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Baker Donelson Earns Top 10 Ranking Among Vault's "Best Law Firms for Diversity"

Ranking Encompasses Diversity for Minorities, Women and LGBT
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(Memphis, TN/August 20, 2012)  Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC has been ranked among the top ten law firms in the nation in Vault, Inc.'s 2013 "Best Law Firms for Diversity."  This national ranking includes separate categories for diversity as it relates to minorities, women, and gays and lesbians, with the overall diversity ranking determined by a formula that weighed the three categories evenly.

Baker Donelson was ranked 9th in the overall Best Law Firms for Diversity list. The Firm achieved a 6th place ranking in Diversity for Minorities, a 4th place ranking in Diversity for Women, and a 24th place ranking for Diversity for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (LGBT).

"These rankings are genuinely an honor for us and demonstrate a significant achievement. As one of only two Southern-based firms to be included in the top 10 of the overall ranking, we have established ourselves as a leader in the region for advancing diversity in our profession," said Mark A. Baugh, chair of Baker Donelson's Diversity Committee.  "This outstanding showing is a reflection of Baker Donelson's longstanding commitment to an environment of inclusion for all employees."

This is the latest honor that Baker Donelson has earned for its diversity efforts. The Firm has long been recognized by MultiCultural Law magazine on its annual lists of the "Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity" and the "Top 100 Law Firms for Women." Baker Donelson has also earned kudos from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), achieving a ranking of 85 out of 100 in HRC's 2012 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees.

Since the launch of its Diversity Initiative in 2002, Baker Donelson has made significant strides in growing its diverse attorney population, the number of minority shareholders, the recruitment and retention of female attorneys, and the representation of women in leadership positions at the Firm.

Building on that success, Baker Donelson has continued to increase its focus on issues related to its diverse employees. In 2011, the Firm revised its Equal Employment Opportunity policy to include sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status, and revised its bereavement policy to extend to domestic partners and their families. Baker Donelson also held firm-wide training in 2011 on issues relating to the LGBT community.

Baker Donelson is deeply rooted in a culture of support, respect and service for each other, our clients and our communities," added Mr. Baugh.  "As an inclusive workplace, we are more productive, committed and engaged, and therefore better able to serve our clients.  So continuing to pursue a fully inclusive philosophy makes sense for our business model as well as our employees."

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Johanna Burkett
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