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5 Ways to Celebrate Black History in Your Firm

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on
It's Black History Month, the annual celebration of contributions to culture, society, and, of course, law by Black Americans. While Black History Month is generally not the card-sending, cocktail-houring, office-partying event that some other winter holidays are, it's still worth celebrating in your firm. Here's how.

1. Social Media and Email

We'll start with the easiest. If you've got a social media presence, use this to highlight Black history. Tweet about historical events and contributions, for example, or share a bio of your favorite Black jurist on Facebook. For more internally focused nods to Black History Month, consider sending out an email or series of emails to your firm's staff as part of your celebrations.

2. Speaking Events

Consider hosting a speaking event for Black History Month. These events can be limited to your firm or open to the public. For example, you could bring in a speaker to discuss the importance of diversity in the workplace, the effect of subtle biases, or representation in the legal field. Alternatively, you could host an event for the public focused on the contributions of Black attorneys and other figures to the legal system or current civil rights issues. Public events are even better if you co-host them with a similar group, such as another law firm, nonprofit organization, or local law school, allowing you to pull resources for the event.

3. Happy Hour

If you host a Black History Month event, consider following it with a mixer or happy hour. Invite other firms, local bar associations, and law student organizations to make the night a true networking event -- and not just another excuse to drink on the firm's tab.

4. Pro Bono Work

Commit to completing a certain number of pro bono hours for Black History Month. You could do a one-off, clinic-style pro bono event or partner with access to justice and civil rights organizations.

5. Build Your Diversity Pipeline

Most importantly, you can celebrate the diverse contributions of all attorneys by bringing some more diversity into your law firm. Commit to developing a diverse firm by building relationships with diversity-focused organizations and legal associations and creating internship and mentorship programs focused on diverse talent.

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