April 27, 2017 - Quae Vide: The Diversity Newsletter of Murtha Cullina
April 27, 2017
As diversity continues to be an important theme throughout our nation, Murtha Cullina has proudly taken a pledge to strengthen our own diversity and inclusion efforts. It’s our hope that our offices are a welcoming and respectful environment for all. This is especially important as we introduce new attorneys and staff to our Firm. With every step, we honor the great traditions set forth by our founders, but we also move forward in the spirit of change - embracing diversity and encouraging each other along the way. - Burt Cohen, Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Murtha Cullina Embraces Connecticut Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Pledge
Following the input of Burt Cohen in developing "The Connecticut Legal Community’s Diversity & Inclusion Plan," ("the Plan") Murtha Cullina became one of the initial signatories to the Diversity & Inclusion Pledge sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association. The Plan is part of a multiyear process to develop and accomplish a series of implementation goals designed to promote diversity and inclusion not only within each legal organization but within the Connecticut legal community as a whole.
The Plan specifies certain goals over a five year period. Jennifer DelMonico has stated that "we intend to enthusiastically participate in meeting the goals set forth in the CBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Pledge and Plan."
The first year of the Plan focuses on infrastructure building, self-assessment and benchmarking of progress on diversity and inclusion. The second year of the Plan focuses on developing, to the extent not already in place, firm-wide training programs and other appropriate educational resources on the effects of implicit bias and its impact on diversity and inclusion efforts. The Plan’s third year focuses on hiring and pipeline initiatives with the goals of ensuring true equal opportunity employment practices and the elimination of implicit and explicit biases within those processes, while also supporting new pipeline initiatives for the legal profession in Connecticut. The fourth year of the Plan focuses on retention efforts, all of which are intended to foster the professional development and advancement of diverse individuals. The Plan’s fifth year is structured to ensure that formal and informal leadership opportunities are meaningfully and realistically accessible to diverse individuals. The Plan also contemplates that after the fifth year, the signatories will continue to assess their diversity & inclusion performance, implement necessary changes, and serve as ambassadors within the broader Connecticut legal community.
The Firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been tasked with rolling out the internal plans for complying with the first year focus and will be reporting to the Firm’s Executive Committee on its recommendations during the first half of 2017.
Burt Cohen Named President of Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity
Burt Cohen has been named President of the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD), effective January 1, 2017. His term will go through June of 2018.
LCD’s mission is to enhance diversity and inclusion in the Connecticut legal community for attorneys of color and women to practice law and find satisfying professional opportunities. As president, Mr. Cohen will work with LCD’s Executive Director, Board of Directors and LCD members to continue successful collaborations with Connecticut law firms, corporate law
departments, affinity bar associations and public sector entities.
Burt has been actively involved with LCD since its inception in 2003. "Burt has always been a great advocate of our mission," said Executive Director of LCD, Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard. "With his leadership as President, we are confident Burt will continue to advance our agenda and make Connecticut a place where more attorneys of color and women will succeed in our legal community."
Murtha Cullina Introduces New Immigration Practice Group
Murtha Cullina recently welcomed Partner Dana Bucin and Associate Michael Bonsignore to the Firm. By doing so the Firm expanded its business services to once again include an Immigration Practice Group.
Dana is the Chair of the Immigration Group. She represents clients with a wide range of employment-based and family-based immigration matters. As an immigration attorney with a business/corporate legal background, Dana’s experience includes counseling foreign investors and entrepreneurs on setting up businesses in the U.S. or investing in existing U.S. ventures and obtaining a visa or green card pursuant to visa programs for EB-5 immigrant investors, L-1 "new office" managers/executives, E-2 treaty investors, and H-1B "entrepreneurs". Dana is fluent in Spanish, French and Romanian, and has a basic knowledge of Italian, German, Hungarian and Latin. She received her J.D. from Boston University and her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Michael assists clients with obtaining immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and helps businesses navigate the Department of Labor’s PERM Labor Certification process. He received his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Emerson College.
"We are very pleased to welcome Dana and Michael to our Firm," said Jennifer DelMonico, "adding an Immigration practice allows us to provide important additional business services to our clients, and enhances our Corporate, Entrepreneur, and Education teams, among others."
The Immigration Practice Group provides comprehensive immigration services nationwide and internationally, handling a full range of immigration matters for corporate clients, small businesses and individuals.
Wonder Women of Murtha Cullina
Congratulations are in order for a group of our female attorneys who have been recognized with the following accolades in the past year:
Jennifer DelMonico, Hartford Business Journal Women in Business
This award recognize the achievements of eight remarkable women who are making their mark in Greater Hartford. These women are senior-level executives, CEOs and/or entrepreneurs who have mastered their business.
Elizabeth Stewart and Kristen Zaehringer, District of Connecticut 2016 Pro Bono Award
This honor, awarded by the U.S. District Court judges of the District of Connecticut, is in recognition of their "outstanding service as pro bono counsel."
Dena Castricone, Roger Williams "Alumni Public Interest Champion" Award
Each year RWU Law honors an outstanding individual, alumnus and local organization that are bettering the community through their work and presence. Dena received the "Alumni Public Interest Champion" award for her efforts in the LGBT community.
Karen Kepler, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Top Woman of Law Award
This annual Award honors a select group of women for demonstrating outstanding accomplishments in law, social justice, advocacy and business, while also serving as role models for young female attorneys.
Elizabeth Stewart, Connecticut Law Tribune Professional Excellence Award
The Connecticut Law Tribune honored attorneys with at least 30 years of experience for outstanding service to the profession through their Professional Excellence Awards. The winners were selected based on a variety of factors including: courtroom success, law firm and bar association leadership, advocacy roles, pro bono contributions and service on state and federal bar panels throughout the span of their career.
Deirdre Robinson, Paul and Niki Tsongas" Award from Preservation Massachusetts
The Paul and Niki Tsgonas Award is the highest honor given out by Preservation Massachusetts for the best in historic preservation efforts and achievement in Massachusetts.
Kelly Trahan, Fairfield County Business Journal 40 under 40 Award
Each year, the FCBJ presents the "40 under 40" award to individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership roles and who are part of Fairfield County’s business growth.
Lisa Staron, Connecticut Law Tribune New Leader in the Law Award
The Connecticut Law Tribune honored attorneys for their outstanding legal work, pro bono efforts, service to the bar and community involvement.
What’s coming up?
Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity "Building Careers Symposium"
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Co-Chaired by Murtha Cullina Attorneys Bridget D’Angelo, Nisha Kapur and Madiha Malik
More information to come.