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June 24, 2022

Janice Grubin Featured in Law360 Pulse Article on LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity in the Legal Industry

Janice Grubin, partner and Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Area co-chair, was featured in the Law360 Pulse article “LGBTQ Attys and Staff Talk Inclusivity in Mid-Law” about how in recent years, the legal industry has not only focused more on racial and ethnic diversity but also diversity of gender identity and sexual orientation. While LGBTQIA+ representation in the legal industry has made significant strides, there’s still more work to be done.

The article states, “Janice . . . said that she was not comfortable being out as a lesbian at work for most of her career.” Janice continued, “Part of that was my own self-awareness, and part of that was I was just not comfortable at the firms I worked at the time.”

Janice, who’s been with her wife for 36 years, came out to her co-workers only after same-sex marriage became legal in New York State. “It came at a time when I had a number of years of practice under my belt, I felt confident in my abilities, and I felt comfortable enough in who I was to come out. And I have been met with nothing but support.”

About firms being inclusive and supportive of trans attorneys and staff, Janice said, “I know my firm is progressive, and we’ve addressed [trans-inclusive bathrooms], but I think many firms don’t really think of those things.”

However, even though the legal industry is, by and large, doing and saying the right things, it’s uncertain just how much of an impact this support will have over time.

About LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the industry in the past, Janice said, “It was a nonentity for many, many years.” Although many firms have stayed current and have changed with the demands of society, being supportive of LGBTQIA+ individuals is still considered a progressive attitude rather than the status quo across the industry.  

The progress that’s taking place in the legal industry, while gradual, is overall positive. The article states, “In coming years, respondents hope to see firms continue to recruit more LGBTQ attorneys, improve policies, and dedicate resources to initiatives like LGBTQ employee groups. They are also optimistic that the industry will be able to build on the work that has already been done.”

About the importance of LGBTQIA+ individuals being promoted and having leadership positions, Janice said, “Because I tend to have some personal power and I am a leader [in the practice group], everywhere I have been since I’ve been out, I’ve been treated with respect. . . . And these things have a positive effect on my colleagues, on the people I report to, the people who report to me. It’s like a snowball effect.”

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