The Asian Attorneys Group was created to serve as a forum for members to exchange ideas and information relevant to their experiences as diverse attorneys. The group supports the Bass, Berry & Sims diversity and inclusion initiative by fostering an environment and culture for the personal and professional development of our attorneys.
At Bass, Berry & Sims, we are implementing our affinity groups in a unique way. Rather than have our Asian Affinity Group operate in a standalone manner, the group is closely tied to the firm’s leadership and its overall commitment to real progress in diversity and inclusion.
Membership in the Asian Attorneys Group is open to all Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys and employees.
Programs and Activities
The Asian Attorneys Group hosted a retreat for attorneys to connect, share experiences and set their goals and plans for the group. Members are active in a number of programs, activities, sponsorships and organizations — as well as pro bono and community service efforts that benefit the broader community.
The group’s goals include supporting the advancement of our attorneys to increase representation among the partnership and firm leadership and assisting in firm recruiting activities and in cultivating relationships with diverse bar organizations and community organizations.
- Attorneys Jeremy Gunn and Abby Yi were recognized in the Lawyers of Color 2023 Hot List, which recognizes junior- and mid-level attorneys working in law firms, companies, and government agencies across the U.S. who show promise in their careers and demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession. Read more here.
- Bass, Berry & Sims was recognized with the Industry Diversity Award from Lawyers of Color for 2023. Only 28 firms nationwide earned this distinction in 2023. Read more here. Attorneys Rhea Shinde, Neerja Razdan and Dee Harleston (pictured left to right in second photo below) attended the Lawyers of Color Diversity Awards reception on May 18 to accept the award on behalf of the firm.
- Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Sheaniva Murray, Brianna Powell and Neerja Razdan were recognized in the Lawyers of Color 2022 Hot List, which recognizes early- to mid-career attorneys excelling in the legal profession. Read more here.
- Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Sehrish Siddiqui moderated the panel titled “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Through a Muslim Lens” at the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) Annual Conference 2022 held in November. Panelists discussed ways to address DEI work in law firms and nonprofits, and the unique Muslim perspectives and challenges related to DEI. Pictured below is Sehrish with two of the panelists.
- Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Shay Ahmed (right in photo below) participated in the 2022 class of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders, a program designed to train high-performing, early-career attorneys.
- In September 2021, Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Sehrish Siddiqui took part in a webinar titled, “Attorney Well-Being For All: On the Fringe or in the Mix?” during the American Bar Association’s 2021 National Conference for Lawyer Assistance Programs. The roundtable addressed topics such as well-being, substance use and mental health issues; how to identify and address the additional layers of stigma that may prevent a member from seeking assistance; and other topics. More information about the event can be found here.
- In March 2021, Bass, Berry & Sims joined the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in denouncing the anti-Asian violence and racism related to the COVID-19 pandemic. NAPABA has issued a statement – signed by hundreds of law firms, bar associations and other organizations in the legal community – to fight against the racist violence experienced by many in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. To read more about NAPABA’s Stand Against Hate campaign, click here.
- In February 2020, the Asian Attorneys Group again welcomed the members of Vanderbilt University’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (VAPALSA) to the firm’s Nashville office for a networking reception. This event provided an opportunity for the students to connect with firm attorneys and learn more about the legal profession. Through this continued partnership, we are building lasting relationships and mentoring opportunities between our attorneys and the VAPALSA students.
- In February 2019, the firm’s Washington, D.C. office hosted a reception for Millions of Conversations, an organization that is redefining the narrative around Muslims in America. More than 50 guests joined from organizations including the Prince’s Trust, London Mayor’s Office, Democracy Fund, Georgetown Law, NFL Players Association, Rockefeller Foundation, World Economic Forum, Vets for American Ideals and the government. Speakers included Imam Mohamed Magid (who spoke at the president’s inaugural service), Saafir Rabb (CEO of Interculture) and our own Samar Ali, along with several representatives from London.
- In January 2019, the Asian Attorneys Group welcomed the members of Vanderbilt University’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (VAPALSA) to the firm’s Nashville office for a networking reception. This event provided an opportunity for the students to connect with firm attorneys and learn more about the legal profession. The goal of the partnership is to build lasting relationships and mentoring opportunities between our attorneys and the VAPALSA students.
Sehrish Siddiqui leads the Asian Attorneys Group.