National Real Estate Investor on September 5th had a thought-provoking article (http://nreionline.com/finance/reit/cre_industry_update_identity_09052012/) about the progress that the commercial real estate industry is making to “update its identity” as a more diverse, inclusive work environment. “No one can dispute that women and people of color are underrepresented in the senior leadership ranks of commercial real estate companies,” says Cory Cancila, senior vice president of human resources at Equity Residential, a multifamily REIT. “And I don’t think there is anybody who disagrees that in business you want different perspectives and diversity of thought and that you get that by having a diverse workforce.”
The article cited several instances where real estate services firms had won business because the businesses shopping for their services had valued a diverse team of potential service providers, and increasingly, we have noticed in our practice that law firms are being asked in requests for proposals (RFP’s) from prospective clients to provide information regarding the diversity of the team that will serve the client.
Dickinson Wright’s real estate group stacks up well on this score. Both the current and immediate past leaders of the Real Estate Group are women (Leslee Lewis and Monica Labe, respectively), and Dickinson Wright has more women attorneys in the real estate practice than any other firm in Michigan. Our Real Estate group compares very favorably to firms on a national basis, as well.
Companies with commercial real estate needs, in search of a law firm that can offer a team of expert, experienced women advocates at all levels (from most senior partner to associates, and even legal assistants) should take a look at Dickinson Wright.