Our Commitment To

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Overview
  • Four Pillars
  • Street Law Partnership
  • Year Up Partnership
  • Law Firm Antiracism Alliance
  • Related News

At Bilzin Sumberg, we understand that a diverse workforce improves our ability to serve the needs of our clients while creating a more dynamic firm culture. We continually strive to foster an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive and contribute to all aspects of firm life.

Our commitment to diversity is reflected in our multifaceted mission, which seeks to:

  • Create a more collaborative culture that nurtures the creativity and innovation required to solve our clients' most challenging legal issues
  • Provide an inclusive environment where people of all backgrounds can thrive, an environment where all people including and especially, minorities, are empowered to succeed and excel
  • Facilitate necessary institutional changes through strategic partnerships with various organizations to create environments that foster success and raise awareness to recognize and respect individual differences
  • Ensure minority attorneys have opportunities to network within the firm, the profession and the business community - providing them access to strong ally, mentor, and sponsorship opportunities

Four Pillars

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Strategic Partnerships

To collaborate with clients and other organizations committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal, professional, and business communities.

Recruiting & Diversity Pipeline

To participate in recruiting events and pipeline initiatives designed to enhance diversity within the legal profession.

Professional Development & Inclusive Workplace

To offer training and experiential opportunities through our business and professional networks.

Commitment to Social Justice

To promote and participate in community initiatives with the goal of promoting social justice in our country.

Bilzin Sumberg Marks National Hispanic Heritage Month with a Virtual Conversation with Albert Milo, Jr.

October 18, 2021 - In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Bilzin Sumberg invited Albert Milo, Jr., President of Related Urban Development Group, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Hispanic-Americans and his own personal journey as a Hispanic-American. Brianna Sainte, an attorney in Bilzin Sumberg’s Litigation Group and a member of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, introduced the event by pointing out that while the discussion with Mr. Milo was organized as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, it nonetheless formed part of Bilzin Sumberg’s wider year-round programming aimed at elevating the firm’s consciousness surrounding issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and mentioned that the audience should expect more thought-provoking discussions in the near future.

The event took the format of a live Q&A discussion between Javier Aviñó, the Practice Group Leader of Bilzin Sumberg's Government Relations and Land Development Group, and Albert Milo, Jr. A local Miamian with a decades-long career in South Florida’s real estate industry, Mr. Milo was well-placed to comment on the current status of the local and national Hispanic community, and lingering challenges to be addressed for both. He also spoke extensively about the positive developments Related Urban Development Group had brought to local communities, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, through their transformative affordable housing projects.

“Anybody can build a building, but not everyone can rebuild a community,” remarked Milo, “Our inclusive approach addresses the existing community’s needs as part of new development.”

"One of Bilzin Sumberg’s core values is to stand firm, clear, and unambiguous in our commitment to equal treatment of all members of our society and our firm. Now, more than ever, we reiterate our commitment and join in raising our voices in outrage fueled by our desire to work together to create a community, social institutions and a country that is immune to racism. To all our Black and Brown colleagues, friends, co-workers, and neighbors: we see you, we hear you, we stand with you." - John C. Sumberg, Chairman and Founding Partner
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Chair

Bilzin Sumberg, Greenberg Traurig, and Holland & Knight Come Together for a Discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with The Honorable William Thomas

On February 8, 2021, Bilzin Sumberg's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee hosted a virtual discussion with The Honorable Williams Thomas on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal profession. The event was held in conjunction with local commercial law firms Greenberg Traurig and Holland & Knight, with attorneys and staff from all three firms in attendance. A widely respected Circuit Court Judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, Judge Thomas was invited to speak as part of Bilzin Sumberg's collaboration with Greenberg Traurig and Holland & Knight on raising the consciousness of diversity, equity, and inclusion among Miami's legal professionals during Black History Month.

The program opened with remarks from Kelly-Ann Cartwright, the Directors Committee Chair of Holland & Knight, highlighting the achievements of Judge Thomas, including his work as an Assistant Public Defender and an Assistant Federal Public Defender for Miami-Dade County and the Southern District of Florida respectively, before being elected to the Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County, where he has served for the past 18 years.

