Our affinity groups play a key role in the firm's ongoing efforts regarding diversity and inclusion in the areas of leadership, culture, advancement, recruiting and communication. Our affinity groups bring their unique perspectives to the firm's ongoing efforts to understand the particular challenges faced by the group members as well as appreciate the positive contributions made by the group members.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group at Bass, Berry & Sims raises awareness and visibility within the firm of the firm's commitment to be welcoming in all forms of diversity, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Membership in our LGBT Affinity Group is open to all Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys and staff. Members support each other and provide a voice to the firm to ensure that Bass, Berry & Sims is a welcoming workplace for all and that the legal community, law students and our communities see Bass, Berry & Sims as a model of inclusiveness. Our LGBT group is led by David Smith.
Bass, Berry & Sims received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2018 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey that reports on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality. Bass, Berry & Sims was the only Nashville-based company to receive a 100 percent ranking and was one of only seven companies headquartered in Tennessee included in the list. Bass, Berry & Sims joins the ranks of 609 U.S. companies earning a 100 percent ranking and the designation of being a "Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality." Read more here.
Goals of the LGBT Affinity Group
- Sharing and addressing areas of concern regarding LGBT diversity at Bass, Berry & Sims.
- Monitoring the firm's policies and practices as they relate to LGBT attorneys.
- Providing mentoring and networking opportunities for LGBT attorneys in the firm and to law students at nearby schools.
- Supporting and participating in community organizations that advocate for LGBT equality and diversity in the legal profession.
Programs and Activities of the LGBT Affinity Group
- As part of the firm's celebration of Pride Month, on June 27, 2018, Bass, Berry & Sims hosted Josh Burford, an award-winning historian, archivist and educator who discussed LGBTQ history in the United States focusing on important milestones in the LGBTQ community's struggle to find equality and acceptance. Read a recap of his presentation here.
- Holding regular affinity group meetings at the firm.
- Enjoying affinity group events outside the firm (e.g., holiday dinner, Predator's Pride Game).
- Attended the Nashville Predators Annual Pride Night hosted by the LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- Providing perspective to the recruiting and diversity operating committees of the firm by having a representative of the group on each of these committees.
- Hosted students from Vanderbilt University Law School's OutLaw group for a dinner of mentoring and conversation
- Sponsoring and participating in activities of the Stonewall Bar Association of Tennessee, the Human Rights Campaign, the Tennessee Equality Project, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Oasis Center's Just Us program, and Nashville in Harmony.
- Silver level sponsor for the 2017 HRC Nashville Equality Dinner
- Financially supported the LGBTQ Youth Summit hosted by the Students of Stonewall
- Attended the Just Us — Corporate Collaborative Meeting held at the Oasis Center
- Attended LGBT Chamber 2017 Excellence in Business Awards
- Representing the firm at the annual National LGBT Bar Association's Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair.
Leaders of the LGBT Affinity Group