Pepper Hamilton establishes LGBT Affinity Group

In support of the firm's ongoing diversity initiatives, Pepper Hamilton is pleased to announce the formation of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affinity Group (LGBT AG). Open to all Pepper lawyers and staff, their allies within the firm, and others in the firm who are interested in learning more about and interacting with Pepper's LGBT community, the group will provide a forum and serve as an advisory body with respect to all matters of concern to the Pepper LGBT community, as well as a support and social network.

The LGBT Affinity Group mission is to assist LGBT members to succeed as lawyers, professionals and administrative staff at the firm. The group aims to:

* Enhance recruitment, retention, training, and promotion of LGBT community members within the firm.

* Foster relationship building between the Pepper community and members of the LGBT community.

* Provide a social network for members of Pepper's LGBT community.

* Promote awareness within the broad Pepper community of issues of concern to its LGBT lawyers and staff.

* Provide an open forum to LGBT community members for support, guidance and mentoring.

* Identify opportunities to partner with clients and community members on initiatives and topics of interest to the LGBT community.

According to Nicholas Kouletsis, the chair of the LGBT AG, "While there have always been informal avenues for LGBT attorneys and staff to be open and thrive at Pepper, this affinity group formalizes that aspect of what I have experienced at the firm."

The LGBT Affinity Group is one of many diversity initiatives sponsored by Pepper Hamilton's Diversity Committee to build and strengthen relationships within the firm between people from diverse backgrounds.

This year, the firm also formed a Veterans and an African-American/Black affinity group. The firm's women's affinity group, "Women's Initiative Network" or "Pepper WIN!" has been in existence since 2003.

The Diversity Committee believes affinity groups offer many benefits including increasing the recruitment and retention of members from diverse backgrounds, greater opportunities to promote inclusiveness and cultural competency and open forums to address policies that effect change.

Published: Wed, Jun 6, 2012