We are committed at Shook, Hardy & Bacon to an inclusive workplace where everyone is respected, rewarded, equipped and invested in because of their differences. We embrace diversity and maintain that genuine inclusion creates an environment where everyone can belong and thrive.

Shook's Diversity & Inclusion Mission:

  • To create a culture where our behaviors and processes align with our values, purpose and vision
  • To cultivate inclusive behavior where everyone is respected, rewarded, equipped and invested in because of their differences
  • To eliminate siloes and integrate diversity and inclusion into the business and practice of law
  • To promote a culture where people can belong, rather than have to fit in
  • To create an inclusive environment where diversity is represented at all levels

Shook works with clients to make significant progress in the recruitment and advancement of attorneys from diverse backgrounds. The firm is actively involved with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and is a supporter of “A Call to Action: Diversity in the Legal Profession." Shook is also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, national organizations dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion in the legal arena.

Diversity in the Workplace - We celebrate diversity with a focus on making diversity and inclusion a firm-wide and experiential effort. Our “It’s All About Inclusion” campaign emphasizes inclusion as a core competency and instills understanding of how diversity and inclusion relate to engagement, productivity, results, and the bottom line. We launch activities that facilitate conversations and individual engagement, focus on educating and equipping our leadership to model inclusion, and educate our attorneys and staff on what inclusion looks like in action. We present the Shook Mosaic Award to individuals who demonstrate a commitment to recruiting, retaining and promoting attorneys of diverse backgrounds at Shook and in the legal profession as a whole.

LGBTQ Initiatives - Shook supports pipeline and education programs, partners with other firms, collaborates with clients, provides grants and scholarships to law schools around the country, and acts as a national diversity and inclusion resource for law firms and corporations to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession as a whole.

Diversity Job Fair Recruiting - Shook recruits at such events across the nation, including the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Heartland Diversity Job Fair, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Annual Conference, National Bar Association Career Fair, National LGBT Bar Association Lavender Law Conference, Cook County Minority Job Fair, Southeastern Minority Job Fair and Veterans Legal Career Fair.

Shook Scholars Institute - The Scholars Institute is an innovative diversity and inclusion-focused development program that offers select law students the opportunity to participate in a trial practice program, sessions on lawyering skills, leadership and career success competencies. Led by Shook attorneys, the Institute also provides diverse students critical networking opportunities. Self-identified racially or ethnically diverse and/or LGBTQ students who have a sincere interest in practicing civil litigation are encouraged to apply.

Educational Programming - In order to retain our diverse lawyers at all levels of the firm, we must have successful minority lawyers at the partnership level, not only to serve as mentors and role models for new minority lawyers. We focus on better equipping our diverse talent. Programs targeted in this area include: diversity retreats; a quarterly program providing support and professional development opportunities focused on challenges minority attorneys face; a formal sponsorship program; a reverse mentoring program; a shift from “retention” to “engagement and advancement;” and a focus on inclusive leadership development, education and awareness.

Women's Management Council - This proactive group of Shook women partners serves as a catalyst for programs targeting the unique challenges facing women practitioners. 

Diversity & Inclusion Individual Commitment Plan - Shook requires every attorney to personally commit to diversity as a core value. To help achieve our diversity goals, all attorneys are required to complete at least 10 diversity commitment action items from the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Individual Commitment Plan as part of the annual evaluation and compensation process.


The Human Rights Campaign Foundation awarded Shook the top rating of 100% for the 10th consecutive year in its 2019 Corporate Equality Index, naming the firm to its list of “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers once again noted Shook among “Best Law Firms for Women” in 2019. Shook has previously received this award in 2008 - 2019. 

From 2011-2019, Shook met all six certification criteria to win the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification for integrating women into leadership positions at law firms.

GSK litigation attorneys selected Shook for its Inclusion and Diversity Award, 2018.

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association selected Shook for its Vashon Award, 2018.

The Coca-Cola Company has awarded Shook its General Counsel Diversity Advancement award in 2017. Coca-Cola has also thrice (2008, 2013, 2015) presented Shook with its Living the Values Award in recognition of the firm’s progressive diversity practices. 

In 2016 and 2017, Shook’s Chicago office received Equality Illinois’ Raising the Bar Award for LGBT Inclusiveness. 

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has recognized Shook for its outstanding diversity program by awarding the Thomas L. Sager Award to the firm in 2001, 2002 and 2010. 

Altria awarded Shook its inaugural Law Department Diversity and Inclusion Award in April 2010 to recognize the firm’s commitment to diversity in the legal profession.


The 2019 edition of the Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms ranked Shook, 4th in Overall Diversity, 4th in Diversity for Women, 3rd in Diversity for Individuals with Disabilities, 7th for Diversity for Minorities, and 3rd for Diversity in LGBT. Vault compiled its rankings based on data from anonymous surveys of law firm associates across the United States.

Law360 ranked Shook on its 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys Roster in both 2015 - 2018.

Media Mentions

The firm’s diversity initiatives have also been highlighted in The American LawyerLaw 360Diversity & The Bar, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Missouri Lawyers Weekly and Working Mother.

HRC Best Places to Work for LGBT EqualityBest Law Firms for WomenThe coca-Cola Company Living the Values Award

Diversity Committee

Walt Cofer (Partner/Executive Committee Sponsor)
Hassia Diolombi (Partner)
Scott Kaiser (Partner)
John Lewis (Partner)
Buffy Mims (Partner)
Madeleine McDonough (Firm Chair)
Vaveca Moss (Director of Employee Relations)
Lynn Murray (Partner)
Amir Nassihi (Partner)
Ann Songer (Partner)
Barbara Thompson (Chief Human Resources Officer)
Greg Wu (Partner)