Polsinelli welcomes J. Danielle Carr as the firm’s first Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Carr, who will office from the firm’s St. Louis location, brings deep experience in both diverse and women attorney professional development and recruiting, and will help lead the effort to advance the firm’s initiatives across all areas of diversity and inclusion.
“Diversity and inclusion are integral to our firm’s ongoing success. We know that engaging diverse perspectives benefits Polsinelli as a business and helps us better serve our clients,” said Chairman Russ Welsh.
Carr spent the first 13 years of her professional career practicing as a commercial litigation attorney. Carr has since gained deep experience in diversity roles with law firms and major, global recruiting firms, including six years as executive director for the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and three years as a managing director for the nation’s largest legal recruiting firm. Prior to joining Polsinelli, she served as the Director of Professional Development and Diversity & Inclusion for a large regional law firm.
“I accepted the offer to join Polsinelli because of the vision the firm has for creating a nationally-recognized diversity and inclusion program,” said Carr. “The firm is truly committed to developing a professional community where all its employees find success. I am excited to be part of firm that strives to cultivate that kind of inclusive culture.”
Carr will work closely with Dan Cranshaw, Chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Jane Arnold, Chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Committee and firm management to recruit diverse attorneys, retain diverse talent and ensure that equal opportunities exist for all employees.
“Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to our firm and we are so excited to bring an experienced leader in this field to partner with our attorney leadership team to develop a comprehensive plan to recruit and develop diverse attorneys throughout our firm,” said Cranshaw. “We want to be a leader in this space and we are confident that Danielle’s rich background in legal diversity programming will lead us in the right direction to reach our goals.”
Polsinelli’s diversity and inclusion efforts consist of a four-pillar focus on relationship building, professional development, recruitment and excellence in client service.
“I have already received a tremendous amount of support from firm leadership, attorneys and support staff. Polsinelli’s diversity and inclusion strategy and initiatives will be a collaborative effort and everyone is engaged and excited about continuing the progression of the firm,” said Carr.
In her distinguished career, Carr has received honors such as Who’s Who in Color (Honoree) in 2015, The St. Louis American Foundation’s Excellence in Business Performance Award in 2015 and the Diverse Business Leaders Award from the St. Louis Business Journal in 2013. She is actively involved as a Hearing Board Member for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Treasurer of the St. Louis Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Law Student Mentor, Steering Committee Member for the Minority Counsel Program and St. Louis Legal Diversity Job Fair and more.
Carr earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School after completing her B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, from the University of Northern Iowa.