"In an industry where the highest earners are predominantly white males, an underlying cultural inequity can be a surreptitious 'professional standard.' Women are told they "Don't exude executive authority" or some such nonsense. Minorities are told they need "polish". While attorneys should carry a high level of business and professional acumen, the standards set by the privileged decades ago, should not be given credence in the modern legal profession. If a law firm is serious about truly being diverse and inclusive, they must be willing to broaden the definition of what their firm considers "Acceptable law school and pedigree". Anything less is justification by the entitled.
Executive Vice President
Chief DEI Officer
Shelton & Steele Client Requirements
Nowadays, many colleges, firms, and companies talk a good game about diversity, equity, and inclusion. At Shelton & Steele, we’re absolutely committed to it. Let’s talk complex numbers. Sixty percent of our firm is women, minorities, and LGBTQ. But we ensure 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 regarding diverse attorney representation in their firm.
2. They have demonstrated that diverse attorneys are appropriately represented in the partnership ranks and firm management.
3. If a firm is smaller, it 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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.
The Shelton & Steele
Returning Equity Program
At Shelton & Steele, we are fully committed to helping members of under-represented communities in the legal profession. We're doing this simply: Equity, and 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.
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 offer webinars and/or seminars to applicable student organizations, professional organizations, schools, and universities.
Our REP participants receive Shelton & Steele Consulting Seminars for free.
How to Build & Maintain a High-Value Network
The majority of high-end legal work is never even pitched. If a C-Level or GC personally knows an attorney who can do the work they need done, they send it to that attorney.The Shelton System teaches how to stay "front of mind" for years or even decades afterward.
In March of 2022, Frederick Shelton's article When It Comes to Legal Industry Hiring, Can Howard Now Compete With Harvard? Yes. was published in Law.Com. Frederick pushes the boundaries of an outdated way of thinking and draws on the experience of legal professionals and what they've found to be true. To read the article, CLICK HERE.