Missouri Lawyers Weekly Talks with Madeleine McDonough About Shook's Commitment to Diversity

Missouri Lawyers Weekly interviewed Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough for its article, “Want to increase diversity in your firm? Here’s how.” The article showcases Shook as an example of a law firm with an active diversity recruitment plan. Many other firms in the legal profession have made little progress increasing diversity, according to the article.

Shook begins its investment in recruiting and developing diverse attorneys while they are still in law school. McDonough said that for the past nine years, the firm has invited local law students who are racially, ethnically and LGBTQ-diverse to clerk at Shook in 10-week paid internships during the school year. The firm also has awarded more than $666,500 in scholarships to minority students.

McDonough said the firm is “committed to building an inclusive environment where all individuals are able to find success by being their authentic selves . . . To connect the dots for our clients, Shook seeks to foster cultural competency, while interrupting both explicit and implicit bias in meaningful and measurable ways.”

Diversity and Inclusion is an essential component of Shook's vision statement. Besides internships, the firm also provides law school workshops to student organizations, participates in minority job fair recruiting, holds a Women's Management Council, spearheads educational programming and encourages attorneys to complete diversity commitment actions. "Our clients and communities are themselves diverse; and as attorneys we are often asked to collaborate across borders and practices to solve complex problems,” McDonough said.