Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At Maynard Nexsen, we celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion. Every day we strive to create a work environment where everyone is welcome and valued. We believe that diverse experiences bring out the best in us, so we can better serve our clients.
Maynard Nexsen believes that a diverse workforce is critical to our culture, success, and future growth. We recognize that a diverse firm produces broader perspectives, better ideas, and more creative solutions for our clients. Therefore, we are committed to:
- Recruiting, hiring, developing, retaining, and promoting a diverse group of attorneys, professionals, and other employees in all of our offices to provide the best quality service and legal representation to our nationally diverse clients.
- Reducing minority and female attrition and supporting minority and women’s organizations.
- Promoting and achieving diversity within the legal profession both locally and nationally.
In 2022, Maynard Nexsen committed to the following Pledge.
We believe in building a diverse team and an inclusive environment to enrich our experience as teammates and make us better advisors to our clients.
Therefore, I pledge:
- To do my part in advancing diversity at the firm in recruiting a diverse team and promoting an inclusive environment that embraces group input, ideas, dialogue, and constant improvement;
- To better educate myself on issues of bias and discrimination;
- To listen to others and seek to understand experiences and perspectives different than my own;
- To invite and willingly accept feedback on my actions and words and hold myself accountable for them, even if it is uncomfortable to do so; and
- To intentionally and consistently use my actions and words to contribute to a firm, a community, and a world that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible for all.
DIVE Program - DIVErsity, Equity & Inclusion Quarterly Dive Sessions
Quarterly programming (presentations, skills trainings, and workshops) for targeted audiences based on our annual goals to increase awareness, learn new skillsets, increase internal expertise and encourage dialogue in a variety of areas/topics.
In our efforts to constantly improve our diversity efforts and our services for clients, we implemented Cultivate discussions. These small group discussions provide a resource and forum for education and dialogue about recent events and pressing issues facing our communities. The goal is to educate ourselves and facilitate productive conversations about our country's racial history, challenge our own implicit biases, and drive us to make positive changes in our lives and communities, including at the Firm. Through this internal forum, we are reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching movies that provide opportunities to learn and make progress toward racial equality.
Get to Know M.E. Video Series
Get to Know M.E. is an initiative highlighting Maynard Nexsen Employees that aims to further connect us as One Firm. Through these periodic videos, we learn more about each other beyond what we see at work. These videos highlight and celebrate diversity in its many forms.
National Heritage Month Celebrations
Across the Firm and in varying forms, Maynard Nexsen and its employees celebrate national heritage months, including recognition of Women’s History, Black History, AANHPI, Hispanic History, and Pride months. The Firm hosts relevant webinar discussions, lunches, movie premiers, and more in conjunction with heritage celebrations.
RISE Sponsorship Program
Developing and retaining top talent is one of our Firm’s strategic goals. Investing in our people is vital to our success – as a Firm and as a community. The Firm’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee launched the RISE Sponsorship Program in 2020.
RISE is a formal leadership program for our third to seventh year high performing, high potential attorneys of color, attorneys with disabilities and LGBTQ+ attorneys. The goal of RISE is to provide training and leadership development, formal and informal, to develop, retain, and promote our attorneys from traditionally under-represented groups.
At Maynard Nexsen, we recognize that our female colleagues are vital to the business, culture, and our future success. The Women's Initiative seeks to attract and retain the best and brightest female attorneys, to foster their professional development, to advocate for their professional opportunities and recognition, and to promote their advancement to leadership positions within the Firm, the profession and community.
The Women’s Initiative Committee meets regularly to assess policies and practices as they relate to recruitment, retention, mentoring, and career development of our women lawyers at all levels, to coordinate the firm’s overall women’s initiatives, which views our female-focused efforts as a key strategic priority at the Firm.
The Forum of Alabama Businesswomen (“FAB”) is an external program series led by our Women’s Initiative. Held in the spring and fall each year, the program provides a forum for businesswomen and female leaders in the community to network and build relationships with existing clients, prospective clients, and referral sources.
The Mansfield Rule
Maynard Nexen is actively seeking and achieving certification under the Mansfield Rule by Diversity Lab to further demonstrate our commitment to cultivating a more inclusive profession. Building on our Lateral Hiring Policy implemented in 2020, the Mansfield Rule requires participating law firms to consider at least 30% diverse candidates for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. By participating in Mansfield, we are presented with the opportunity to further live out our commitment to advancing diversity.
Maynard Nexsen is making a concerted effort to create a culture that values and rewards minority student achievement.
We seek substantial diverse student participation in our summer associate program and make communicating our commitment to diversity a primary focus of our relationships with the law schools where we conduct on-campus interviews for prospective summer associates.
For more than three decades, we have endorsed two diversity scholarships at the University of Alabama School of Law.
Some additional pipeline programs and hiring initiatives are highlighted below.
