Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella we believe that diversity in the workplace allows us to be stronger advocates for our clients and enhances the quality of the legal services we provide. A diverse team of attorneys and support staff enables us to bring a broader, more dynamic perspective to the problems our clients face. Diversity also enriches the work atmosphere itself. We are committed both to recruiting and to fostering an environment in our workplace that is inclusive of all employees, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
We have demonstrated success with including and promoting women at the firm. Women are encouraged to assume leadership positions in the firm and currently serve as practice group leaders and firm committee chairs.
- Women comprise nearly 30% of Burke Warren's partners. Since 1992, Karen MacKay has been one of the only female name partners among large and mid-sized law firms in Chicago.
- Burke Warren’s Women’s Forum is actively engaged in promoting and celebrating the success of our professional women through networking, marketing opportunities, and educational events.
- Women have been elected in the last five shareholder elections held at Burke Warren.
Burke Warren 3L Minority Internship Program: Overview & 2022 and 2021 Results
Following on our success with gender diversity, we strive to address racial inequity in our legal community by increasing the number of racially diverse attorneys at the firm, creating equity and inclusiveness in the process. To that end, our firm's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee inaugurated and hosted a 3L Minority Internship Program commencing in the Fall of 2021. The Program is designed to enhance the legal careers of underrepresented racially diverse third-year law (3L) students by providing practical law firm experience as the participants begin a rewarding career in the field of law. In addition to providing participants with “hands on” work experience, the program seeks to establish lifelong professional relationships and nurture leadership skills. View details regarding the 2022 Program and resulting success. View details regarding the 2021 Program and the resulting success. For more information on the Program, please direct your inquiries to Cristalena Smith at 3Linternship@burkelaw.com.
3L Minority Internship Program: 2022 Details & Application Process
- Burke Warren hosted a paid internship program for two 3L minority law students that commenced in the Fall of 2022. The Program is designed to enhance the legal careers of racially diverse third-year law students by providing practical law firm experience and the opportunity to establish meaningful contacts as they begin a rewarding career in the law. This is the second year of our Internship Program, following a successful first year in 2021 whereby we hired two exceptional interns who subsequently received (and accepted) full-time employment offers. We were fortunate in our 2022 program wherein we hired two exceptional interns.
- The Fall 2022 Program was slated for 10-12 weeks total within the dates of August 29 to November 18. Selected interns received a variety of substantive and challenging work assignments. Interns also received spectator assignments, including attending hearings, depositions, negotiations, client conferences, and other client-related activities. There was a formal evaluation mid-internship and at the conclusion of the Program.
- The Program is generally open to full time third year students (at the time of the internship) who identify as racially diverse. The application process, which typically takes place in the spring, is now closed for 2022.
- Check back here periodically for details regarding the Fall 2023 Program.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Firm partners John P. Stephens, Stephen H. Pugh, Susan Miller Overbey, Danielle J. Gould and Nicholas A. Gowen were appointed by Burke Warren’s Management Committee to recommend implementation of Burke Warren’s commitment to the American Bar Association’s Resolution 113 urging legal service providers to expand and create opportunities for diverse attorneys and staff. The firm's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is eliciting and evaluating ideas from inside and outside the firm to recommend ways in which the firm can continue to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels, with the specific purpose of increasing the number of diverse attorneys and providing them with opportunities to grow with the firm. The Committee also seeks to recognize and address issues of implicit bias that impact attorneys and staff in order to continue efforts to build a supportive and transparent environment. In accordance with ABA Resolution 113, the Committee should also recommend ways in which the firm may encourage corporate clients to direct a greater percentage of their legal spend towards diverse attorneys.