Dunn Carney's IDEA Squad embraces open discussion at meetings. Dunn Carney's IDEA Squad embraces open discussion at meetings.

Dunn Carney IDEA Squad

IDEA Squad:  An all-firm committee dedicated to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness

These topics are the things we need to talk about so we can make things better, not just for our staff and attorneys, but for clients and the greater public too.

AVARIA SPRUILL
PROJECT COORDINATOR AND IDEA SQUAD MEMBER

Building a diverse, effective, supportive and collaborative community within Dunn Carney is a top priority for our firm.  The IDEA Squad was formed in 2018 and tasked with identifying and improving Dunn Carney’s diversity and inclusion efforts firm-wide.  Most important, the 15-member committee is comprised of all stakeholders in the firm including staff, associates, partners and firm management.

The IDEA Squad has identified five key goals for Dunn Carney:

1. Increase recruitment among diverse audiences

Increase diversity at all levels of Dunn Carney including staff, leadership, associates, and partners.

2. Strengthen retention of diverse staff and attorneys

Determine and implement “best practices” for helping all individuals grow and advance at the firm.

3. Improve the climate of inclusion

Foster a safe environment to discuss these topics; provide effective communications regarding our efforts and seek input from firm members; provide training, tools and resources to leaders and others; increase cultural awareness and understanding; and require leaders to model and demonstrate inclusion strategies.

 4. Build community partnerships

Identify and participate in community events, outreach and partnerships, increase business relationships with diverse businesses, etc.

 5. Determine and implement benchmarks/metrics for success

Identify and measure benchmarks, both subjective and objective, for determining whether our efforts are working.  Eventually, look at comparing current firm information to: 1) itself historically; 2) other similar law firms; and 3) our community generally.

With the help of Dr. Johnny Lake, an international consultant, trainer and speaker, the IDEA Squad has prepared and distributed an internal diversity survey, provided a firm-wide training by Dr. Lake; instituted “Coffee Talks” and small-group lunches as opportunities for IDEA Squad members to initiate and facilitate discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion.  The IDEA Squad continues its efforts to connect and strengthen our community both inside the firm and in the greater Portland area.

IDEA Squad Members include: Melissa Busley (chair), Ken Antell, Jon Bennett, Jered Brown, Dan Drazan, Linda Escobar, Anne Foster, Chelsea Glynn, Elizabeth Knight, Jon Liou, Donna Moser, Jeff Perry, Avaria Spruill, Aaron Wellendorf, Karen McGlone

Learn more about the IDEA Squad in the recent article by  Dunn Carney litigation and employment attorney Lauren Russell, published recently in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin.

Photo of Dunn Carney at 2019 Gay Pride parade

Dunn Carney’s IDEA Squad organized firm and family attendance at the 2019 Gay Pride Parade. This was the third year that the firm has had a presence at the event.  The IDEA Squad often invites firm participation in activities related to diversity and inclusion.