:: CANCELED :: We hope you are healthy and sheltering in place.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, OWLS regrets that accepting nominations for this award is on hold.
OWLS’ mission is to transform the practice of law and ensure justice and equality by advancing women and minorities in the legal profession.
The OWLS Workplace Leader Award recognizes an Oregon legal employer making innovative and effective efforts to promote one or more of the following values:
- Hiring and maintaining a diverse workforce with diverse leadership;
- Maximizing opportunities for women, people of color, and people from other underrepresented communities to succeed in the workplace and advance to positions of influence and leadership;
- A healthy balance between work and personal life, including a culture of awareness and recovery for substance abuse, addiction, and/or mental health needs.
Examples of Recognizable Practices:
- Demonstrate competency and commitment to attract and retain qualified women, people of color, and people from other underrepresented communities and to provide effective and reciprocal mentoring relationships.
- Honor every individual’s skills and contributions and ensure equity and fairness in access to opportunities for promotion, professional development, business development, compensation, and leadership.
- Provide meaningful and equitable alternative work configurations that maximize the workplace culture by valuing the experience, success, and satisfaction of all employees
- Offer flexibility to parents, caregivers, and those with other important family and personal obligations or challenges to prevent loss of momentum in legal careers and loss of resilient leaders from the legal profession.
- Instill a culture of raising awareness of and embracing recovery for substance abuse, addiction, and/or mental health needs for all employees.
- Identify dominant culture bias and disrupt individual and institutional biases that have disproportionately negative impacts on underrepresented communities.
- Specific decisions and actions of the legal employer to ensure that the concept is widely available, sustainable, and fully utilized to eliminate barriers to retention and equitable advancement of a diverse workforce.
- Specific decisions and actions of the legal employer to hold leaders accountable for implementing the equity, diversity, and inclusion vision, setting goals, achieving results, and being role models.
- Include benchmarks and standards to measure contributions that are not captured by the usual quantification tools (e.g., billable hours) and to ensure inclusive metrics are valued and promoted by leadership.
- Demonstrate fair and culturally inclusive protocols that promote equity and create safe spaces for productive conversations about diversity and inclusion.
Nominations may be submitted by any member of the Oregon legal community in good standing. Self-nominations and nominations that include materials solicited from the nominee are encouraged.
Nominations of a legal employer with an office located in Oregon shall include:
- The completed nomination form.
- A minimum of five (5) references who may speak to the merits of the program, policy, or project for the award. References should be individuals who are currently affiliated with the nominee or were affiliated with the nominee during the 12-month period preceding the nomination deadline. References should include at least one person from two of these affiliation categories: non-attorney staff, associate attorney, non-equity partner, and equity partner. Please note that the individuals listed as a reference should anticipate being contacted by the OWLS Transformation Committee to discuss the program, policy, or project. All discussions will be kept confidential within the OWLS Transformation Committee.
- Copies of any policies, procedures, or other supporting documents.
Nominations must be received via email by 5:00 p.m. Friday, June 5, 2020. The preferred submission format is a single, bookmarked PDF file. Please email your complete nomination packet to Janna Giesbrecht-McKee, OWLS Transformation Committee co-chair: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations will be reviewed, and finalists selected by the OWLS Transformation Committee. Committee selections will be based on the nomination information submitted. Nominees must be a legal employer with an office located in Oregon, including but not limited to legal non-profit/advocacy organizations, in-house legal departments, government attorney employers, and private firms of any size.
All nominees will be interviewed by the OWLS Transformation Committee. Finalists will engage in a second round of interviews. In addition to the award criteria, the committee will also ask questions to explore:
- How the program, policy, or project eliminates barriers to equitable advancement of a diverse workforce.
- What specific decisions and actions of the legal employer promote the program, policy, or project.
- Whether the program, policy, or project is a best practice to be widely replicated by legal employers.
The OWLS Transformation Committee will consider the nominations and interviews, and select the winning program, policy, or project to recommend to the OWLS board for final approval.
The award recipient will be honored on October 23 at the Oregon Legal Workplace Task Force CLE. The award recipient will also be featured in an article on the OWLS Transformation Committee website and in the OWLS quarterly newsletter, the AdvanceSheet.
Previous Workplace Leader Award Recipients
Reynolds Law Firm (Corvallis)
Portland City Attorney’s Office
McDowell, Rackner & Gibson PC (Portland)
TriMet Legal Department (Portland)
Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan LLP (Portland)
Disability Rights Oregon (Portland)
The Legal Department of the Knowledge Learning Corporation (Portland)
Gartland, Nelson, McCleery, Wade & Walloch (Eugene)
Farleigh Wada Witt (Portland) and Bodyfelt Mount (Portland)
Markowitz Herbold Glade & Mehlhaf, P.C. (Portland)