Gray Plant Mooty prides itself on its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. Below are some of the key milestones in the firm's recent history.
1993: Gray Plant Mooty’s Board of Directors establishes a diversity committee, the purpose of which is to enhance—in all areas—the diversity of the firm. The committee meets monthly to cultivate key values that promote a diverse workforce: respect, belonging, support, and generosity.
1994: Gray Plant Mooty’s board of directors approves the establishment of a 1L Minority Summer Associate Program, the longest-running program of its kind in the Twin Cities legal market.
1995: Gray Plant Mooty’s diversity committee establishes the Frank Plant, Jr. Equal Justice Award. The award is presented to individuals at the firm who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of equal justice.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
1996: Gray Plant Mooty implements a diversity training initiative, which is now an integral part of every new employee’s orientation.
1997: The Gray Plant Mooty diversity committee adopts the following mission statement: “The mission of the firm Culture & Diversity committee is to assist the firm in attracting and retaining a highly qualified, diverse workforce, and in creating an environment in which all employees, regardless of differences, are respected, encouraged, and enabled to achieve their highest potential.”
1998: The Hennepin County Bar Association’s diversity committee recognizes Gray Plant Mooty with the Diversity Award for a Legal Employer. This award is given to a legal employer that displays an outstanding commitment to diversity in the legal profession.
2000: Gray Plant Mooty, in partnership with Theatre at Work, Inc., develops “Your Face Here”—a theater-based diversity training program. The firm has gone on to develop three more diversity training programs: “Through the Cracks in the Glass Ceiling,” “Scenes from the 27th Floor,” and “People v. Pluto.”
2004: Gray Plant Mooty begins offering quarterly diversity programming, bringing in speakers from around the country to discuss issues impacting diversity and representation in the workplace and beyond.
2005: Gray Plant Mooty is presented with the Minnesota Business Ethics Award, given annually to Minnesota businesses that have exemplified and promoted ethical conduct for the benefit of the workplace, the marketplace, the environment, and the community.
2005: Gray Plant Mooty is honored with the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award, which recognizes businesses that display an exemplary level of ethics in all their business dealings.
2005: Gray Plant Mooty joins forces with major Twin Cities law firms to form Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a collaborative consortium of local law firms and corporate legal departments dedicated to advancing diversity in the Twin Cities legal community. The consortium provides significant resources to accelerate the efforts of its members in identifying, recruiting, advancing, and retaining lawyers of color.
2007: Gray Plant Mooty names Tamara Hjelle Olsen managing officer—the first woman to hold the position in the firm’s 140-year history.
2008: The Council on Crime and Justice honors Gray Plant Mooty attorney Tom Johnson with its Equal Justice Award. Tom served as president of the council for nine years and, under his direction, the council undertook two major studies—the Racial Disparity Initiative and the Framework for Minnesota’s Future. Findings from these studies continue to influence policy change across the country.
"I am passionate about social justice and honored to receive this award." – Tom Johnson
2008: Gray Plant Mooty is honored with its third consecutive Minnesota Work-Life Champions Award—Minnesota’s only statewide awards program spotlighting the efforts of employers in implementing programs and practices to create flexible workplaces.
2008: For the second time, the Hennepin County Bar Association’s diversity committee recognizes Gray Plant Mooty with its Diversity Award for a Legal Employer.
2008: The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers names Gray Plant Mooty attorney Tom Johnson the recipient of its Profiles in Courage Award, recognizing him for his long service to the community and, in particular, for issues of special interest to people of color. Tom served nine years as president of the Council on Crime and Justice, 12 years as Hennepin County Attorney, and two terms on the Minneapolis City Council.
2008: Gray Plant Mooty becomes a sponsor of the Cristo Rey Corporate Internship Program, which helps prepare economically disadvantaged students for the workforce. The firm hosts four students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.
2009: For a seventh consecutive year, Gray Plant Mooty is named one of Minnesota’s Best Places to Work by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. No other Minnesota law firm can claim such a milestone.
2011: Gray Plant Mooty establishes a firmwide diversity working group, which includes key attorneys and members of the firm’s human resources department and is tasked with identifying opportunities to create a more diverse and inclusive firm.
2012: Gray Plant Mooty organizes its first micro-inequities training for attorneys and staff, with additional training provided to the firm’s board of directors. This programming seeks to educate firm employees and leadership about the particular workplace dimensions of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other systems of oppression.
2013: In collaboration with Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Gray Plant Mooty expands its 1L summer associate program to create further opportunities for individuals from historically underrepresented groups to enter the legal profession.
2014: Gray Plant Mooty attorney Justin Sallis is named to the 2014 Lawyers of Color Hot List, which recognizes accomplished early- to mid-career minority attorneys working as in-house counsel, government attorneys, and law firm associates and partners.
2016: Gray Plant Mooty introduces an expanded family leave program, which offers 16 weeks of paid parental leave for attorneys and eight weeks of paid parental leave for administrative staff. This gender-neutral policy also covers attorneys and staff who have adopted a child.
"Our new policy ... puts us a step ahead of our peers. With these changes, we hope to help the firm continue to attract and retain the most talented people.” – Sarah Duniway
2016: Gray Plant Mooty is once again named one of the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers, reflecting the firm’s support of working families and the representation of women in firm leadership.
> Diversity Timeline
> Diversity Awards & Recognition
> GPM Profiles
> Diversity Training
> Twin Cities Diversity in Practice
> Diversity Involvement
> GPM Diversity Programs
Gray Plant Mooty is recognized as one of the leading corporate law firms in Minnesota and one of the top franchise firms in the world. Our roots go back to 1866. Today, we are a full-service firm with nearly 180 attorneys and offices in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; and Fargo, North Dakota.