Established in January 2012, Saul Ewing's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group supports the Firm's goal to be a diverse and inclusive workplace for all attorneys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The group is comprised of attorneys from several of the Firm's offices and practices, and all attorneys are welcome to join. Members meet quarterly and work together to create a support network to ensure LGBT attorneys and summer associates have equal opportunities for advancement and professional development. The group works on two levels to achieve this goal: with firm management and with lawyers identifying as LGBT.
In their work with management, LGBT members share insights on issues affecting the LGBT community so that Firm leaders have a better understanding of the issues and can shape inclusive policies and practices. For instance, Saul Ewing not only provides health insurance for same-sex domestic partners, but it compensates for the higher tax burden placed on this benefit by providing the employee with an annual stipend to cover this additional cost. The group and management also work together to reach out to LGBT clients, as well as support initiatives that interest them, such as the Firm's sponsorship of the International Equality Dinner.
In its first year, the LGBT Affinity Group organized a well-attended trip for attorneys, clients and friends of the Firm to a Philadelphia theater to see a staged reading of "8," about the California ballot referendum – Proposition 8 – that barred same sex marriage in that state. The group is committed to organizing similar networking and mentoring opportunities in the coming year and beyond. It also helps the Firm to recruit and retain attorneys who identify as LGBT.