Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Vorys, diversity, equity and inclusion are not only long-standing core values, but also key strategic priorities.  We are a better, stronger firm, and more effective legal and business partners when we recognize the value of diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.  We work each day to create an inclusive, equitable culture in which everyone can feel meaningfully included in the entire firm experience, including enjoying a genuine sense of belonging and equal access to professional opportunities.


Mansfield 6.0 Certified

Mansfield Certification Badge for 2022Vorys achieved Mansfield Certification from Diversity Lab after completing the Mansfield Rule 6.0 program from July 2022-June 2023.  The Mansfield Rule measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30% women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for a variety of positions, including leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, senior lateral positions, succession planning and formal client pitch opportunities.  The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to improve the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities.  Vorys earned Mansfield 5.0 certification in 2022 and Mansfield 4.0 certification in 2021.  The firm will participate in the pilot group for the Mansfield Rule 7.0 in 2023-24.  As a Mansfield Certified firm, we highly value diverse hiring and advancement.

Human Rights Campaign Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality

Since 2008, Vorys has been recognized as a top LGBTQ+-friendly workplace.  The firm has earned an equality score of 100 (out of a possible 100) in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index since 2018.  In the 2023-2024 CEI, Vorys was named to the “Equality 100 Award” list and named a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion.”

Women In Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification

Vorys has earned recognition as a Gold Standard Certification firm by the Women In Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for its work advancing women into equity partnership and other key leadership roles, as well as concrete steps toward achieving greater gender equity within the law firm.  Under more stringent criteria, Vorys was one of only 32 law firms across the United States to have earned the WILEF Gold Standard Certification designation in 2022.  The firm also received Gold Standard Certification in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

2024 DEI Champion Award

OWBA LogoVorys was the sole recipient of the Ohio Women's Bar Association's  (OWBA) 2024 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Champion Award.  According to the OWBA, each year the organization recognizes a law firm, company, or other legal organization that has a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the profession with the Award.  Learn more.

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pledge

Vorys has publicly pledged its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to implementing organizational changes that are specific, meaningful and measurable through the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) Leaders at the Front Initiative.  Read our pledge here.

Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession

In 2019, Jolie Havens, Vorys’ Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, was selected from 14 finalists nationally as the winner of the Chambers and Partners 2019 “Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession” Award.  Jolie has also been recognized with multiple awards from the National Diversity Council.

  • Advancing our
    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals

    Demonstrating our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Vorys has implemented or expanded a number of programs and initiatives to advance our DEI strategy.  Learn more about these programs in our 2019-2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report.

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Vorys Affinity and Advocacy Groups

Vorys Networks for Women

Vorys maintains two networks focused on the development, retention and advancement of women at the firm.

The Vorys Women’s Network (VWN) provides both advocacy and affinity for our women lawyers and patent professionals.  The VWN is led by two partners and is supported by a Council of women across the firm, designed to build a pipeline of female leaders at Vorys.  The VWN hosts a variety of programs throughout the year including: office-specific programs covering topics such as career management, client development, networking, mentoring, leadership and community involvement; networking events with firm leadership, alumni, clients and friends of the firm; an Annual VWN Summit which brings together women from across the firm to learn from and connect with each other, as well as guest speakers, clients and community leaders; and supports local, regional and national organizations and events geared toward the success of women in law and business.  For more information, contact VWN Co-Chairs, Colleen Devanney or Elizabeth Howard.

The Vorys Women’s Network for Legal Professionals (VWN-LP), established in 2023, focuses on enhancing community among the women staff and paralegals at the firm.  It also provides additional opportunities for professional development for its members and opportunities for engagement with firm leadership.  The VWN-LP is led by two Co-Chairs and a VWN-LP Council, which works closely with the Co-Chairs to develop programming and professional and leadership development opportunities.  For more information, contact VWN-LP Co-Chairs, Jen House or Doreen Watt.

The Vorys Diversity Network 

The Vorys Diversity Network (VDN) is a dedicated space where our racially and ethnically-diverse, LGBTQ+ and differently-abled lawyers can build community, promote the professional and leadership development of the firm’s underrepresented groups, and leverage their perspectives and experiences to support and advance broader firm initiatives.  The VDN has both affinity and advocacy components and is also supported by a Council to build our pipeline of diverse leaders who assist with annual roundtables and firm DEI education.  The VDN’s signature event is the firm’s annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit which brings together all of our diverse attorneys and summer associates with firm leaders for professional development, fellowship and networking.  For more information, contact VDN Chair, Janay Stevens.

Client and Community Engagement

Vorys Initiative for Business Empowerment

The Vorys Initiative for Business Empowerment provides legal support for minority-owned businesses.  Our goal is to help create a strong legal foundation that allows our clients to navigate the challenges associated with business ownership.  By providing legal services at no or low cost, and delivering valuable educational content and training, we facilitate the development of minority-owned businesses from inception to maturity and through succession.

Hockey Is For Everyone

Vorys is the official corporate and business law partner of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Hockey Is For Everyone Night, a partnership that developed in recognition of our history with the team and our shared commitment to the Columbus community and diversity, equity and inclusion.  Hockey Is for Everyone Night is a celebration of diversity and inclusion that uses the game of hockey to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.  For more information on Hockey Is For Everyone, see here.

Vorys Initiative for Diversity in Intellectual Property (IP)

As part of Vorys commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Vorys launched the Vorys Initiative for Diversity in IP, a program designed to help clients who are looking to break down barriers and increase diversity in the company’s innovation ecosphere including diversifying the pool of talent and inventors in IP.  One of the initiative’s goal is to help clients address the issues they can control and create initiatives designed to improve the diversity of the company’s innovation ecosphere over time.  For more information, please contact Carey Jordan.

Gender Equity in the Legal Industry

Gender Equity in the Legal Industry (GELI) is a forum where law firms in the Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio market come together for a program centered-around discussions of gender equity.  The concept began with the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio’s Gender By Us gender norms toolkit upon the toolkit’s release to the community in 2016.  Vorys has been a founding firm since GELI’s inception.  The two key aspects of GELI that all participants implicitly agreed to, and contribute to its success, are that participating firms act collaboratively and set aside the competitive notions to advance the larger agenda, and each firm’s Managing Partner and firm leadership support for the initiative.  Each firm has encouraged a range of its talent to contribute to the dialogue.  In addition to inviting the law firms’ members and their clients, the programs also include leadership of the local and state bars and local law schools, all of whom have conducted their own initiatives around diversity, equity and the advancement of women in the profession.

Contact Us

Sachiyo Peterson, partner and chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, sipeterson@vorys.com

  • George Corey
    Memorial Scholarship

    In 2005, the Ohio legal community said goodbye to one of its most beloved members, George Corey.  George, a long-time tax partner at Vorys, was an extremely talented attorney who was admired by his colleagues and clients for his legal ability, civic involvement, and dedication to recruiting and mentoring the "best and brightest" from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

    We are committed to creating an inclusive culture for all our attorneys, fostering teamwork and providing opportunities for professional growth and personal satisfaction. To build on these goals, Vorys is pleased to offer the George Corey Memorial Scholarship that is open to all first-year law student applicants.

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