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GWB Earns the Defense Research Institute’s Prestigious Law Firm Diversity Award

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Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. has been selected to receive the 2013 Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) Law Firm Diversity Award. Established in 2002, the award is given annually by the DRI to a law firm that has shown exemplary progress and achievement in its diversity program.  The award recipient must demonstrate a commitment to diversity which is evidenced by a formal diversity plan, sensitivity and receptivity to diversity issues, and promotion and advancement of minorities and women within the firm. The DRI Board of Directors states, “Gallivan, White and Boyd’s commitment to diversity is demonstrated not only through their policies and practices, but also by their many civic contributions.”

GWB has dedicated itself to the principle that continued growth of its business is dependent on attracting and retaining highly-qualified diverse employees.  The firm has diligently and deliberately worked to promote diversity throughout the firm in both its hiring and retention practices. Jennifer E. Johnsen, a shareholder and former member of the firm’s Executive Committee, chairs GWB’s Diversity Committee.  This committee is comprised of members representing all facets of the firm’s work force – associates, shareholders, administrative staff, and legal support personnel.  Jennifer states, “The firm encourages and fosters the advancement of women and minorities within the firm.  Simply stated, the individual characteristics and unique experiences of GWB’s employees make it more than a diverse law firm — they make GWB a smarter law firm better able to serve its clients and the community.”

Jennifer and the Diversity Committee have worked hard to develop and take part in several impactful programs within the firm and the community that encourage diversity.  Examples of these programs include:

  • GWB is a founding member of the Diversity Recruitment Consortium, in which organizations work together to develop innovative programs, practices, and processes to increase the diversity of professional and executive talent in South Carolina based organizations.
  • Participation in the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative, presented by the Riley Institute at Furman University.
  • Active leadership and participation in professional and community organizations, such as the Urban League, the United Way’s Leadership Affinity Groups for Women and African Americans, and the National Bar Association.
  • Firm diversity awareness programs which feature guest speakers and leaders within the field of diversity.
  • Internal “Sharing Our Story” articles that feature different members of the GWB team, highlighting what makes them unique and renewing dialogue among employees about diversity.

The impact of these programs is evident in the firm’s current demographics.  GWB is currently comprised of 145 employees from 23 different states and 5 countries.  The firm’s 67 attorneys hail from every region of the country, attended 26 different undergraduate institutions, and 16 different law schools.  Managing Shareholder C. William McGee states, “Our diversity initiatives have been successful and produced results because we have enjoyed unwavering support from all of our employees.  From our senior shareholders to our newest employees, everyone at GWB has embraced the belief that a diverse workforce makes us a stronger law firm that is better equipped to meet the needs of our clients.”

DRI is an international organization of lawyers and in-house counsel involved in the defense of civil litigation for businesses and individuals. DRI was established over 50 years ago and consists of more than 22,000 members worldwide.  DRI is committed to improving the civil justice system and to enhancing the skills, knowledge, and professionalism of its members.  Diversity is a core value for the DRI, where it is viewed as being fundamental to the success of the organization.