Bodman brings on former Wayne Law assistant dean as new director of diversity and inclusion

Bodman PLC announced this week that Felicia M. Thomas has joined the firm as director of diversity and inclusion.

Bodman claims to be the first large Michigan-based law firm to employ a full-time, dedicated, director-level professional focused solely on diversity, inclusion, and equity issues.

“We strive to be a diverse firm with a culture of inclusion and equity where all individuals feel respected,” said Bodman Chair-Elect Carrie Leahy. “We look forward to taking our diversity and inclusion program to the next level with Felicia Thomas to guide our efforts.”

Bodman was one of the first law firms in Michigan to form a standing Diversity & Inclusion Committee more than 10 years ago and has conducted annual diversity training for legal staff, hosted nationally-recognized speakers on diversity and inclusion issues, and supported organizations that promote diversity in the legal profession, among other efforts.

“Diversity is one of our core values as a firm,” said Bodman Chairman Larry R. Shulman. “We are proud of what we have achieved thus far but recognized that we need someone with Felicia Thomas’s experience and capabilities to achieve our ultimate goals.”

Thomas is based in Bodman’s Detroit headquarters but will spend time in each of the firm’s five Michigan offices and will develop and lead firm-wide initiatives.

Thomas came to Bodman from Wayne State University Law School where she served in a variety of leadership roles since 2006, most recently as assistant dean of student affairs and director of diversity initiatives. She has more than a decade of experience developing and leading diversity and inclusion programs at Wayne Law, including, among others, annual Title IX training, the first year orientation program and Culturally Conscious Lawyers/Implicit Bias training, and diversity, equity, and inclusion sessions for clinic and externship students. She chaired Wayne Law’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force (2015-16) and served on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.

Thomas is a licensed attorney and an active member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, Law School Workgroup and the Character & Fitness District H Committee. She is also a member of the American Bar Association-Young Lawyers Division Disability Rights Committee.

Thomas earned her J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She also earned her undergraduate degree in English and African-American Studies at the University of Michigan. Before joining Wayne State University she worked for three years as a law clerk with the Wayne County Circuit Court.

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