Lateral Hiring Policy
In 2020, Maynard Nexsen implemented a Lateral Hiring Policy requiring that at least 30% of lawyers interviewed are Historically Underrepresented Lawyers (lawyers who identify as women, of color, with disabilities, LGBTQ+, or veterans). To implement this policy and enhance our hiring and interviewing practices, the DEI Committee presented two training sessions on Recognizing and Interrupting Implicit Biases During the Interview and Hiring Process and Best Practices for Reviewing Resumes, Interview Questions, and Evaluation of Candidates for all attorneys at Maynard.
Maynard Nexsen Law Prep - Birmingham, AL
In keeping with our goal to identify and create a pipeline of diverse attorneys, the Firm launched its first annual minority pre‐law program, Maynard Nexsen Law Prep, in 2021. Maynard Nexsen Law Prep’s primary objective is to identify diverse undergraduate talent who reflect the potential to be candidates for our summer clerkship program upon entering law school. We seek to attract the best talent and provide them with tailored opportunities for personal and professional development.
Minority LSAT Prep Course Scholarship Program - Birmingham, AL
For more than a decade we have offered a Minority Scholars LSAT Prep Course to highly-motivated undergraduate minority students who intend to pursue a career in the law in the region. Offered in an interactive group setting with approximately 10 students, the class teaches proven LSAT strategies and methods covering every skill tested on the LSAT exam. The class schedule is designed to allow participants to take the LSAT Exam held in June of each year. The course will be provided to qualified students selected by the firm. Acceptance into the program will be based on college GPA, resume, personal statement, and an in-person interview. The LSAT Prep Course is one of our signature pipeline programs, which has seen great success in terms of completion and advancement into law school. To date, graduates of our LSAT program have matriculated to law schools at the University of Alabama, Cumberland School of Law, Vanderbilt, University of Mississippi, Mercer University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Diversity Scholarship Program
The Maynard Nexsen Diversity Scholarship Program illustrates the Firm’s commitment to diversity at the Firm and in the legal profession. We have an obligation to promote diversity by providing more and better opportunities to deserving law school students.
In 2008, Maynard Nexsen launched the Maynard Nexsen Diversity Scholarship Program. The scholarship is awarded to two diverse law students who are enrolled at an ABA accredited law school. The program recipients receive a $5,000 scholarship and a paid summer associate position. Since the inception of the scholarship program, we have awarded 46 scholarships at a total investment of $150,000.
These scholarships go to diverse law students planning careers in South or North Carolina and our hope is to:
- Support diversity within our firm and the bar;
- Enhance educational opportunities for talented minorities in the field of law; and
- Inform underrepresented or diverse law students of opportunities for private practice in the Carolinas.
Diversity Summer Program - Greenville, SC
Maynard Nexsen and Pacolet Milliken are both committed to diversity in our professions, as well as fostering an inclusive workplace. As part of that commitment, we have partnered in our efforts to identify and provide diverse law school students with access to opportunities that will aid in their development as legal professionals, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, or any other social markers of difference. Therefore, to advance our commitment, Maynard Nexsen and Pacolet Milliken have established a combined Maynard Nexsen | Pacolet Milliken Diversity Summer Program.
The Maynard Nexsen | Pacolet Milliken Diversity Summer Program is awarded to one underrepresented or minority law student who is a 1L that is enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school. The program recipient will split their time evenly between Maynard Nexsen and Pacolet Milliken (Greenville, SC locations) for a total of ten weeks during the summer of 2023. The objective is to provide students both a law firm experience and exposure to a corporate in-house environment.
Maynard Nexsen actively sponsors and participates in professional programs and activities that promote diversity, including:
- Calibrate ID
- Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council
- Diversity in Law and Leadership Summit (Atlanta, GA)
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- Vital Records Project
Our commitment to diversity extends beyond the workplace to the legal profession, our nation, and our communities. Our lawyers are active participants in local and national organizations and initiatives focused on DEI. Maynard Nexen invests financial and human resources in national and local organizations that promote and empower individuals from diverse backgrounds, including:
- Advancing Justice Los Angeles
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Black Law Student Association, University of Alabama School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School
- CampFire USA
- Cornerstone Schools of Alabama
- Equal Rights Advocates
- Grace House Ministries
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Impact America - SpeakFirst
- Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Magic City Bar Association
- Metropolitan YMCA
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- National Conference for Community and Justice
- National LGBT Bar Association
- Restoration Academy
- South Asian Bar Association
- Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
- UNCF (United Negro College Fund)
- United Way of Central Alabama
- Workshops Empowerment, Inc.
- YWCA of Central Alabama
Maynard Nexsen PC® was recognized in 2022 as a leader in DEI among the top four corporations in Birmingham, AL. Maynard's Chief Talent Officer, Stephanie Mays, was also recognized among 19 individual honorees for her efforts and success in promoting DEI at Maynard and in the legal profession and larger community.
For more information about diversity at Maynard Nexsen, please contact:
Chief Talent Officer