Paragon Legal Diversity Report 2021

Business colleagues seated around table at work.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion live at the heart of our culture and corporate DNA.

Diversity Statement

At Paragon Legal, we put people first and cultivate an inclusive environment where everyone is welcomed, supported, and celebrated as individuals.

Diversity has always been a valued part of our culture. It is our heritage and our legacy. We define excellence as the continued commitment to doing right by our people. We believe that the best way to deliver the highest quality talent and service is to embrace our differences.

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DIVERSITY

Diversity, at its core, is not simply about race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other group or class of individuals. True diversity also requires embracing differences in perspectives and experiences to foster greater understanding, adaptability, and decision-making. It’s about driving progress through maximizing and leveraging those unique attributes to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

EQUITY

Equity can only exist where the playing field is level. Equity is equality of access, opportunity, and treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or identity.

INCLUSION

Inclusion is about more than the presence of unique individuals. It’s embracing their uniqueness, celebrating those differences, creating a culture of belonging, and empowering people to feel valued and valuable to the growth and success of the organization.

Chisa Miller - Paragon Diversity Partner

Chisa Miller

2021 Accomplishments

In 2021, we partnered with Chisa Miller, a dynamic diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant and educator, who was instrumental in helping us build foundational training programs and internal processes to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias.

In June, we held a workshop called Awareness and Courageous Conversations aimed at understanding and addressing implicit bias. Chisa engaged our corporate team in thought-provoking exercises and discussions to understand our own implicit biases and gave us strategies for embracing our differences and engaging in meaningful conversations at work. The deep and meaningful discussion amongst our team members taught us that we all are a product of our environment and we all have biases—our ultimate goal is to get out of our comfort zone and to choose to see people and their belief systems through a new lens.

At our annual All Hands Meeting in October, Chisa spoke to our corporate and attorney teams about the importance of cultivating a work culture where employees are connected and see each other at a human level. We engaged in small group discussions on the consequences of allowing employees to be invisible and what that means specifically for contract attorneys. We built a renewed understanding of the choice we make each day of truly seeing others and bringing them into existence. As noted by our attorney team member, Doug Antoon, “Chisa is calling us to a higher level of heartfelt thinking—reminding us to be better.”

To further our understanding of how to have difficult conversations in the workplace, our corporate team read We Can’t Talk About That At Work! by Mary-Frances Winter, as part of our ongoing DE&I Council Book Club.

In 2021 we also focused on restructuring our internal recruiting and hiring process to minimize bias. We conducted several training sessions for our corporate team and leveraged our learnings to redesign how we screen and vet new candidates. Key changes include predetermined interview panels, consistency in questions and process, and debriefs designed to minimize affinity bias.

2022 Plans

In the coming year, we look forward to continuing our work toward our DE&I goals. We will continue testing and advancing our recruiting and hiring process to ensure our corporate and attorney teams are representative
of the talent pool and are hired and placed without bias. We will continue to share learnings and resources with our corporate and attorney teams to honor different heritage celebrations.

In 2022, we will also be focused on advancing opportunities for lawyers and aspiring lawyers from underrepresented communities. We continue to support the California Minority Counsel Program and other organizations that provide such opportunities. We are very excited to be working on a law school partnership that will provide apprenticeship opportunities for new graduates from underrepresented communities to work for some of our most sought-after clients in their first year out of law school. Stay tuned for more details!

At Paragon, we believe that candidates for our corporate and attorney teams should have equal opportunity. We define diversity broadly. It is not limited to gender and ethnicity. It includes all ages, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation, and beyond.

It is with multiple voices within our organization that we can address the diverse ideas and issues of our clients.

It is with multiple voices within our organization that we can address the diverse ideas and issues of our clients.

PARAGON’S DIVERSITY BY THE NUMBERS

Gender Breakdown: Paragon Teams

Gender Comparison

Minority Representation: Paragon Teams

Minority Breakdown Comparison

Paragon Legal’s
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION COUNCIL
was founded in 2020 to deepen our commitment to building a work environment that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, at Paragon and beyond.

Our DEI Council has three overarching goals, which both define our purpose as well as guide our efforts and measures of progress:

1. To advance diversity within our own team by continuing to maintain a diverse internal management team and candidate pool, as well as ensure that candidate vetting and presentation are done in an unbiased manner to help support diversity within our clients’ teams.

2. Equity can only exist where the playing field is level. Equity is equality of access, opportunity, and treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or identity.

3. Inclusion is about more than the presence of unique individuals. It’s embracing their uniqueness, celebrating those differences, creating a culture of belonging, and empowering people to feel valued and valuable to the growth and success of the organization.

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