Michael Smith: Diversity & Inclusion
McAfee & Taft appellate and trial lawyer Michael Smith explains why the firm’s commitment to diversity matters to us and to our clients.
”I really respect McAfee & Taft’s commitment to diversity. When we were talking about merging with McAfee & Taft, and when I met with the directors, I expressed concern about the fact that sexual orientation was not included in their nondiscrimination policy. They said it was not even an issue. They had never even thought about it, and they changed it on the internet the very next day.
“And being an out gay man at McAfee & Taft has never been an issue. I’m known as a great lawyer, not as a gay lawyer. Although I am a gay lawyer, I’m known as a great lawyer at McAfee & Taft. And so sexual orientation has never been an issue. I’m on the diversity committee and we are committed to expanding our diversity outreach and our diversity retention.
“I think being a diverse lawyer is an asset because every person brings a unique perspective, and my diversity allows me to bring that unique perspective even in my writing and in the work that I do for my clients in defending these cases. The big corporations these days are now demanding not only that you have a diverse workforce, but that you also assign a diverse workforce to their cases.
“Diverse lawyers bring a different perspective than other lawyers.”