Named #1 Best Law Firm to work for in Environmental Law by Vault since 2017, we enjoy an exciting practice that is driven by providing superior service to our clients while preserving the informality, collegiality, and entrepreneurial spirit that are often suppressed in larger firms. Some firms say they are different, but we ARE different because we do not “manage by the numbers.” We seek to hire attorneys who share our commitment to hard work, who have unique ideas, and who want to control their own careers and maintain lifestyles of their own choosing.
Leaders in Environmental Law
B&D's origins and evolution parallel the development of U.S. environmental and natural resource regulation. Our founders include the first Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and first commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. We helped shape the law, litigated early and seminal test cases, and continue to help clients adapt.
Environmental issues touch virtually every aspect of our lives and business operations. We offer decades and depth of experience advising numerous industry sectors on environmental law and its changing applicability to complex businesses worldwide.
Independent legal rating agencies regularly rank B&D as a top-tier U.S. environmental and environmental litigation practice. Examples include:
- Best Lawyers®Environmental Firm of the Year 2018-2021
- Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession - USA, Band 1 2016-2020
- The Legal 500 Tier 1 in Environmental Regulatory Law 2015-2020
- Latinvex Top Law Firm in Latin America 2019-2020
Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are core values at B&D. We view diversity and inclusion as business imperatives, and we welcome and embrace the differences in the members of our firm. This year, the firm’s D&I committee created an Anti-Racism and Allyship Resource Starter Kit to help foster learning and conversation about racism in the United States and its effects.
B&D strives to foster an inclusive culture that encourages and supports a diverse workplace. We accomplish this mission by attracting, developing, retaining, and promoting to leadership diverse talent and by creating equal opportunities for individuals to live up to their potential and feel included as valued members of the firm. The National Law Journal (NLJ) recently highlighted these efforts in an article, “We Want Them to Thrive: In Diversity Efforts, Beveridge & Diamond Pivots Toward Retention,” featuring B&D Managing Principal Kathy Szmuszkovicz, Chief Talent Officer Paula Schauwecker, and Austin Office Managing Principal Laura LaValle.
Some of the results of our efforts include:
- Diversity Lab awarded B&D with Mansfield Plus Certification again in 2020
- Vault's2021 Associate Survey ranked B&D #9 among midsize firms for diversity.
- Law360named B&D a Top Law Firm for Female Attorneys from 2015 to 2016 and again from 2019 to 2020.
- The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) recognized B&D’s innovative practices to advance diversity and inclusion in 2018 with its George B. Vashon Innovator Award.B&D also received MCCA's Thomas L. Sager Award in 2013.
- The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) recognized B&D's participation in and support of their mission and programs with their 2018 Compass Award. The firm was also named to their 2018 list of Top Performers for 2018.
- DRI recognized B&D's commitment to diversity with its Law Firm Diversity Award in 2015.
Commitment to Giving Back
More than half of B&D’s attorneys participate in the firm’s pro bono efforts and exceed the total hours and targeted percentages set by the American Bar Association.
B&D, ranked by Vault in the top ten midsize firms for pro bono four years in a row, credits pro bono hours as billable hours applied towards bonuses and performance reviews. Our policy alleviates any notion that associates must sacrifice career advancement to do good work for those in need.
Attorneys are encouraged to seek out cases of interest and passion to pursue. As a result, the firm’s pro bono work is diverse and not limited to a few programs with which it maintains special ties.
As one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms, it is natural that B&D would also take a leadership role in sustainability for law office management. In its offices across the country, B&D translates its values into action, improving the firm’s sustainability and reducing its environmental impacts. Amongst other initiatives, the firm participates in the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy initiative and pledged to provide $1,000,000 worth of pro bono legal services by the end of 2020 in support of environmental sustainability.
Professional Development and Training
First-year associates are encouraged to work in a variety of subject areas and for many Shareholders without being assigned to a specific practice area. Assignments are made through a small central committee that listens carefully to each associate’s interests and preferences and blends that information into a well-rounded professional development curriculum for each associate. We assign front-line responsibility to associates early, from working directly with clients and consultants to conducting discovery and arguing motions. At their own pace, our associates develop their individual style and carve out their own niche. We devote considerable Shareholder time and energy to our associates because they contribute significantly to our culture and help shape our reputation and our future.
One of the first steps we take to help launch our new associates’ careers is the appointment of mentors. New associates are assigned mentors who serve as coaches to help them jump-start their careers. Mentors facilitate their mentee’s introduction to the firm, the legal community, and the practice of law and then remain to guide that associate’s professional development.
Our Summer Associate Program is one of the most important elements of our recruitment efforts. We hire a group of exceptional law students to participate in our summer program. Our program is competitive externally, but cooperative and friendly in-house. For summer 2021, we are recruiting a small class of summer associates among our current office locations.
Summer associates work on real assignments for real clients. All assignments are made centrally to ensure that everybody gets challenging, substantive legal work similar to projects we give our junior associates. We make an effort to assign projects in the particular areas for those summer associates who express a particular interest or to provide a well-rounded experience for those who want a broader experience. Summer associates frequently develop an interest in practice areas that they had not previously considered, and we endeavor to promote their exposure to new areas.
We want our summer associates to enjoy themselves in the company of co-workers and take advantage of the exciting, culture-rich cities in which we are located. Our informal social events have included hiking, biking, theater, museums, baseball games, kayaking, comedy clubs, crab feasts, and more. Every summer program is tailored to the interests of the participants and is as unique as the participants themselves.