Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) are foundational principles of our firm, and we are deeply committed to maintaining a diverse workplace and hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse lawyers and staff members. The firm implements its commitment to DEI through our Executive Committee and Diversity Committee, which consists of a diverse mix of lawyers and staff and is led by senior partner Hannah Ross and Professional Development & DEI Manager Jessica Rivera. The firm recognizes that we all benefit from a working environment that mirrors our diverse society and draws on the backgrounds and experiences of individuals from differing cultures, perspectives, experiences, and beliefs.

In support of our ongoing diversity initiatives, the Diversity Committee hosts educational programs and events centered around training, social and cultural awareness, and mentorship, and sponsors a number of external DEI initiatives. Highlights include:

  • The Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann Public Interest Law Fellowships, Columbia Law School: In support of the firm's commitment to fighting discrimination and effecting positive social change, BLB&G created this Fellowship, which provides Fellows with 100% of the funding needed to make payments on their law school tuition loans so long as such graduates remain in the public interest law field. Additionally, the firm selects one CLS graduate each year to receive a separate Fellowship, which provides the opportunity to work in a litigation role at a public interest organization for two years before joining BLB&G as an associate.
  • Beyond #MeToo: Comprised of diversity-inclusion experts, litigators, and academics, this interdisciplinary group was co-founded by BLB&G partner Rebecca Boon and associate Alla Zayenchik, among others, and is dedicated to understanding the root causes of workplace harassment, discrimination, and misconduct and making corporate America a better and more inclusive place for all of us to work. More information about the group is available here.
  • The BLB&G Women's Forum: This online networking group for women leaders in pension funds and other institutional investors around the world was created in early 2020 to enable community members to connect and share ideas and solutions. The Forum has held a number of virtual events, including most recently a panel discussion focused on best practices for organizations seeking to promote diversity and inclusion.
  • Education and Awareness: One of the firm’s objectives is to increase diversity among BLB&G attorneys and professional staff, as well as in the plaintiffs’ bar as a whole. To that end, we have implemented educational activities in partnership with diverse student associations at prominent law schools in the New York area. We also regularly host Lunch & Learns internally at the firm to educate and raise awareness among the entire BLB&G team.
  • Mentoring and Professional Development Programs: The firm maintains active mentoring programs for both our attorneys and our professional staff. For attorneys, the firm focuses on providing guidance in cultivating key relationships, navigating the firm, and advancing their legal careers. We also have specific programs devoted to supporting and mentoring our female and diverse attorneys in navigating the specific challenges they face. Additionally, the firm dedicates significant resources to various professional development programs and to empower all attorneys and staff with the skills and training required to build successful careers and serve our clients. 
  • Matching Donation Program: The firm provides dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for employee contributions to recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations focused on initiatives related to social justice, diversity and legal aid.

Diversity Committee

Brittney Balser
Brittney Balser Associate
Catherine Blessing
Catherine Blessing Director of Human Resources
Khristine de Leon
Khristine de Leon Case Manager - New Matters & Client Development
Sarah Koyanagi
Sarah Koyanagi Marketing Specialist
Jessica Rivera
Jessica Rivera Professional Development and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Manager
Preya Rodriguez
Preya Rodriguez Case Manager
Hannah Ross
Hannah Ross Partner
Robert Santamarina
Robert Santamarina Associate Director of e-Discovery Services