Creating and maintaining a diverse workplace is of paramount importance to Sills Cummis & Gross. The Firm always has been an advocate of minority hiring practices and is involved in a number of minority hiring, retention and diversity initiatives. The Firm’s Diversity Committee and Women’s Group focus on initiatives to enhance the culture of Sills Cummis & Gross and the quality of service to the Firm’s clients. Sills Cummis & Gross also encourages its lawyers to actively participate in minority bar associations and local and national women’s groups.   

The Sills Cummis & Gross Diversity Committee

The Sills Cummis & Gross Diversity Committee provides an avenue to continue to promote diversity within the Firm as well as within the legal community at large. The Committee hosts events aimed at increasing the dialogue on diversity and providing insights and advice from experienced minority lawyers.  The Firm’s minority hiring, retention and diversity initiatives also include participation in the Rutgers Law School Minority Student Program.

Two noteworthy events the Firm hosted included a breakfast seminar which provided insightful discussion on the importance of diversity in the outside counsel/in-house counsel partnership. The panelists emphasized the need for law firms to commit to recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent, and offered strategies and resources to accomplish these goals. Also, another breakfast seminar featured The Hon. Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit and The Hon. Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Judges Fuentes and Greenaway spoke to an overflowing audience of diverse law students, lawyers, Firm clients and representatives from the State’s numerous diverse bar associations and organizations about their personal experiences as minority lawyers and their perspectives on the opportunities for and obstacles faced by minority lawyers.

The Sills Cummis & Gross Women's Group

The Sills Cummis & Gross Women’s Group is dedicated to promoting the professional and personal growth of women lawyers. Recognizing that women face unique challenges, the Women’s Group provides a forum for meaningful discussion and learning. The Group seeks to provide mentoring for our women lawyers, positioning them to lead us into the future at our Firm and in our communities. The Group sponsors both internal programs as well as programs which include lawyers from outside the Firm. The Firm is a supporter of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association.

The Group holds various events for clients and friends.  For example, the Group hosted a “Poker Divas” night where attendees learned how to play poker along with the related leadership and business skills that are acquired through playing the game.  Other events included “An Evening at the Museum,” which was held at the Montclair Art Museum and included a private tour; a wine and cheese party at the Elie Tahari company store in mid-town Manhattan; as well as a wine tasting at the Montclair Golf Club. The Group also presented a program allowing women to speak candidly about the pros and cons of serving on the boards of not-for-profit organizations. Leadership opportunities available through individuals’ involvement in not-for-profit agencies and corporations were also discussed.

Detailed Minority Hiring, Retention and Diversity Initiatives

The Firm is involved in a number of minority hiring, retention and diversity initiatives, including:

Rutgers Law School Minority Student Program – This program serves students of any race or ethnicity who are members of groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession, and who have faced discrimination or overcome social and economic hardships. Every summer Sills Cummis employs a first year minority law student as part of the Firm’s summer program, which provides an opportunity for law students to hone their legal skills and gain experience.

New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project (NJ-LEEP) – This is a competitive, after-school, college-prep program for Newark high school students that targets teens interested in the law and in going to college. Several of our attorneys mentor high school students for this program which recruits potential minority lawyers.

The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) – The Firm is a supporter of NAWL, which has been a leader in supporting and promoting advancement for women lawyers. We also sponsor membership for our women lawyers in NAWL. NAWL publishes an annual directory, a guide we have used as a tool for locating women lawyers and women-owned firms throughout the United States.

New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA) – The Firm is a supporter of the NJWLA, an organization that is engaged in efforts in New Jersey to support and promote its members to the highest levels of law firm, government, academic, community, corporate positions and the judiciary, and to foster leadership among its membership.  Our attorneys have been involved in various leadership capacities, including serving on the Executive Board as well as charity committees.


The Firm is proud to support events aimed at enhancing the diversity of the New Jersey Bar.  Over the years, the Firm has sponsored:

• A Better Chance
Scholarship Luncheon

• American Conference on Diversity
Humanitarian Awards Dinner 

• Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey
Annual Dinner
Northeast Regional Conference
Pathways to the State Judiciary Seminar
Mock Interview Workshop for Law Students
What It Takes To Succeed Event

• Association of Latin American Law Students

• Corporate Counsel Women of Color
Annual Conference

• Essex County Bar Foundation
Black History Month Celebration

• Garden State Bar Association
Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala

• Hispanic Bar Association
Annual Scholarship Gala
Annual Installation Ceremony of Officers and Trustees
Corporate Counsel Roundtable
Diverse Summer Associate Mixer

• Legal Outreach
Annual Gala

• Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association
Annual Dinner

• National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Annual Convention

• National Association of Women Lawyers
Awards Luncheon

• New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project
Leadership in Diversity Gala
Impress for Success
Field Trips

• New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
Annual Women’s Initiative and Leaders in the Law Gala
Annual Fore Ladies Only! Golf Outing Clinic

• New York Women’s Bar Association
Annual Awards Dinner

• Northeast Black Law Students Association
Regional Conference

• Rutgers-Newark School of Law
Minority Student Program Annual Gala
Association of Black Law Students Annual Fund-raising Event
Rutgers Race & the Law Review Annual Symposium

• The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
NY Cocktail Reception

• United Negro College Fund
Mayor's Masked Ball

• Women of Color in Law Firms Group

• Women’s Fund of New Jersey