Our Long-Term Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Cranfill Sumner is committed to a work environment that welcomes, nurtures, and honors the contributions of individuals who bring a variety of talents, experiences, and backgrounds to our firm. We believe we work best with clients, judges, juries, other attorneys, and each other when we reflect the richness of our community and world.

At Cranfill Sumner, we understand diversity is a long-term commitment, not a short-term goal. We acknowledge that improving our diversity is an ongoing and ever-evolving process.

The following are some of the ways Cranfill Sumner is working to increase its diversity:

  • Our Diversity, Inclusion & Belongingness Committee meets regularly to assess our diversity efforts and create new initiatives. The committee is made up of partners, associates, and staff from our three offices, and includes representatives from the Management Committee, Human Resources, and Recruiting.
  • We are committed to recruiting attorneys and staff through minority job fairs and at historically black colleges and universities, and by identifying and participating in other programs in the legal community designed to increase minority hiring. The firm participates annually at in the North Carolina Bar Association’s Minorities in the Profession Summer Clerk Program.
  • Our firm is an outstanding place for women to practice law. Our female attorneys constitute 33% of our partners and 65% of our associates, and women fully participate in all aspects of firm leadership.
  • Our training and mentoring is designed to develop and support attorneys and staff and encourage an environment of inclusivity and sensitivity.
  • We make work/life balance a priority and recognize that excellence is not compromised by flexibility and innovation.
  • Our employees are active and engaged in their communities through volunteer activities, charitable giving, and pro bono projects. Our associates are paired with area students in both Raleigh and Charlotte for the local Bars’ Lunch with a Lawyer Program. The firm also sponsors a table annually at the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Dinner in Charlotte, NC.

Cranfill Sumner recognizes that our firm’s continued success depends upon our ability to recruit, hire, train, mentor, and retain excellent employees. We strive to recruit and develop diverse talent because we understand that diversity strengthens the quality of the services we provide to our clients. We are dedicated to inclusion in the workplace and strive to make sure the firm is a place where all employees feel welcomed and respected.

2020 Diversity & Inclusion Statement

Cranfill Sumner LLP acknowledges the racial injustice that many members of our communities have experienced, and the profound way that many of our colleagues, clients, and community members have been affected by these historical injustices.  Injustice of any kind is unacceptable.

In a time such as this, we will participate in meaningful engagement in the form of internal workshops and discussions, as well as community engagement, that will support the change we wish to see in terms of social inclusion and racial equity.  This engagement, by no means, will be easy but if we don’t embrace these subjects, we would be complicit in the problem. We understand that to build an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees, we must educate ourselves about systemic racial injustices and be a part of potential solutions to promote the changes needed moving forward.

The Cranfill Sumner Distinguished Leader in Diversity and Inclusion Award

The Cranfill Sumner Distinguished Leader in Diversity and Inclusion Award was created in 2020 and is awarded annually to an individual who embodies the firm’s commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion within the firm’s offices and the surrounding communities. Our honorees for this award are listed below:





In Our Words

Janelle Lyons | Family Law Attorney Charlotte
I love the individual growth that is fostered here, as well as the sense of appreciation and pride in our work that is felt throughout the firm. This is so important, as when you love your work, you become the best at your work.
Janelle Lyons, Partner 
Benton Toups
There is no “I” in team. I’m constantly amazed at the sacrifices people are willing to make to get the job done. That goes for everyone from our part-time couriers to the Firm’s managing partner.
Benton Toups, Partner 
Quite simply put, Cranfill Sumner is home. This is where I have learned the knowledge, skills, and confidence to serve the legal community, and this is where I get the amazing opportunity to contribute to our Women’s Initiative and to encourage the legal growth and professional development of our Associates and my entire team.
Jennifer Morris Jones, Partner/Management Committee Member 
Sam LaRoche | Raleigh IT Director
I love the various challenges we face and overcome as a team. It is a fantastic demonstration of our diversity and ability to work together to overcome obstacles for the common good of each other and the organization.
Sam LaRoche, Information Technology Director 
Dana M. Glover | Charlotte Paralegal
I have had the opportunity to work at different law firms over the course of my career both in state and out of state. I must say that CSH is by far the most diverse firm I have ever been employed with. The diversity among attorneys and staff is something that makes me proud every day. I’m honored to be part of the CSH family.
Dana Glover, Legal Assistant/Paralegal 
CSH is composed of people who care about people. Everyone is invested in everyone else’s success, which results in unparalleled opportunities for personal growth and development.
Jason Stiles, Office Services Manager 

Chair of Diversity Inclusion & Belongingness Committee

Diversity Inclusion & Belongingness Committee Members

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