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Diversity

Foster Swift has a long history of working toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) initiatives. We actively seek change by consistently identifying disparities and implementing tangible actions to address them. Diversity in our workplace enhances our personal and professional lives, and our ability to serve our clients. Differences in ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives make life richer and more rewarding.

The origins of our diversity initiatives go back over 50 years to when we first partnered with the University of Michigan Law School to proactively attract and hire attorneys of color. Since 1993, the firm has had an active Diversity Committee composed of associates, shareholders, staff and administrators. Since its founding, the role of this committee has been to meet and provide guidance to the firm’s Executive Committee for internal diversity training programming, policy consideration and community support. Additionally, the Diversity Committee closely monitors to pulse of DEI initiatives, both locally and nationally, in an effort to stay at the forefront of education, policy, and best practices. 

In recent years, the American Corporate Counsel Association’s (“ACCA”) Diversity in the Workplace Statement of Principle has been integral to the firm’s value and efforts. The ACCA’s statement is a diversity initiative adopted by a growing number of our clients. The efforts made by the firm result in concrete actions—not merely good intentions. For example, in early 2021, Foster Swift hosted four firm-wide DEI training programs focused on workplace biases and conflict management, among other topics. Two more training sessions are planned for Fall 2021.

While we always strive for improvement, we have made great strides in building a diverse and inclusive workplace:

  • Foster Swift is proud to be one of the first of Michigan’s “large law firms” to have selected a woman attorney as firm president. Anne Seurynck was selected in 2020.
  • Twenty-five percent of the firm's attorneys are women, and many serve in management roles, including two members of the firm’s six-member Executive Committee and three practice group leaders. Foster Swift also has a woman, Cheryl Coutchie, as its Chief Operating Officer.
  • Foster Swift has historically sponsored the annual MLK Day of Celebration in Lansing, the largest of its kind in the state.
  • Foster Swift attorneys are active in several affinity bar associations including the Floyd Skinner Bar Association, Wolverine Bar, and Davis-Dunnings Bar
  • The firm is participating in the Mansfield Rule 2021 initiative, a certification established by Diversity Lab geared toward assisting private practice firms with enhancing existing diversity efforts and developing new efforts to reach specific goals.

Foster Swift is a multi-generational firm with attorneys and staff members spanning across five generations. Our DEI mission is to maintain an environment where success, both personally and professionally, is measured by our core values of hard work, ambition, intelligence, and kindness. In 2017, Foster Swift received the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s Regional Diversity Star Award which recognizes companies who demonstrate best practices in creating a diverse and welcoming place where global talent wants to work and succeed, which has a direct impact on our local economy.

We believe that a diverse and comprehensive workplace enables us to better serve and help grow our communities. We intend to continue—and accelerate—our efforts to be a great law firm by embracing what it means to be truly diverse.

Corp! Salute to Diversity

In 2021, Foster Swift was selected as one of the winners by Corp! Magazine to honor in their 14th Annual Salute to Diversity Awards. The 25 honorees are recognized, diversity-focused businesses, organizations and leaders who champion diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and achievements within their organization or the community.

Juneteenth and Beyond
In recent weeks, there has been an undeniably overdue national and even global call for change in how the issues of racial injustice, bias, and privilege are addressed. Important, difficult conversations are happening, and the time is now for all of us to change the way our society perceives and treats people of color. Change cannot be limited to just the way we think about these issues; meaningful change will only come through our actions...to continue reading

2017 Regional Diversity Star Award

Foster Swift received the Lansing Economic Area Partnership's 2017 Regional Diversity Star Award.

Lansing Economic Area Partnership recognizes companies who demonstrate best practices in creating a diverse and welcoming place where global talent wants to work and succeed, which has a direct impact on our local economy.