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Equal opportunity expertise

We embrace diversity as a broad and inclusive concept. It encompasses, without limitation, race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, disability, and marital and family status. We promote diversity to develop and maintain a working environment that encourages openness, identifies and maximizes each individual's potential contribution, and strives to remove barriers to individual achievement.

We accept, as our diversity, mission to become:

  • An “employer of choice” for those in the legal profession who seek an inclusive workplace offering first-tier career opportunities.
  • A “law firm of choice” among clients who share diversity as a business value.
  • A “leader by example” in our broader legal, business, and political communities.

We acknowledge that achieving our diversity mission requires continued attention, creativity, and dedication of time and resources. A standing Diversity Committee, made up of attorneys and staff members, develops and implements diversity initiatives and the Board of Directors incorporates diversity within the law firm’s planning and business development.

The Diversity Committee is committed to providing a variety of opportunities for our employees to become aware of and immerse themselves in diversity topics relevant in today’s world. Examples of some opportunities the Committee has provided are:

  • Admission to the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Admission to The Piano Lesson, at the Penumbra Theatre
  • Hennepin County Judge Alexander speaking about the Extended Juvenile Justice Program
  • “Getting to Know Your Muslim Neighbor” presentation by Mr. Zafar Siddiqui, the Director of the Islamic Resource Group’s Minnesota office
  • Tickets to India: Public Places/Private Spaces show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  • “Women in Islam” presentation by Ms. Fedwa Wazwaz of the Islamic Resource Group
  • David D. Raasch, former Chief Judge of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans Tribal Court in Bowler, Wisconsin, spoke to the Firm about peacemaking in Native American culture and how that ties in with the concept of a restorative justice system
  • Dr. Saeed Fahia, Executive Director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, spoke to the Firm about Somalia, the Somali community here in the Twin Cities, how and why Somalis came to Minnesota, and gave us some perspectives on the Somali community today
  • Phil Duran, Legal Director of OutFront Minnesota, provided an update to the Firm on relationship-recognition issues, locally, nationally and internationally and well as discussed current and ongoing issues that the GLBT community faces

Click here to see our commitment to diversity in recruiting and retention.

Nilan Johnson Lewis in conjunction with the Step-Up Program through Achieve Minneapolis provides a paid summer internship opportunity for underrepresented minorities, GLBT students, young individuals with disabilities, and students from economically disadvantaged families, to gain experience working in a professional business environment with the possibility of a scholarship to pursue post-secondary studies in a legal or business field.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Honoree – Labor and employment attorney Veena Iyer was named a 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Honoree by Minnesota Lawyer.
  • Best Law Firm for Female Attorneys – The firm was ranked highly in 2018 (#18) among U.S. legal services firms employing at least 20 but fewer than 150 lawyers by Law360.
  • Top Law Firm for Female Attorneys – The firm was ranked highly in 2015 (#16) and 2016 (#9) by Law360 for top law firms for female attorneys.
  • Best Firms for Women Partners – The firm was also ranked highly in 2015 (#6) and 2016 (#10) on Law360’s “Ceiling Smashers.”
  • Minnesota Women’s Lawyer Award – In 2001, 2010, and 2016, we were honored with the Minnesota Women Lawyers Leadership Award in recognition of our efforts to enhance the status, influence, effectiveness, and full and equal participation of female attorneys in the workplace. 2016 marks the third time that Nilan Johnson Lewis has received the Leadership Award, the most times of any legal employer in the award’s 23-year history.
  • NAFE and Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firm for Women – Nilan Johnson Lewis was named as one of the best law firms for women in 2011 by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and Flex-Time Lawyers.
  • Hennepin County Bar Association Award – Nilan Johnson Lewis received the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) Diversity Award for “demonstrating outstanding commitment to diversity in the practice of law” in 2004 and 2007. We also won a special achievement award from HCBA in 2006 for “demonstrating our ongoing commitment to diversity.”

*Click here to see our diverse community involvement.

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