As reflected in our strategic vision, “Christian & Small is committed to being a dedicated, diverse and supportive team of legal professionals partnering with our clients to render superior service and exceptional value in the areas of litigation and business.” Diversity is one of the firm’s core values. We believe that diversity in backgrounds, experiences, and ideas enriches our lives and enhances the quality of the work performed by the professionals at Christian & Small.
Our priority is to retain and mentor diverse attorneys and staff and to provide opportunities for diverse lawyers through hiring, both laterally and from law schools. This goes beyond recruitment and includes educating diverse groups of elementary to high school students about law as a career, actively engaging our lawyers with diverse educational institutions and student groups, and funding law school scholarships for minority students. Our attorneys and leadership are actively engaged in ongoing conversations concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Christian & Small is the first Alabama-based firm to join the prestigious Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD). Formed in 2009 to advance diversity in the legal profession, LCLD is an organization of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to a truly diverse profession.
Managing Partner Deborah Alley Smith attended the LCLD First Annual Membership Meeting in October 2010, and Mike Vercher is a graduate of the LCLD Fellows Program, which is intended to help diversify the legal profession by producing attorneys with strong leadership and networking skills who enjoy relationships with industry leaders — and who are committed to fostering diversity within their individual institutions. Christina May Bolin is a current Fellow and Jordan C. Loper is a Pathfinder participant, a program designed for younger or new attorneys. The program has several components, including three in-person conferences throughout the year. Fellows work together in small groups on a specific project throughout the year that will address an actual legal problem within member organizations.
In 2009, we recognized the need to reach students at an earlier age to expose them to the practice of law and help them begin to form a support network and create a path to a legal career. With that idea in mind, we partnered with Teach for America Alabama in 2010 as the first corps members were placed in our state. In our ten year partnership, we have coached mock trial teams, hosted supply drives, welcomed new corps members from all over the country, collected and distributed prom dresses after devastating tornadoes, assisted teachers in funding and organizing new experiences for students, and helped students find mentors to nurture and guide them. We have attended numerous graduations and are thrilled to see one of the first TFA students we mentored entering law school.
Deborah Alley Smith and Julie Moebes Ellis, Director of Business Development, have served five years on the Advisory Board of Teach of America Alabama with Debbie serving as chair of the board for the last three years. With over 250 TFA Alabama alumni living and working in Alabama, we have witnessed our "Bamaly" grow and expand in ways we never could have imagined. We can't wait to see what the next ten years will bring to students across the state.
Christian & Small is an equal opportunity employer.