25 May 2022

Miller Johnson’s DE&I Action Plan for 2022

On May 25, 2022, the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death, Miller Johnson commits to the following internal and external actions to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace and in our communities.

Internal Actions

  • Climate Assessment:  Miller Johnson is in the process of engaging a consultant who will review the current DE&I climate and culture at Miller Johnson. With the DE&I Committee, the consultant will develop an action plan by the end of July that identifies strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement. This action plan will guide our priorities for additional internal actions and will be communicated in August with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. We will track our progress quarterly.
  • In the meantime, we are taking these immediate steps:
    • More deliberate recruitment efforts
      • Better alignment of DE&I goals with recruitment through bi-monthly check-ins to monitor our SMART goals
      • Increased diversity of all team members through increased participation with diverse chambers of commerce and centers of influence, leading to at least one new Miller Johnson team member in 2023
      • Increased diversity of lawyer candidates through:
        • Increased recruiting with affinity groups and diverse candidates at law schools
        • Reception with diverse law school candidates in fall 2022 in Detroit, with a goal of having one person at the reception become a Miller Johnson team member in the next 3 years
        • At least 30% diverse candidates in our summer class going forward
    • Increased participation of all Miller Johnson team members in DE&I initiatives
      • Goal of 75% participation in at least one qualifying DE&I initiative in 2023
      • Miller Johnson’s new DE&I participation policy, to take effect by July 2022, will:
        • Enable each timekeeper to allot 40 hours of billable credit annually to DE&I initiatives (and more for certain identified DE&I initiatives)
        • Create opportunities for all Miller Johnson team members to engage in DE&I initiatives
    • Increased collaboration of DE&I with other Miller Johnson committees
      • Biannual joint meetings of Recruiting Committee, Pro Bono Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Women’s Initiative Network to identify and track SMART goals

External Actions

  • Community listening sessions:  Miller Johnson will organize one to two events by end of 2022 to engage and collaborate with diverse contacts, including neighborhood associations, diverse chambers, high schools, and our pro bono clients, to better understand community needs and to connect individuals and businesses with our firm to provide legal resources
  • In the meantime, we are taking these immediate steps:
    • Expansion of Miller Johnson’s police training programs
      • Miller Johnson (Richard O. Cherry) conducts “Laws of Arrest” training for law enforcement officer candidates at the Kalamazoo Law Enforcement Training Center.  We will expand the training audience to one to two more programs by 2023.
      • To strengthen and expand this program, Miller Johnson will:
        • Add team member support
        • Obtain Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) certification for training materials
        • Increase marketing support
    • Strengthening of our pro bono and volunteer initiatives
      • Develop metrics and a framework to ensure that our relationships with our diverse pro bono clients and partner organizations increase our awareness, make us better lawyers and team members, and help create a more equitable and inclusive community where we live and work
      • Double the number of team members who spend at least 20 hours annually on pro bono and volunteer projects focused on empowering diverse community members and partner organizations by 2023
      • Increase the intentional network of diverse community stakeholders and create winning collaborations
      • Host at least one event at each of our offices specifically focused on business, professional, and networking opportunities with our diverse pro bono clients and community partners in 2023
    • Evaluation of Miller Johnson diversity scholarship program: In 2022, the DE&I Committee will evaluate Miller Johnson’s current diversity scholarship program, with goals of potential expansion of the program and better promotion of scholarship opportunities for diverse candidates