About Us

Diversity and Inclusion

Our version of diversity and inclusion at Cole Schotz is that all humans, regardless of where they were born, what they look like, or where they started on the socioeconomic ladder, deserve to be valued. In short, we believe that every person matters.

Our diverse team of 300+ consists of people from all backgrounds and experiences; further exemplifying our approach to hiring and retention: everyone is welcome here. We want you to not only succeed, but to thrive. We insist that you bring your complete authentic self to the workplace. And we want to hear from you—we want your voice, your perspective, and your passion to be ever present as we go forward as a team.

That’s right: we’re a team. We are committed to not only working together, but to doing it in ways in which we support one another in good times and bad, while at the same time providing our clients with excellent legal representation.

We do all of that with a lot of humor and good-natured bantering. Almost everyone has a story of how humor is a key part of the firm’s culture, along with heartfelt words of caring about one another.

Does this sound pie-in-the-sky? Truthfully, it’s not. We are committed to creating and maintaining a firm where the diverse and unique identity of everyone is valued. In fact, we have survey results that prove this: an overwhelming percentage of folks stay at Cole Schotz not because of the money (which, by the way, is very competitive), but rather because people feel valued for who they are and believe they’re treated fairly. And too, a strong majority cite the positive firm environment as a reason for staying.

All of this feeds into the fact that we’ve created an inclusive workplace that emphasizes everyone’s own uniqueness as a human.

Historically, like many other medium-sized law firms across the country, Cole Schotz wrestled with just how to fully embrace diversity and inclusion as core values. However, all of that changed once firm leaders bravely decided to start viewing the world as it truly exists—with people from marginalized communities being under-represented in legal employment and folks from other backgrounds, like LGBTQ-identifying or persons with disabilities—struggling to fully appear in any firm culture.

With bold determination and real effort, the firm has accomplished much toward its goal of being a workplace that fully reflects the diversity that America itself represents. Among our accomplishments:

  • The firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, launched in 2011, consists of team members from all strata of the firm—from administrative colleagues to co-managing partner. Everyone’s perspective is valued as the firm moves forward on becoming even more diverse and inclusive.
  • In the summer of 2020, the firm began working with Ellie Krug, the only transgender lawyer turned diversity consultant and trainer in the country, who has helped refine and progress the firm’s diversity and inclusion roadmap.
  • The firm engages in regular diversity and inclusion trainings, events and dialogues.
  • Gender representation is critical to the firm; thirty-eight percent of our attorneys identify as female and thirty percent of the firm’s partners are women.
  • In addition, five of the six members of our executive management team are female and include women who began their careers at entry-level positions and have been elevated throughout the years in recognition of their dedication and exemplary performance.
  • The firm supports “STARS”, which empowers women team members to meet the challenges of practicing law in a historically male-dominated profession.
  • More than thirteen percent of the firm’s team members identify as diverse relative to skin color, including those who identify with of mixture of identities. Others on our team have families that represent the broad, wonderful diversity that enriches America. As a whole--in one way or another--the firm represents humans of nearly every diverse identity.
  • The firm awards yearly scholarships to full-time second year law students who identify as diverse and attend a law school in a state in which the firm maintains an office.
  • The firm supports The Minority Student Program and regularly participates in MSP programs hosted by Rutgers Law School.
  • Our recruiting efforts also include participation at the New Jersey Law Firm Group Minority Job Fair.
  • The firm regularly contributes to organizations involved in social justice causes and purposefully selects organizations that serve people in need.
  • Mindful that the legal system is filled with inequities, the firm encourages its lawyers to engage in pro bono legal representation of persons and organizations in legal need. Importantly, pro bono legal work is accorded one hundred percent “credit” in calculating total billable hours worked.

In summary, we welcome interest from any person—regardless of their skin color, religion or spiritual practice, sexual or gender identification, disability status, veteran status, or anything else that some use as a reason to marginalize. Cole Schotz will value you, just like we value our existing team members.

Because every person matters.

Dedication Above and Beyond

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our workplace. We are proud to have established the Cole Schotz Diversity Scholarship, which is open to full-time second-year law students attending a law school in a state in which Cole Schotz maintains an office. Please click here to access the application.


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