Blank Rome Hosts Attorneys-of-Color Forum Retreat

Baltimore, Maryland

Blank Rome held its first annual Attorneys-of-Color (AoC) Retreat on May 15–16, 2008, in Baltimore, Maryland

The Blank Rome community discussed issues facing attorneys of color, shared strategies, and continued learning from each others' experience in a supportive network of relationships.  The group was led by well known diversity consultant Vernā Myers, the founder of Vernā Myers Consulting Group, LLC. 

Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, Blank Rome's chief diversity and inclusion officer, and Elvera M.A. Pollard, the diversity manager, kicked-off the retreat with the history of diversity efforts at Blank Rome, followed by the members of the group exploring their historical group affiliations to discover individual commonalities, and a discussion of the issues impacting the group at Blank Rome.  The afternoon concluded with a session entitled "Building a Community, Part I: What Should We Be Doing as a Group?" and a reception and dinner. 

The second day of the retreat featured Blank Rome's co-chairman, Alan Hoffman, and department chair, Martin Luskin, who addressed the group about their diverse backgrounds and personal philosophies on diversity, and reiterated the Firm's commitment to diversity.

The partners of color then participated in a panel discussion in which they shared their collective wisdom about how to succeed at Blank Rome and their varied experiences on their paths to professional fulfillment.

The remaining sessions covered "Succeeding in a Majority Organization" and "Building a Community, Part II."  The day concluded with closing reflections and next steps by AoC co-chair, Hardy Vieux.

The Firm's AoC retreat has already led to the implementation of several best practices that further strengthen Blank Rome, and the services we provide to our clients.

Blank Rome co-chairmen Alan Hoffman shares with the attendees how diversity has impacted him personally.