Cohen and Wolf was founded on the principle of inclusion at a time when many established firms wouldn’t hire a Jewish lawyer. From the day that Herb Cohen and Austin Wolf opened the doors in 1951, one of the hallmarks of this law firm has been the extraordinary commitment of the Firm and its many lawyers to the communities in which they have lived and practiced.
By encouraging its lawyers to be involved in a wide variety of cultural, religious, political, and civic organizations – and by supporting lawyers in those efforts – the Firm creates an environment in which different views, approaches, and perspectives are sought and welcomed.
This philosophy – from the Firm’s earliest years – laid the groundwork for the Firm’s ongoing diversity, equity & inclusion efforts. Among other measures, the Firm is a signatory to The Connecticut Legal Community’s Diversity & Inclusion Pledge which calls on law firms to reaffirm their ongoing commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. As part of this effort, the Firm established a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee that is tasked to evaluate and monitor the Firm’s policies, practices, and office culture to ensure that the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion are advanced. The Firm is actively engaged in efforts aimed at the recruitment and retention of diverse candidates. In 2020, the Firm launched a Lunch & Learn series, addressing a wide range of topics including racism, immigration, LGBTQ issues, and the challenges faced by those with disabilities and mental health issues. The entire firm has participated in various trainings on subjects such as implicit bias. Members of the Firm have attended numerous meetings and conferences relating to DEI subjects, including the National LGBT Bar Association Lavender Law Conference.
Our ongoing goals include:
- Recruiting diverse talent by hiring without regard to age, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic.
- Retaining diverse talent by providing mentorship, by seeking input from lawyers at all levels of the firm, and by creating an environment where every lawyer is in a position to succeed.
- Supporting organizations focused on diverse communities and on advancing justice and fairness.
- Promoting the respectful treatment of each other, our clients, and members of the community.
For 2022, the DEI Committee has formed four subcommittees to focus on specific areas:
- Community Outreach
- Goal-Setting and Assessment
- Recruitment & Retention
The founders of this Firm set the bar high in many ways. At the end of the day, when we talk about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, we are ultimately talking about the kind of workplace community that we strive to be. Our Firm, which has a history of caring, tolerance, and flexibility, is well-positioned to create and maintain an environment of inclusion and acceptance, where all voices and views matter and are heard, and where people of diverse backgrounds are who we are.
Cohen and Wolf provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, learning disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, terminations, layoffs, recall, transfers, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
In carrying out its commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity, the Firm will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities who can perform the essential functions of a position either with or without such reasonable accommodations, unless doing so would result in an undue hardship for the Firm.
Cohen and Wolf Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee:
We are proud that women play a prominent role at our firm
38% of our equity principals are women
43% of our committee chairs are women
44% of our practice group chairs are women