Stan Blanton Discusses Diversity & Inclusion Developments in the Birmingham Legal Industry with the Birmingham Business Journal
Stan Blanton, managing partner, spoke with the Birmingham Business Journal regarding efforts among Birmingham law firms to enhance diversity and inclusion (D&I) and talent recruitment through the development of dedicated internal D&I leadership roles in a February 25, 2021 article that examined industry trends.
Several of the city’s largest firms have transitioned to the development of a dedicated D&I officer as opposed to having those responsibilities as a secondary duty for a current attorney. Stan joined with other Birmingham legal community leaders to discuss the steps the firm is taking in this area.
In the article, Stan shared the firm’s vision to have its legal staff be a true reflection of the Birmingham community, which involves not only recruiting diverse attorneys, but retaining them as well.
Balch’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D,E&I) Council made the recommendation for the creation of a chief diversity & inclusion officer and director of talent management role within the firm.
In February 2021, Balch welcomed Brandi Russell, former assistant director of admissions for the University of Alabama School of Law to fill this role. As chief diversity & inclusion officer and director of talent management, Brandi will work alongside firm leadership and its D,E& I Council to lead the firm’s diversity strategy, addressing opportunities to enhance diversity and inclusion at every level. In addition, she will expand recruitment and retention initiatives with a focus on next generation talent. Brandi will also direct the implementation of the firm’s professional development program to ensure attorneys have the resources needed to achieve their career goals and deliver greater value to clients.
With Brandi taking on the new role, Stan said he hopes to enhance the diversity of summer associate classes, which will hopefully result in more diverse new associate classes who will stay with the firm and grow and develop into partners and leaders. Stan noted that talent retention will play a big role in that, and that Balch will enhance its training and development to ensure all attorneys have an opportunity to achieve success.