National Law Journal features Kathy Szmuszkovicz, Paula Schauwecker, Laura LaValle; B&D’s Diversity and Retention Initiatives

On March 19, the National Law Journal (NLJ) featured B&D Managing Principal Kathy Szmuszkovicz, Chief Talent Officer Paula Schauwecker, and Austin Office Managing Principal Laura LaValle. The article, “We Want Them to Thrive: In Diversity Efforts, Beveridge & Diamond Pivots Toward Retention,” highlights B&D’s diverse leadership, continued emphasis on recruiting and retaining diverse talent, and efforts to strengthen the firm’s culture of and reputation for leadership on diversity and inclusion. B&D holds Mansfield-Plus certification, and women and minorities comprise 83% of lawyers who joined the firm in 2019. Two-thirds of the lawyers on the firm’s management committee are women or minorities, as are the firm’s general counsel, diversity and inclusion principal, chief operating and financial officers, and the office managing principals in Austin and San Francisco. Overall, women and minorities comprise half of the firm’s lawyers.

“We intend to take this to the next level,” said Kathy, B&D’s recently-elected Managing Principal, of the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as business imperatives.

Paula was appointed in January 2020 to the newly-created position of Chief Talent Officer having previously served as firmwide diversity and inclusion principal. She now oversees lawyer hiring, retention, and talent development, and leads a firmwide effort to improve professional development offerings for lawyers and staff.

“As you step back and look at diversity and inclusion and professional development, it really needs to be woven into the fabric of the firm. My role is to help the firm with processes and procedures and other things that will help all of those good things,” Paula said.

The article also notes that B&D’s clients appreciate the firm’s emphasis on building a diverse team. “While women [clients] won’t select women any more than men, they appreciate the ability to give us the opportunity,” said Laura, who co-chairs B&D’s Women’s Initiative in addition to managing the firm’s Austin, TX office.

Click here to read the full article (NLJ subscription required).