Diversity & Inclusion

At Pierce Atwood, we value and respect the differences among all people and believe that our differences enhance our results, while enriching our community and ourselves. We are committed to creating and supporting a diverse, inclusive workplace that is respectful of all people. To continue our long history of growth and success, we recognize that only a diverse and inclusive workplace can provide the best ideas, the best resources and the best people to serve our clients.

We believe that diversity means celebrating the differences among individuals. We value the unique characteristics, thoughts and experiences that are shared at our firm every day. The ideals of diversity are integrated into the law firm's long-established guiding principles of creating a welcoming, caring, and enjoyable place to work.

Notable Achievements
  • Litigation associate Alice H. Wang was named to the Lawyers of Color "2014 Hot List," which recognizes early-to mid-career minority attorneys. Honorees were chosen by a selection committee that reviewed nominations and researched bar association publications and legal blogs in order to identify promising candidates. The committee also chose attorneys who had noteworthy accomplishments, especially those active in a variety of professional programs and initiatives.
  • Our on-campus recruiting process includes reaching out to affinity groups across campuses to invite them to participate in our recruiting process.
  • Annually the firm donates an average of 450 hours to the Immigration Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP). Our attorneys and paralegals represent clients from all over the world in asylum cases.
  • The firm has an ongoing partnership with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), working with them on a spectrum of legal issues.
  • In 2012, the firm hosted Dr. Samuel R. Sommers of the Tufts University Department of Psychology for a presentation on “Studying What No One Wants to Talk About: the Science of Bias and Diversity.” The event provided an opportunity for Maine attorneys to satisfy the professionalism education component of Maine’s Continuing Legal Education, which was recently expanded to include training regarding diversity awareness in the legal profession.
  • In 2011, the firm provided Diversity and Inclusion Awareness training to all attorneys and staff across all of our locations.
  • With an initial pledge from Pierce Atwood, the University of Maine School of Law has created an endowment fund in honor of Vincent L. McKusick, former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court and current Of Counsel at Pierce Atwood. The Vincent L. McKusick Fellowship Fund provides tuition to incoming law students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, with the intent of increasing the diversity of the student body at the University of Maine Law School and the legal community in Maine.
  • The firm has been a leader in gender diversity going back to 1945. We were the first major law firm in Maine to hire a female attorney, Ms. Sigrid Tompkins. In 1953, she became the first female partner at a Maine law firm. Today, women serve in a variety of leadership roles across the firm, including Managing Partner Gloria Pinza.
  • The firm is an active member of the Diversity Hiring Coalition of Maine.
Pierce Atwood Attorneys & Clients Discover the Science of Bias & Diversity

In December 2012, Dr. Samuel R. Sommers of the Tufts University Department of Psychology gave a presentation at Pierce Atwood on “Studying What No One Wants to Talk About: the Science of Bias and Diversity” to more than 100 clients and attorneys.  The event provided an opportunity for Maine attorneys to satisfy the professionalism education component of Maine’s Continuing Legal Education, which was recently expanded to included training regarding diversity awareness in the legal profession.

A sample of the themes that Professor Sommers discussed included:

    • Everyone, no matter how well intended, has unconscious biases and if we are aware of our “bias,” we will function better with others. 
    • Groups benefit from a heterogeneity of attitudes, experiences and expertise.
    • The performance of all participants, including majority members, improves with diversity; i.e. “membership in a racially heterogeneous group can lead white individuals to exhibit more thorough information processing.”