as: The Many Faces of Islam; The Many Faces of Our LGBT Community; Working Within A Multi-Cultural Environment; and Grey Area Thinking: Helping Legal Professionals Understand “Trans” Persons. We have also hosted speakers on topics such as micro-inequities, bias training and different generations at work.
- In 2005, the Fredrikson & Byron Foundation established the Fredrikson & Byron Scholarship Fund at the University of Minnesota Law School. The scholarship is designed to promote diversity at the law school consistent with the University’s diversity initiatives. The law school scholarship committee selects the recipients of the scholarship. Once the endowment is fully funded, the scholarship assists in covering tuition each year for the selected student.
- We provide ongoing support to our attorneys through our mentoring program, skills training, practice development resources and opportunities for leadership roles in the firm and the community.
- We have a strong representation of women and attorneys of diverse backgrounds chairing the firm’s practice areas and many are leaders and/or members of many of the firm’s committees.
- Fredrikson & Byron attorney John Stout is a co-founder of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), a non-profit organization that provides assistance to businesses that are owned and managed by racial and ethnic minority residents of Minnesota. He is also a co-founder of the Milestone Growth Fund. Milestone Growth Fund is the only Minnesota venture capital fund focused on providing equity-type financing to minority-owned companies.
- Fredrikson & Byron is a founding member of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a collaborative consortium of local law firms and other organizations dedicated to advancing diversity in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota legal community. The firm is also an active member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of more than 285 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a truly diverse legal profession.
- The firm annually sponsors many community events and galas that promote diversity in the Twin Cities and we also support individual attorney’s involvement in diverse bar associations such as the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, the Lavendar Bar Association and the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, to name a few.
- The firm supports a women attorney-led initiative, Counsel for Women, focusing on women business owners and executives. The Counsel for Women sponsors a variety of women-focused programs in the business community and is a founding partner of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) Minnesota, a not-for-profit organization established to work with women to launch and strengthen businesses in Minnesota.
- To foster diversity and inclusion, the firm supports a variety of employee resource groups including diverse attorneys, working moms and an LGBTQ+ group.
- In 2020, we partnered with more than 125 law firms to establish the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, aiming to leverage the resources of the private bar to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to better use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and to promote racial equity in the law and in government institutions.