Mission Statement Stradley Ronon's Diversity Committee is committed to increasing the number of diverse attorneys who have been historically underrepresented, and who continue to be underrepresented, at Stradley Ronon and other law firms. We will, in collaboration with other Stradley Ronon committees and attorneys, create initiatives and programs designed to enhance recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys at Stradley Ronon, that will encourage them to come to and practice law at Stradley Ronon, and that will support the long term success of these lawyers. Stradley Ronon is committed to fostering diversity and full and equal participation and inclusion of diverse attorneys in order to make our firm stronger, more productive, and better equipped to address the challenges of the twenty-first century.
We are proud of our many diverse cultures and backgrounds. Diversity fosters an environment of varying perspectives and differing views. We like it that way. So do our clients.
Stradley Ronon has a long-standing commitment to the community where our lawyers work and live, and to promoting minority participation in the legal profession.
We were one of the first law firms to adopt the “Statement of Goals” of Philadelphia Law Firms for Increasing Minority-Representation and Retention. This statement was adopted under the leadership of our retired partner André Dennis during his term as chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
The firm is a founding member of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, an organization of law firms and corporate counsel promoting minority-lawyer hiring and retention in the Greater Philadelphia region. Stradley Ronon retired partner André Dennis is a member of the group’s Board of Directors.
Stradley Ronon was the first participant to sign on to Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law’s Minority Fellowship Program. To promote the program, which provides minority students with six-month cooperative education placements and $15,000 per year for living expenses, the firm started the “Stradley Challenge.” This fundraising effort was extended to members of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group – of which the firm is a member.
Stradley Ronon was one of the first law firms in Philadelphia to have a female managing partner. Retired partner Jane Landes Foster served as Stradley Ronon’s managing partner from 1999 to 2005.
Our attorneys take great pride in and actively “give back” to many minority organizations, including:
Stradley Ronon Chairman William R. Sasso served as chair of the Anti-Defamation League’s Corporate Partners program, which is aimed at connecting the ADL with Philadelphia-area businesses to combat prejudice and racial intolerance.
Partner Danielle Banks serves as co-president of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group – an organization committed to increasing the number of diverse attorneys working at law firms and corporate law departments in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Deborah Hong, vice chair of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group, served as most recent past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA). The APABA-PA is dedicated to the advancement of Asian American attorneys admitted or practicing in Pennsylvania, northern Delaware and southern New Jersey. As part of her presidency, she hosted the national board meeting for the National U.S. Hong Kong Business Association, which was founded in 2004 to facilitate and assist with the establishment and development of member organizations in the United States. The organization consists of more than 2,200 individual members from 10 Hong Kong associations located throughout the country.
Stradley Ronon attorneys Deborah Hong and Brian Seaman presented at the second annual Diversity and Leadership Conference of Philadelphia. Hong served as a panelist on, “Extraordinary, Powerful and Influential Women,” which focused on women in the Philadelphia workforce. Seaman participated in a LGBT Multicultural Roundtable which discussed LGBT diversity in the Philadelphia workforce. The conference focused on exploring corporate practices, leadership skills, communication strategies and outreach initiatives intended to leverage the benefits of diversity initiatives.
Associate Carolina C. DiGiorgio serves on the board of directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania. She was also appointed secretary of the association’s Legal Education Fund, a nonprofit fund that raises money for charitable and educational purposes.
Senior Counsel Bennett G. Picker serves as a member of the National Task Force on Diversity in ADR of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. The goal of the National Task Force is to promote greater use of mediators and arbitrators with diverse backgrounds. As chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Mr. Picker founded the Association’s Committees on Women in the Profession and Minorities in the Profession.
Associate Brian Seaman was selected to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s 2013 Fellow Program. The year-long program is designed to elevate the professional development of high-performing attorneys by developing professional branding, relationship building and transformational leadership.
Danielle Banks was honored by The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia with the 2012 J. Austin Norris Award. The award is named for J. Austin Norris who enjoyed a reputation as an accomplished jurist, a political activist, and founder of Norris, Schmidt, Green, Harris, Higginbotham & Brown, Pennsylvania’s first black law partnership. The Barristers’ Association considers the J. Austin Norris Award its highest honor, and it is bestowed in recognition of an attorney of color who has best exemplified the legacy and works of J. Austin Norris through distinguished service to the Barristers, the legal profession, and the community at large.
Ms. Banks was also named by the Philadelphia Tribune as a “top African-American lawyer” – which recognizes experts in their given fields, accomplished in their skills and proficient in their craft. Recipients are chosen by Barristers and the National Bar Association Women’s Division. In addition, she received the Cecil B. Moore Community Service Award from the Temple University Beasley School of Law Black Law Students Association. Ms. Banks was selected as a Temple alumna whose service in the legal profession and the community exemplifies the legacy of Cecil B. Moore, Esq. – a Philadelphia lawyer and activist during the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s, who fought on behalf of his mostly poor, African-American clients.
Deborah Hong, was named by the Legal Intelligencer as a “2011 Diverse Attorney of the Year.” The award – given every two years and this year to 20 individuals – recognizes outstanding minority attorneys from across Pennsylvania. Ms. Hong also received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) “2010 Best Lawyers Under 40” award. The award – given this year to only 20 attorneys in the United States – recognizes talented individuals in the Asian Pacific American legal community who are under the age of 40 and who have achieved prominence and distinction in their respective fields while demonstrating a strong commitment to the community.
Stradley Ronon partner Linda Ann Galante received the 2010 Women of Distinction award presented by the Philadelphia Business Journal – which recognizes 25 of the region’s most dynamic women. She received the award at the Women of Distinction Award Banquet on Nov. 30, 2010 in Philadelphia.
Our firm was selected as the 2009 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Americanism Award recipient – which recognized our commitment to the Greater Philadelphia community and to the values of ADL. ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and strives to protect civil rights for all.
Through financial contributions, volunteering and fundraising, Stradley Ronon supports numerous minority and women’s groups with diverse purposes, including:
ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania
Akiba Hebrew Academy
American Asian Bar Association
American Civil Liberties Union
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Jewish Committee
Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Asociacion De Puertorriquenos En Marcha, Inc.
Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia
Bernard and Ruth Siegel Jewish Community Center
Boys Town Jerusalem Foundation of America
British American Business Council
Center for Legal Education, Advocacy & Defense Assistance
Commercial Real Estate Women
Community Legal Services, Inc.
Delaware Commission for Women
Drexel University College of Law’s Minority Fellowship Program
Forum of Executive Women
Girls Incorporated of Delaware
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Women Take Charge Program
Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
Human Rights Campaign
Hillel of Greater Philadelphia
Hispanic Bar Association
Jewish Community Relations Council
Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center
Jewish Law Day
Large Firm Women Litigation Partners Network
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Minority Attorney Conference
Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section of the Delaware Bar Association
National Association of Women Business Owners
National Black Law Students Association
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Annual Minority Attorney Conference
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Women in the Profession Committee
Perleman Jewish Day School
Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Inc.
Philadelphia Law Firms for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention
Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP)
South Jersey Minority Chamber of Commerce
Urban League of Philadelphia
Villanova University Law School, “Why Diversity Matters” Seminar
Women Advocate Committee of the Section of Litigation, American Bar Association