(July 20, 2016) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has been named the winner of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s (MCCA) Thomas L. Sager Award. This is the inaugural national Sager Award issued by MCCA, following its prior regional award system. The firm was honored by MCCA for demonstrating sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys.
The Sager Award was presented to Littler at the MCCA Diversity Gala last night at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was the keynote speaker. Including regional awards, this marks the fourth time Littler has won the prestigious Sager Award. The firm earned the distinction in 2014, 2011 and 2009.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named the first national winner of the Sager Award and to be recognized for our deep and perpetual commitment to diversity,” said Thomas Bender and Jeremy Roth, co-managing directors of the firm, who both attended the awards ceremony. “We are proud of the diverse and inclusive working environment that has been a part of our firm’s heritage for more than 70 years, and we will further expand and strengthen our efforts to ensure the continued advancement, recruitment and retention of our diverse workforce.”
The Sager Award is named after former DuPont Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas L. Sager, a widely respected leader in diversity. Winners are selected based on various criteria, including statistical data, recruitment, retention, mentoring and promotion, as well as collaborative endeavors with community and bar associations and innovative practices that result in practicable efforts to increase diversity.
Littler’s various diversity programs have positioned it as one of the leading firms in the area of diversity and inclusion, especially the Career Advocacy Program (CAP), which launched in 2013 and was largely inspired by MCCA’s “Mentoring Across Differences: A Guide to Cross-Gender and Cross-Race Mentoring.” The CAP selects higher-level, high-performing associates who are visible minorities or have identified themselves as LGBTQ or disabled (Protégés) and pairs them with some of the firm’s most influential leaders (Advocates). Another unique aspect of the CAP is that it also pairs the Protégés with one of a group of General Counsel (Champions). Currently, 10 corporate General Counsel participate as Champions. Since the program launched, Littler has monitored its success, and in 2016, 40 percent of Littler’s newly elevated shareholders were participants in the program.
“The Career Advocacy Program’s success is truly a result of the dedicated and collaborative efforts of our Protégés, Advocates and Champions. It is extremely gratifying to see the advancement of our Protégés and we thank our Advocates and Champions for their support of, and investment in, the program,” said Shareholder Natalie Pierce, the brainchild behind the CAP and co-chair of Littler’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. “With 40 percent of this year’s newly elevated shareholders as participants in the program, the numbers show that it is making a difference.”
As a result of Littler’s ongoing diversity efforts, the firm continues to earn accolades in diversity and inclusion. In addition to the Sager Award, this year Littler has earned recognition from esteemed organizations such as The American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard, Vault and the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
About Minority Corporate Counsel Association
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) was founded in 1997 to advocate for the expanded hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission through the collection and dissemination of information about diversity in the legal profession. MCCA takes an inclusive approach to the definition of “diversity.” Therefore, its research addresses issues of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, and generational differences which impact the legal profession’s workforce.
Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice, with more than 1,000 attorneys in over 70 offices worldwide. Littler represents management in all aspects of employment and labor law and serves as a single-source solution provider to the global employer community. Consistently recognized in the industry as a leading and innovative law practice, Littler has been litigating, mediating and negotiating some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record for over 70 years. Littler Global is the collective trade name for an international legal practice, the practicing entities of which are separate and distinct professional firms.