Lewis Rice Launches “Next Level” Diversity and Inclusion Programs

As part of our ongoing commitment to proactively promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, Lewis Rice has launched several “Next Level” programs that include:

  • Lewis Rice Scholarship in Honor of Larry L. Deskins: To honor our late partner Larry L. Deskins, Lewis Rice will award two $7,500 scholarships to first-year law students at Washington University, Saint Louis University or University of Missouri law schools who are members of economically disadvantaged or underrepresented groups in the legal profession. Student submissions will be accepted between Nov. 30, 2021, and Jan. 15, 2022. The first scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2022.
  • Lewis Rice Harris-Stowe State University Internship: Beginning in the summer of 2022, Lewis Rice will offer a paid internship to a qualified Harris-Stowe State University student from an economically or academically disadvantaged group who is interested in a career in law.
  • Billable credit for diversity and inclusion hours: To further recognize, incentivize, and reward work that helps advance Lewis Rice’s proactive commitment to diversity and inclusion, the firm has adopted a policy awarding billable-hours credit to lawyers who engage in activities such as serving on the Diversity and Inclusion (DAI) Committee, a bar association or affinity group dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and participating in activities designed to recruit, mentor, and retain underrepresented attorneys and staff.

“Lewis Rice has always been, and will continue to be, a law firm that values diversity,” said Ronald A. Norwood, Lewis Rice member and Chairman of the firm’s DAI Committee. “Proactively promoting legal diversity remains our mantra and reality, and these important ‘Next Level’ programs further demonstrate that commitment.”

Lewis Rice is engaged in additional activities that advance and celebrate diversity and inclusion within the firm, legal profession, and St. Louis region. We initiate annual Continuing Legal Education programs on bias, equality, diversity, and inclusion, offer reduced hour arrangements for attorneys who need flexibility, and continually enhance the infrastructure of Lewis Rice Women to Women (LRW2W), a forum dedicated to supporting and recognizing the influence women attorneys exercise in the St. Louis community. In 2020, Lewis Rice’s Management and DAI committees joined the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a group of more than 350 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners committed to building a more open and diverse legal profession. We recently selected two lawyers of color as active participants in LCLD professional development programs and participated in LCLD’s first-year law student summer associate internship program.