Diversity and Inclusion at Cohen & Gresser
Cohen & Gresser embraces diverse viewpoints, perspectives, and backgrounds. Our mutual respect for one another fosters an openness and cohesion that benefits our firm and enables us to better serve our clients. We seek opportunities to enrich our relationships with clients by staffing matters with diverse teams of talented and committed professionals.
The Firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Our commitment to diversity starts at the top, with an active Diversity and Inclusion Committee focused on developing and supporting initiatives in the areas of recruiting, retention, professional development, and community outreach. The firm has signed, and strongly supports, the New York City Bar Association’s Statement of Diversity Principles, which defines diversity as an inclusive concept encompassing race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, marital status, and parental status. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee works with firm management, including the partners and administrators in charge of associate hiring and development, to implement these principles and advance the goals of embracing and advancing the firm’s core values of diversity and inclusion.
With the guidance of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the firm’s attorneys and staff members pursue a variety of activities to further the Committee’s mission. In the realm of professional development and recruitment, the firm is part of the affiliate network of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and a sponsor of the International Association of Korean Lawyers. The firm has also organized programs and events for several organizations promoting diversity and inclusion in business and in the legal profession, including Le-Gal (the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York) and Women in the Boardroom. Attorneys and staff at the firm are also enthusiastically involved in activities increasing opportunities for young people of diverse backgrounds, including coaching diverse students from a financially-challenged New York City public high school in moot court competitions and participating in “speed networking” and other events as part of the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, a project of the New York City Bar Association.
Committee on Diversity and Inclusion:
- Bonnie J Roe (Committee Co-Chair)
- Nathaniel P T Read (Committee Co-Chair)
- Joanna K Chan
- Duane A Cranston
- Lawrence T Gresser
- Mina S Reiman
- Daniel H Tabak
- Francisco A Villegas
- Alexandra Wald
- Gurpreet (Ray) S Walia
Recruiting, Retaining, and Promoting
We have a successful track record of attracting, developing, promoting, and retaining diverse candidates. Our female attorneys constitute thirty-one percent of our partnership and approximately forty percent of our legal professionals. Four of our female lawyers have been recognized as 2014 New York Super Lawyers and five were selected as 2014 Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Over a quarter of our attorneys, including nearly fifty percent of our new hires since the beginning of 2011, are members of racial or ethnic minority groups and six percent of our attorneys identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Our commitment to diversity also manifests itself in an important matter that the firm is currently handling. Founding partner Mark Cohen was appointed as Court Monitor by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in United States of America and Vulcan Society, Inc. v. City of New York (07-cv-2067-NGG), a discrimination case in which the court ruled that the Fire Department of New York's hiring and employment practices violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. As Court Monitor, Mr. Cohen’s duties include oversight of the recruiting, testing, hiring, training, and promotion of minority firefighters in the Fire Department of New York.
Benefit Policies Supporting Diversity
Cohen & Gresser recognizes the importance of providing and promoting health care for all of our employees, their spouses, domestic partners, and dependents from the first day of employment. All of our benefits policies are open to domestic partners. To further support our diverse group of attorneys, we offer generous maternity and paternity leave programs, and we have adopted policies permitting attorneys to work part time in appropriate circumstances.