Meaghan Gragg co-founded the firm's LGBT Affinity Group with former associate Danny Grossman in 2013; she joined the Diversity Committee in spring 2015. Born and raised in Miami, she began her tenure at the firm in 2008 as an associate; she was promoted to partner this month.
Why is diversity important to you?
Our firm's commitment to diversity is important because it means that we are committed to a culture and environment where people can be free to come to work and be who they are, and be respected for it. It's important to me that we have an atmosphere where people feel comfortable, so they can be at their best.
Why did you get involved with the Diversity Committee?
Several years ago, Danny Grossman and I teamed up with the Diversity Committee, Adrian Cockerill, Nancy Albanese and many others to strengthen internal policies and increase the firm's external advocacy efforts. That put us in a position to participate for the first time in 2013 in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, an annual measure of how law firms and other equally large private businesses in the U.S. treat their LGBT employees, consumers and investors. HHR scored a 90 out of 100 our first year, highlighting the firm's longstanding commitment to diversity and its efforts to adopt inclusive policies, practices and benefits. Since we started participating in the survey, many people at the firm, including Diane Lifton and Kim Martin Korda and JiSun Yoo in the marketing department, have worked hard to maintain and elevate our score. We scored 100 percent in 2015 and 2016, a major accomplishment.
What's the best way for a law firm to increase the number of diverse attorneys?
I think the most effective way is to recruit highly qualified diverse attorneys; maintain inclusive policies, practices and benefits; and maintain an atmosphere and environment where people can be free to be themselves and be respected for it. These are all things we already do here at HHR, and we need to keep improving our efforts in these areas. I think the affinity groups can play an important role here, as can our mentorship program.
What's the most notable accomplishment for your group in the last six months?
Scoring 100 percent for the second year in a row on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. The survey sets very high, forward-looking standards and it is a big accomplishment to meet those standards.
What are the short-term and long-term goals for the group?
Goals for the group this year include increasing awareness of the affinity group among lawyers at the firm, keeping up our 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, assisting with the firm's recruiting efforts and taking on pro bono matters that affect LGBT individuals.