Dykema appoints attorney as its chief diversity officer


Dykema recently named Sherrie L. Farrell as its chief diversity officer. Farrell will officially step into the role on Jan. 1, 2023.

Farrell, who joined Dykema as a summer associate in 1996, has held several key leadership positions with the firm.

She has served as Chair of Dykema’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee for more than a decade and is Managing Member of the firm’s Detroit office. She also Co-Chairs Dykema’s Mansfield Task Force, which helped guide the firm to achieve Mansfield 5.0 Certification Plus status in its first time participating in the process.

Dykema currently is participating in the 2022-23 Mansfield 6.0 Certification process.

The Mansfield Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first female lawyer in the U.S., and was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies.

To achieve Mansfield Rule Certification, law firms are required to demonstrate year-long progress in increasing diversity in senior recruitment and leadership decisions, and consider a minimum of 30 percent diverse candidates for these roles.

Farrell is focused on providing business and legal advice aligned with clients’ goals.

Since joining Dykema, Farrell has worked on issues related to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, from being appointed to the firm’s first diversity committee in 1999, to writing the firm’s first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion.

She is recognized both locally and nationally as a thought leader in diversifying the legal profession. Over the years, she has participated in numerous national panels focused on diversity and inclusion issues. She also has been a member of various committees devoted to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Farrell is heavily involved in several bar associations and legal professional societies, including serving as President of both the Women’s Lawyers Association of Michigan and the Wolverine Bar Association, a former member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid and Defender Association, and as a Member of the State Bar of Michigan’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. She also is involved in the African American Partners’ Collaborative and the African-American Managing Partners and General Counsel Network.

Outside of her practice and leadership responsibilities with Dykema, Farrell’s community involvement includes being a board member for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Gift of Life-Michigan, Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, and the Citizens Research Council. She is also a mentor for the Just the Beginnings Foundation and the Street Law Program.

Farrell earned a J.D., cum laude, from the former Detroit College of Law and a B.A. from Wayne State University.


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