Brooks Kushman P.C. has named Phyllis Golden Morey its first chief diversity officer (CDO) focused on implementing and growing the diversity initiatives of the intellectual property (IP) and commercial law firm. The announcement was made by James Kushman, chairman and chief executive officer, and Mark Cantor, president, of Brooks Kushman.
In this new role, Morey will be responsible for recruiting, retaining and mentoring the firm`s minority attorneys. Additionally, she will work to foster alliances and networks with minority organizations, attend relevant seminars and events, and liaise with clients on diversity issues.
“As CDO, Phyllis will drive the advancement of our diversity outreach efforts, so we can continue attracting and maintaining top talent from around the country,” Cantor said. “Additionally, under her leadership, we hope to further grow our minority diversity program, as well as continue fostering the success of our gender diversity efforts to better serve the growing needs of our clients.”
Since Brooks Kushman specializes in providing counsel on IP and technology-related matters, its lawyers need to be trained in a broad range of scientific disciplines so they can respond creatively to the IP challenges its clients face. This provides a unique challenge in talent acquisition efforts, as technical or engineering degrees are often prerequisites of employment at Brooks Kushman.
“Phyllis` efforts are especially critical as we look for very specific attributes and skills in potential employees,” Cantor said. “Given our hiring prerequisites, our potential employee pool is significantly smaller than for general attorneys. Our new diversity outreach program is critical to identifying and hiring diverse law clerks and attorneys in the coming years.”
As part of its effort, Brooks Kushman supported the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) Annual Conference held in Detroit at the end of March. In addition, it provided a scholarship to assist the NBLSA graduates who are studying for the bar exam. Brooks Kushman will continue to identify opportunities to support minority groups as part of its efforts to identify potential law clerk and attorney / patent agent candidates to hire in the future.
With more than 20 years of litigation experience representing clients as in-house counsel and in private law firms and government practices, Morey also serves as a firm shareholder and leads Brooks Kushman`s commercial litigation and compliance, e-discovery and IT consulting practice groups. Her extensive background provides Morey a unique combination of perspectives – which include strategic thinking and creative solutions from a business / commercial and litigation perspective – to all client representations.
She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville, Tenn. and her bachelor`s degree from Memphis State University in Tennessee. After law school, she served as a judicial law clerk to judges on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court in Memphis, Tenn.
Morey is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the 6th Circuit and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. She has previously served on the board of directors for various non-profit organizations and currently serves as a board member for Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit.