Unyielding in its pursuit to take the necessary time to understand their clients’ unique needs, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP has played a central role in the most critical legal issues and transactions affecting Long Island. As immigration, LGBT and social issues continue to surface in headline news across the nation, the firm remains determined to promote diversity and inclusion in law.
“You can’t turn on the TV or open any newspaper without there being some discussion of border walls and immigration and religious issues,” said Campolo, Middleton & McCormick Partner Patrick McCormick. “Lawyers have an obligation to play a role in the education of the public and making people aware of the issues and everyone’s rights – this is all part of diversity and inclusiveness.”
Responding to today’s political climate, Campolo Middleton & McCormick, with offices in Ronkonkoma and Bridgehampton, NY, is reinforcing its longstanding pledge to not only be more involved in the education of diversity within its firm and the legal community, but making sure opportunities are there for all people who seek counsel.
“Our firm is committed to building educational programs that offer training for our staff, as well as host various programs related to these issues for our clients and the public,” said McCormick, who also heads the firm’s litigation and appeals practice. “The legal profession is supposed to be leading the way on these issues, making sure that those who do not have all the opportunities that others have, have access to the court system and have access to services and quality lawyers.”
The firm also takes a strong position that the public should always have legal options and more importantly, they should be aware of these options.
“Our firm feels strongly about educating not only lawyers but the public, as well,” McCormick explained. “They should know what services are available to them. It is our obligation.”
To bring more diversity into the legal community, the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board is currently evaluating (as of this writing) a proposed requirement that in every two-year cycle every attorney is obligated to take one credit in diversity and the elimination of bias. “The idea is to increase awareness of diversity and inclusion and promote equality of opportunity within the legal profession,” McCormick noted. “It is a very laudable goal, so it is clear that this issue is on everyone’s mind.”
Diversity and inclusion have been the unwavering foundation of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick since its launch in 2008. McCormick also works with the Suffolk County Bar Association as associate dean of its Suffolk Academy of Law — the Bar’s educational branch — to promote diversity within the legal community, and will continue this initiative as he spearheads Suffolk Academy of Law’s educational programs as its new dean, effective June 2, 2017.
The Suffolk County Bar Association, which is comprised of 2,800 lawyers and judges, and the Suffolk Academy of Law have always been in the forefront of this entire issue, McCormick noted.
“We should all be involved — every lawyer, regardless of what their individual practice, their firm culture or their political beliefs are,” McCormick said. “This goes back historically to ‘right to counsel’ for the indigent in criminal legal proceedings. Everyone should have access to legal counsel.”
The legal community is historically charged with ensuring everyone is treated equally before the law, he explained. “Nobody should be discriminated against or excluded from equal access and the ability to engage in the process,” he added.
Diversity and inclusion are key components to assuring everyone receives legal counsel and Campolo, Middleton & McCormick is proud to be part of this important initiative.
“There is much more awareness throughout the law profession in both the desire and the need for diversity and inclusiveness and our firm is proud to be leading the way,” McCormick said.