Diversity Finds Its Home At Genova Burns LLC

October 6, 2021

Genova Burns LLC newly revamped Diversity, Equity & Inclusionary Committee led by co-Chairs Harris S. Freier, Esq. and Jennifer Borek, Esq. is making an impact Firm-wide. The committee has exceeded its initial plan of action and is moving forward on multiple fronts. The DE&I Committee had planned on spearheading a number of firm initiatives including programming with the Rutgers Association of Black Law Students, implementation of diverse hiring practices, a diverse speaker series, sponsorship and support of organizations campaigning for diversity, and social events and awards that emphasize our shared diversity. “I am pleased to see the progress we have made in less than a year,” says Harris S. Freier, Esq., Co-Chair of the DE&I committee.

Rutgers University and Genova Burns have a long-standing relationship. Chairman & Managing Partner Angelo J. Genova, Esq. is a Rutgers graduate, as are a myriad of firm Partners and Counsel. Genova Burns has committed to strengthen its Diversity Initiative by supporting the Association of Black Law Students with an annual grant of $10,000 for the next 5 years.

As participants in the second cohort of the Midsize Mansfield Rule, Genova Burns is looking to expand its pool of underrepresented attorneys by up to 30%. The firm’s commitment to the initiative is evidenced in ramped up hiring practices and transparency at the higher levels. “I am looking forward to helping the firm achieve its certification over the upcoming months,” says Firm Human Resource Manager Colleen Conway. “Adding underrepresented attorneys to the firm roster is our priority” she continues.

The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities. The Mansfield Rule Certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Mansfield Certification Plus status indicates that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline certification requirements, the firms have successfully reached at least 30 percent underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles.

Furthering our commitment to diverse attorneys, the Firm is pleased to announce that Partner Rajiv D. Parikh, Esq. is being recognized as Attorney of the Year by the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey. Mr. Parikh is not new to the awards circuit either. He was recently named to the ROI-NJ Influencers People of Color addition. The South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) is a voluntary association of attorneys and professionals in the New Jersey area dedicated to the needs, concerns, and interests of the South Asian community in New Jersey. SABA supports the professional development and advancement of its members through networking opportunities, educational events, mentoring, and advocacy.

Associate Latiqua M. Liles, Esq. is the epitome of a young professional. She is balancing her budding legal career with family life and has also been accepted into the 2022 class of Leadership Newark. Leadership Newark was born out of a desire to strengthen the city of Newark’s civic infrastructure. Today, the organization continues to create a network of emerging and established leaders with the drive, knowledge, skills, and connections to improve Newark’s future. “I am proud of the personal and professional achievements of our all associates and enjoy watching them grow as people and attorneys” says Angelo J. Genova, Chairman & Managing Partner of the Firm.

Closing out the DE&I programs this month, the DEI Committee is proud to present the important and meaningful discussion on Hispanic Heritage Month, “Combating Attrition Among Diverse Attorneys in the Legal Profession and the Importance of Retaining Diverse Attorneys” mid-October. The presentation will be a three-person panel discussion moderated by our own Daniel Pierre, Esq. featuring the Honorable Victoria Pratt, Employer: State of New Jersey, Judge, Professor Solangel Maldanado, Employer: Seton Hall Law School, Professor of Law, and Evelyn Padin, Law Offices of Evelyn Padin, Past President NJSBA. “I am proud of my Hispanic heritage and the work and family ethics I was raised with by my Puerto Rican parents,” says Firm Chief Financial and Operating Officer Rosalie Burgos-Acevedo. “Hispanics have made amazing contributions to our community, and I am thankful for working at a firm that celebrates their contributions and continues to support our roles in the community.”

The firm looks forward to continuing to celebrate diversity in the upcoming months through a multitude of events. Genova Burns is a forward thinking, full-service law firm with offices throughout the tri-state region. For additional questions on opportunities, please contact Colleen Conway via email here.

To read more about the firm's diversity initiative, please click here to access an article published by ROI-NJ.

Tags: Genova Burns LLCAngelo J. GenovaHarris S. FreierJennifer BorekLatiqua M. LilesDaniel PierreDiversityLeadership NewarkSABA-NJROI NJDiversity, Equity & Inclusionary Committee