Goldberg Segalla LLP is proud to announce it received the George B. Vashon Innovator Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) in the category of Pipeline Initiatives. Joseph M. Hanna, a partner at the law firm and Chair of its Diversity Task Force, accepted the award at the MCCA Pathways to Diversity Conference Innovators Reception, held Sept. 10 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
The Innovator Award recognized Goldberg Segalla and Mr. Hanna for spearheading the creation of a diversity-focused internship program in collaboration with the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and the University at Buffalo Law School. The program, begun in 2011 while Mr. Hanna was president of the MBAWNY, provides opportunities for minority UB Law students to gain firsthand experience in the legal system and to develop greater knowledge, business savvy, and networking connections that are critical for success.
So far, the program has placed more than 50 students in clerkships in Western New York courts as well as in several area law firms.
“Our firm was proud to be the first law firm to welcome minority law clerks through this program in the summer of 2011, and we are happy to see how it has grown to benefit so many in our community,” said Richard J. Cohen, Goldberg Segalla’s Managing Partner. “We are honored by this recognition and look forward to continuing our efforts to strengthen diversity in the legal profession.”
Mr. Hanna said: “We are humbled and proud to receive such an honor from the MCCA for this program, which would not have been possible without the critical partnership and sincere dedication of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and the University at Buffalo Law School.”
Mr. Hanna added: “Research shows minorities are less likely to receive the often coveted judicial clerkships or associate positions in law firms following law school, and they are significantly less likely to advance to high-level jobs such as partner or corporate general counsel. Our hope was to eliminate those barriers by creating a program that would arm participants with resources that will help make their qualifications undeniable and prepare them for success in the highly competitive legal job market.”
In 2012, Mr. Hanna and Goldberg Segalla have received numerous recognitions for diversity-focused efforts such as the diversity internship program and Success in the City, an annual diversity networking and mentorship program. These recognitions include a Diversity Trailblazer Award from the New York State Bar Association, a Good Works Award from the American Bar Association Litigation Section, a Legal Community Leader Award from the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, and a Value Award for Diversity from Leadership Buffalo.
For more information about Goldberg Segalla’s commitment to diversity, please visit www.goldbergsegalla.com/who-we-are/diversity.
The mission of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association is to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission by publishing research on achieving diversity and best practices in the legal profession, honoring innovative diversity programs, and assisting diverse law students through the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program.
Joseph M. Hanna of Goldberg Segalla (right) accepts the George B. Vashon Innovator Award from Joseph West, President and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. (Photo courtesy of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.)