OUR COMMITMENT TO INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY

Harris Beach strives to cultivate an inclusive workplace respecting the contributions of diverse individuals which empowers everyone and fosters innovative approaches that enhance the services we provide. Our mission is to excel as a leading multicultural law firm that reflects and builds upon the growing diversity of the communities and clients we serve.

Diversity and Inclusion

Download a copy of our Inclusion and Diversity Book (PDF)

CORE VALUES

Integrity

Honesty, sincerity, openness and fairness are the building blocks of integrity. By embracing these values and holding ourselves to the highest levels of personal and professional behavior in all our relationships, we have earned the trust and respect to become a firm our clients rely upon as a trusted ally.

Respect

Our culture of understanding, compassion and respect for each other naturally carries through to our relationships with our clients. Harris Beach believes in the fundamental dignity of each individual and every employee is valued for their unique experiences and perspectives. The rich diversity of our workforce, which reflects the communities we serve, enhances our work environment and the legal solutions we provide our clients. We listen to others and are responsive when others need assistance.

Teamwork

We value the unique skills of each individual at Harris Beach and strategically leverage our broad knowledge base to build dedicated, interdisciplinary, problem-solving teams that are greater than the sum of their parts. Bringing our best team thinking to bear for our clients allows us to understand and anticipate their challenges, and provide breakthrough solutions.

Ingenuity

Applied ingenuity is the impetus of our success at Harris Beach. We value and reward creativity and innovation, and provide our professionals with an entrepreneurial yet collegial atmosphere where we take our work, but not necessarily ourselves, seriously. This environment gives rise to the free flow of ideas which we transform into forward thinking client solutions.

Inclusion

Harris Beach recognizes everyone has a right to be included. By respecting and embracing our differences, we create an environment that optimizes our talent and promotes fresh thinking and innovative solutions that exceed client expectations. Sharing experiences from our diverse backgrounds increases the quality of everyone’s contributions, enhancing the services we provide.

PRACTICES AND PROGRAMS

Accessibility
Harris Beach is committed to making all of its offices and facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities by meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We proactively consult with employees who have disabilities to determine whether structural and technological modifications are needed to improve their workplace environment.
Law School Prep Program
We support the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program of St. John’s University School of Law throughscholarships and internship programs. It is dedicated to helping college students who are part of ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups typically underrepresented in large law firms learn about the legal profession and get into law school.
Legal Diversity Clerkship Program
Harris Beach is a founding member of the Monroe County Bar Association’s Legal Diversity Clerkship Program which provides paid summer work experience to law students of historically underrepresented groups within the legal profession. The firm has hired a number of program participants and actively supports the program’s long-term goal of increasing inclusiveness and diversity in the legal profession in upstate New York.
Diversity of Practice
Harris Beach and our subsidiaries provide a full range of legal and professional services for clients across New York state, as well as nationally and internationally. The Harris Beach family includes more than 40 practice groups and industry teams and three nonlegal consulting subsidiaries, all of which work in a highly collaborative manner that effectively leverages specialized knowledge, experience and team synergies to serve the full range of our clients’ needs.
Staff Recruiting
Harris Beach has programs with community colleges and undergraduate colleges to identify students who upon graduation would be candidates for employment in support staff positions at the firm. The programs consist of in-class lectures on preparing for employment provided by Harris Beach. In turn, the colleges provide recommendations for potential job candidates based upon students’ overall academic and extracurricular achievements.
Diversity Compliance
Our attorneys help organizations maintain compliance with New York state procurement regulations related to diversity by partnering with Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) when proposing or conducting business within the state. Harris Beach also assists clients with obtaining MWBE certification and, whenever appropriate, uses MWBE partners in the delivery of our legal services.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The firm’s policy prohibiting unlawful discrimination applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, placement, assignment of duties, training, promotion, compensation & benefits and termination. It is the policy of Harris Beach PLLC that all employees enjoy a positive, respectful and productive work environment, free from behavior, actions or language constituting unlawful harassment. Accordingly, harassment of any kind based on an individual’s race or color, sex, age, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic predisposition, carrier status, sexual orientation, citizenship status or any other legally protected status is strictly prohibited.
Ongoing Inclusion and Diversity Education
Harris Beach holds educational programs to support a culture where everyone is mindful of the opportunities realized by embracing inclusion and diversity. The firm’s new-hire orientation provides an understanding of our inclusion and diversity mission and organizational practices. Each new hire receives DiSC® training to enhance productivity, teamwork and communication. Our past awareness programs have covered: generational differences, micro inequities, unconscious bias, working with people with disabilities and managing conflict.
Work-Life Balance
Harris Beach supports work-life balance in many ways including flexible work schedules, remote work connectivity and the ability for attorneys with part-time schedules to remain on the partnership track. Other firm benefits that promote a healthy work-life balance include maternity and paternity leave, retirement savings and financial planning support, fitness benefits, summer early out program and healthy living programs such as fitness and smoking cessation support and a firm-wide wellness initiative.

RECOGNITION

Harris Beach’s inclusion and diversity recognition and awards include the:

  • Puerto Rican Bar Association’s Law Firm Diversity Award
  • HR Excellence Award in the diversity excellence category from the Buffalo Niagara Human Resources Association
  • Employer Support Freedom Award from the Secretary of Defense – the Department of Defense’s highest award given to civilian employers
  • Rochester Black Bar Association’s Diversity Recognition Award for its committed participation, support and leadership in the Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program
  • Family Friendly Employer Award from the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and the Monroe County Bar Association

Firm attorneys have received the following inclusion and diversity recognition and awards:

  • Harris Beach Managing Partner Thomas J. Garry, Uniondale office, named to Franklin H. Williams Commission, which advises state leaders on racial and ethnic fairness in New York courts.
  • Harris Beach CEO James A. Spitz Jr., the Profiles in Diversity Journal CEO Leadership in Action Award™, recognizing CEOs who fully support their organizations’ inclusion and diversity initiatives
  • Harris Beach Partner H. Todd Bullard received the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School Students of Color Distinguished Alumni Award and the Rochester Black Bar Association’s Trailblazer Award