We appreciate the beliefs, opinions, orientations and ethnicity of all people.
At Stokes Lawrence, we're proud of our congenial relationships and the respect our employees show to each other. Maintaining an atmosphere of openness and tolerance is fundamental to our culture.
We embrace the diverse backgrounds of all our employees. Each individual's unique perspective is a valued contribution toward our common goal of providing clients with exceptional service. As part of our commitment to promoting diversity and equity within our firm, we have a standing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee with both lawyers and staff serving as members. The committee spearheads many of our formal diversity initiatives, which are designed to promote the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse employees to better reflect our broader community and to foster an atmosphere of inclusiveness.
We encourage diverse applicants to apply for open positions and ask the Minority Bar Associations to circulate notice of our attorney job openings to their memberships. We are known by professional recruiters as an open and welcoming workplace committed to increasing diversity in our workforce and are regularly approached by them with excellent candidates who are looking for a different type of firm.
The commitment to diversity within our firm is reflected in our demographics:
- 54% of our lawyers are women
- 57% of our shareholders are women, including our Managing Shareholder
- 13% of our lawyers are racially or ethnically diverse
Our firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is demonstrated in many different ways. We actively fund and encourage our attorneys’ involvement in Washington State Minority Bar Associations (MBAs) and other organizations, including the following:
- Latina/o Bar Association of Washington
- Loren Miller Bar Association
- Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association
- Washington Women Lawyers
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Filipino Lawyers of Washington
- Asian Bar Association of Washington
- Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee
- National Filipino American Lawyer’s Association
- QLAW - The LGBTQ+ Bar Association of Washington
- NAIOP Diversity & Inclusion Committee
- Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Seattle
- Diversity Committee for the Washington State Bar Association
- King County Bar Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon Committee
One of our attorneys currently serves on the Washington State Bar Association Committee for Diversity. She follows the lead of other firm attorneys who have served on this committee, including as co-chair. The committee’s mission is to “promote historically underrepresented groups to enter, remain, thrive, and lead in the profession of law.”
Additionally, our attorneys are frequent guest speakers at seminars about diversity, including the following:
- Annual Statewide Diversity Conference
- Washington Women Lawyers annual CLE
- Women in Legal and Corporate Leadership Conference
- Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association
- NAIOP Washington Membership Programs
These efforts bring us before a wide range of colleagues and strengthen our reputation in the community.
Commitment to the Future
To encourage diversity in the legal profession, we support several initiatives that offer access to education and strengthen the pipeline of diverse students within our legal community.
Annually, we award $1,500 scholarships to one first-year diverse student from each of the law schools in Washington State (University of Washington, Seattle University and Gonzaga University). While the goal of our scholarship program is to support diversity within the broader legal community, we often meet personally with our scholarship recipients and applicants and have gone on to hire one of our recipients as an associate attorney following his graduation from law school.
We are a participant in the Gregoire Fellows Program. Named for former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, the program was formed with the goal to bring greater diversity to the legal profession. In addition to scholarships, stipends and mentorship, Fellows spend the summer following their first year of law school working 10 weeks split between at least two work settings, from among a corporate legal department, a governmental agency and a Seattle law firm. We are proud to be involved with this successful program.
We have also partnered with Rainier Scholars to host a high school student for a summer internship. Rainier Scholars is a Seattle-based, 12-year program that “offers a pathway to college graduation for hard-working, low-income students of color.” Rainier Scholars provides intensive academic preparation, leadership development and personalized support to their scholars. Our participation with the program replaces our past involvement with the King County Bar Association’s Future of the Law Institute (FLI), an outreach program designed to expose high school students from diverse backgrounds to careers in the legal profession. We were unable to host Rainier Scholars in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID-19, but hope to hire an intern when circumstances allow a productive internship experience.
Advocating for Diversity
Shareholder compensation is reviewed annually, with consideration is given to time spent on professional and community activities, including pro bono and other volunteer work. Our firm believes that its attorneys have an obligation to serve society as well as clients and reward our attorneys financially for demonstrating that value.