Judge Thomas focused his talk on the historical context within which today's racial discontent and strained race relations have developed. He discussed the economic and social policies at the state and federal levels that have disadvantage African Americans, as well as how willful and systemic bias has created a relentless cycle of high poverty, low education, and lack of opportunity for the African American community, which has developed into racial tension and social disharmony in our society.

During the Q&A session moderated by Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Managing Partner of Bilzin Sumberg, Judge Thomas talked about the way forward for achieving greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. He opined that the two greatest challenges to effectuating change in the legal community when it came to diversity and inclusion was the lack of resources aimed at young people from underrepresented communities to learn about the practice of law as a career, and the lack of mentorship opportunities for professionals from these communities once they had started practicing law. Educating young people about the rewarding prospects of the field of law prior to college, and then providing them with valuable mentors in the profession to build their technical expertise and business development skills, were crucial for strengthening the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the professional pipeline. Judge Thomas also emphasized the importance of candid and open discussions about race and other forms of diversity in professional settings because of their ability to galvanize change, and warned that treating uncomfortable issues with silence would only perpetuate inequity and misunderstanding.

Jaret L. Davis, Co-Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig's Miami office, closed the discussion by thanking Judge Thomas for his valuable insight, and reminded attendees that the event served as a form of calibration, allowing them to reassess how best they can enhance meritocracy in the legal profession going forward.

 Our Street Law Partnership

Bilzin Sumberg works closely with the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) through their Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program. Street Law introduces students from underrepresented communities to the legal profession by connecting them to practitioners from law firms. Bilzin Sumberg employees volunteer with the program to educate such students about the practice of law and cultivate interest in the field, thereby strengthening the diversity of the legal profession's recruitment pipeline.

The firm's volunteers participate in every aspect of the program, which includes teaching lessons in substantive areas of law, introducing students to the many professional roles that support a law firm, and growing awareness of how the law impacts ordinary people in their daily lives.

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"[W]e felt there was a piece lacking in the diversity puzzle. The only way we would truly move the needle forward was for the profession to attract a larger number of minorities to consider entering it." - Jessica Buchsbaum, Chief Legal Talent Officer

 Year Up South Florida

Bilzin Sumberg proudly partners with Year Up South Florida, a non-profit workforce development program for motivated and talented young adults, to take on interns from diverse backgrounds from the South Florida community. Through this partnership, Bilzin Sumberg provides interns with enriching professional development that serves as the foundation for their future careers in law. The internships are full-time, paid opportunities in which participants can also earn college credit. Bilzin Sumberg's work with Year Up South Florida demonstrates the firm's commitment to growing extraordinary talent among the diverse communities that make up the fabric of South Florida.

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“At Bilzin Sumberg, we strongly encourage our attorneys and staff to volunteer their time and effort to worthwhile causes that advance diversity and inclusion, whether in the legal profession or elsewhere. We can only expect things to change for the better when we demand such change through our actions. I recently served as the Regional Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) in Miami, where I oversaw the placement of diverse and under-represented law students with state and federal judges in South Florida. It was an extraordinarily empowering experience to be able to assist young talent from such diverse backgrounds to achieve their full potential.” - - Adrian Felix, Partner and immediate past Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation's Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (Miami)

Bilzin Sumberg celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month: A Conversation with Jose Gonzalez

October 12, 2020 - In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Bilzin Sumberg dedicated its first event as part of its Diversity and Inclusion Lunch Series to discussing the challenges and opportunities facing Hispanic-Americans. Al Dotson, the firm's Managing Partner, introduced the event by highlighting the importance of the Hispanic community's contribution to American society while noting Bilzin Sumberg's proud record of operationalizing diversity and inclusion within the firm and promoting it in the community.

The event took the format of a live Q&A discussion between Javier Aviñó, the Practice Group Leader of Bilzin Sumberg's Government Relations and Land Development Group, and Jose Gonzalez, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at All Aboard Florida, a high-speed intercity passenger rail project being developed by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) to connect Miami, Southeast Florida, and the Orlando area. Mr. Gonzalez's decades of experience in both Miami-Dade County Government and the private infrastructure sector in South Florida allowed him to give special insight on the Hispanic community in the region.

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