Nowadays, many colleges, firms and companies talk a good a game about diversity, equity and inclusion.

At Shelton & Steele, we’re absolutely committed to it. Let’s talk hard numbers. Sixty percent of our firm is women, minorities and LGBTQ. But we make sure that our firm doesn’t just have representation, it has inclusion and equity. Our executive management team is 75% minority and LGBTQ.


Further, we will not accept a law firm as a client, unless they meet one or more of the following conditions:

1. They are above average when it comes to diverse attorney representation in their firm.

2. They have demonstrated that diverse attorneys are appropriately represented in the partnership ranks, as well as firm management.

3. If a firm is smaller, they must be fully committed to DE & I and have a formal program in place –

or have retained us or another consulting firm to help them with their efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Marble Surface

"In an industry predominantly peopled by white men, an underlying culture can be  'professional standard.' Certainly, an attorney should carry a level of business and professional acumen, but there is a fine line between professionalism and personality limitations. If a law firm is serious about truly being diverse and inclusive, they have to be willing to broaden the perception of what their firm culture is through education."

Ayven's Headshot_edited_edited.png

Executive Vice President
Chief DEI Officer

The Shelton & Steele Returning Equity Program (REP)

At Shelton & Steele, we are fully committed to helping members of under-represented communities in the legal profession. The reason we’re doing this is simple: Equity. Our goal is to give diverse students and attorneys every possible advantage.

To that end, we have formed the Returning Equity Program or “REP”. This program is designed to teach under-represented law school students and attorneys keys to success, that are not taught in most universities.

For example, the famous business celebrity Kevin O’Leary, was quoted as saying that the value he received in college was not a quality education. Instead, he shared these insights:

“The great thing about an MBA is not the technical skills you’ve learned — because frankly, to be honest with you, I forgot all of those — it was the people I met in my class,” O’Leary explains.
Where are they now? Running banks, they’re industrialists, they’re venture capitalists, they’re investors, they’re all around the world,” he says. “I can pick up the phone and say, ‘Hi. Mr. Wonderful here, let’s talk about a business idea.’

In other words, the real value he received from getting his MBA, was the instant network he developed.

While career strategies such as networking, are often taught to the children of the top1% income earners by their parents or other mentors, working and middle-class parents are usually not as familiar with them. When you look at the program components below, you'll see that one of them teaches participants what Mr. O'Leary discusses above.

Shelton & Steele seeks to balance the scales. We provide 200 hours per year of training to aspiring women, minority and LGBTQ law students and attorneys for free. We also provide webinars and / or seminars to applicable student organizations, professional organizations and schools and universities.

Our REP participants receive training on the following subjects:

How to Build & More Importantly, Maintain a High Value Network.

Advanced Interviewing Psychology and Strategies

The Differences in Priorities at Law Firms, In-House & Public Sector Jobs

Career Strategy Basics – How to Plan Your Success in Advance

How to Create, Developing and Build a Personal Brand

How to Get Quoted and Published in Legal Journals and National Media

Using Social Media and Blogging to Attract Employers & Clients

Understanding the Advantages & Disadvantages of Various Practice Areas & Law Firm Types (BigLaw, Boutiques etc.)

Turning Under-Represented Status into an Advantage

Why Money Alone Isn’t Success & How to Give Back

Our goal is to return equity by helping our participants become partners, general counsel and leaders in the legal profession. If you or your organization would like more information on the REP,  please contact our

Executive Vice President, Ayven Dodd at ad@sheltonsteele.com

Here is the article our CEO published in American Lawyer Media, in March 2022 (If you can't view it, let us know and we'll be happy to send you a copy in Word format):

Can Howard U Compete with Harvard University? Yes.  - American Lawyer Media