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Diversity Director Len Givens Featured in the Legal News

June 17, 2010

By Mike Scott
For The Legal News

The issue of diversity is one that law firms across the country are paying more attention to and investing in. Miller Canfield is taking a leadership position in this area by moving one of its long-time shareholders into the role of firm diversity director.

Len Givens, recently honored by the State Bar of Michigan's Labor and Employment Section as the recipient of its 2010 Distinguished Service Award, has been tasked with working with all Miller Canfield lawyers to help them “stay on track.” His role is to help all lawyers develop and meet firm and personal goals.

“It is easy for someone to get lost in the cracks at a large law firm that has more than 400 lawyers and is continuing to grow,” Givens said. “But we're focused on hiring the best lawyers we can find and that investment makes it critical that we help them to succeed.”

Givens makes it clear that Miller Canfield does not have any quotas it must fill, although he is actively involved with looking for lawyer candidates from many minority backgrounds. Without such attention it can be easy for firms to hire professionals of similar backgrounds. Yet Givens admits there are more Asian Americans, African Americans and lawyers of Middle Eastern heritage graduating from the top law schools around the nation.

“Diversity is sort of a buzzword now,” Givens said. “It is important to hire and maintain the best lawyers coming forward out of any demographic background. It doesn't matter what their background is — we want the best.”