Diversity is the foundation upon which Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, L.L.P. was built. It is the key to our future and our continued success.
Our firm was founded by forward-thinking lawyers who wanted to break away from the traditional law firm model that was standard at the time, and which is still prevalent today. In building a law practice that surpassed the conventional, our founders recognized the value of a workplace that embraced varied perspectives, talents and interests.
It began with a recognized and focused plan to recruit, retain, and promote individuals who could bring something different to the table – qualities beyond the ordinary.
Today, our diverse workforce is a crucial factor in the firm’s overall success. Our superior service and performance comes from a team of exceptional legal professionals from different backgrounds who work closely together and bring to our practice a wealth of ideas, knowledge and experience. The differences among our members bring strength and value to our workplace environment and to the work we do for our clients.
Furthermore, we don’t limit our definition of diversity to race, ethnicity, or gender. While Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, L.L.P.’s diversity certainly includes these, diversity also means differences in social background, culture, or family structure. We strive to create and maintain an inclusive culture within our firm that reflects the broad makeup of our clients and the communities we serve.
How do we do this?
From hiring to partnership, we actively support our firm’s members. We recruit at minority career fairs in multiple states. We champion our members’ professional activities and memberships – which include, among many, the Hispanic National Bar Association, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association (co-founded by one of our members), National Association of Women Lawyers, DuPont Women’s Network, DuPont Minority Counsel Network, and numerous committees of multiple local bar associations – and encourage leadership in personal endeavors. The Diversity Subcommittee of our Management Committee, chaired by partners, Robert Martinez in Fort Worth and Chrissy Changho Bruneau in New Orleans, works to develop initiatives that continue to broaden the Firm’s outlook toward diversity in the legal profession, litigation practices, community involvement, and our clients. We enjoy flexible work schedules and non-traditional “commuting.” We promote based on excellent work and merit, not race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. We engage our attorneys with substantive work for leading clients. We are proud of our long retention rates firm-wide and the fact that female and minority attorneys make up nearly half of our partnership and the majority of associates.
The result? A culture of openness, transparency and accessibility; great work atmosphere; outside-the-box thinking; exceptional teamwork among ourselves and with our clients; and outstanding results.