Focused on the Art and Science of IP

Diversity and Inclusion

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun is committed to the recruitment and advancement of the most talented and qualified people from all backgrounds. We value and seek the different perspectives that diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, religion and/or sexual orientation bring.

We also recognize that diverse backgrounds and different perspectives benefit our work environment by making it more vibrant and innovative. The collective strength of our differences enables us to better serve our clients and create enduring relationships with each other and our community.

We advance our commitment to diversity and inclusion through a strategic plan that includes a strong and active Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is chaired by a member of the Firm’s biotechnology group, and includes a diverse representation of partners and associates as well as other leaders from the Firm's management.

The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion works closely with our committees on professional development, recruiting, pro bono and marketing, as well as the practice groups to ensure that diversity and inclusion are incorporated at every level of the Firm’s management and operations.

"It is important to us to continually evaluate and fine tune our practice as we embrace an inclusive environment. In addition, we have a shared responsibility with our clients and the legal community to engage in sustainable and collaborative action that enhances diversity throughout our profession." states Roger Heppermann, former chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.


We actively recruit diverse candidates from all backgrounds who will grow and thrive at our Firm.

The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is working to increase the Firm’s diversity and inclusion by:

  • Integrating diversity and inclusion as key priorities in recruiting and hiring. For example, we participate in Interview Programs and Job Fairs at the Cook County Bar Association Minority Job Fair, National LGBT Bar Association Annual Career Fair and Conference, the Midwest Regional Black Law Students Association Convention and the Loyola Patent Law Interview Program.
  • Conducting training to support a diverse and inclusive Firm culture.
  • Implementing programs to attract diverse lateral associates and partners.
  • Enhancing the recognition of the Firm's commitment to diversity and inclusion through initiatives in collaboration with clients, law schools, and minority organizations and publications.

If you would like to find out more about our diversity and inclusion efforts in recruiting, please contact:

Community Outreach

Our Firm is actively involved in various organizations that work to enhance the overall levels of diversity and inclusion. The following is a representative list of the organizations we support:

Dedicated Action

Many individuals in the Firm commit time and resources to make diversity and inclusion active values in their professional lives.

  • Jeffrey S. SharpJeffrey S. Sharp, the Firm’s Managing Partner, has served as a mentor in the Chicago Committee's Mentorship Academy. "Just as promoting equal opportunity is important to our community, sustaining a welcoming and inclusive culture is important to our Firm because it allows us to draw from a broader talent pool in order to serve our clients better," said Mr. Sharp. The Academy is a year-long program designed to bring minority attorneys at all levels together with leaders in law firms to build substantive individual and group mentoring relationships.
  • Julianne HartzellPartner Julianne M. Hartzell served as president of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law for the 2011-2012 term. She is currently the co-chair of the Coalition’s Community Outreach committee. The Coalition is a non-profit association whose mission is to share effective methods to enhance the retention and promotion of women lawyers and to promote a dialogue and support network among women, furthering their career advancement and professional development.
  • Li-Hsien (Lily) Rin-Laures, M.D.A number of Firm attorneys are very involved with the Chicago Chapter of the Women In Bio organization (WIB). Partner Li-Hsien (Lily) Rin-Laures, M.D. helped found the Chicago Chapter. As chairwoman of the steering committee, Dr. Rin-Laures aims to increase awareness and foster career development for women in Illinois interested in biotechnology innovation and commercialization. Other Firm attorneys committed to WIB and its mission include Partner Heather R. Kissling who serves as Co-chair of its communications committee, Associate Lynn L. Janulis, Ph.D., Co-chair of the membership committee, and Partner Katherine L. Neville, Ph.D., Co-chair of its programming committee.
  • Jeremy KriegelPartner Jeremy Kriegel volunteers as a "coach" at the Chicago LegalTrek Contract Negotiation Workshop held every summer at Northwestern University Law School. Mr. Kriegel coaches teams of college students through a mock negotiation of a sale of high-tech goods, followed by a group question-and-answer session. Chicago LegalTrek, affiliated with the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, is a program designed to diversify the legal profession by encouraging college students from historically underrepresented groups to pursue careers in the legal profession.
  • Paul StephensAt the Microsoft Women and Minority Law Student IP Summit, Partner Paul Stephens, was a panelist in a roundtable discussion on diversity. The program focused on career development, recruiting and retention for minorities and women in law firms and corporate legal departments.
  • Jeremy D. ProtasJeremy D. Protas, a partner with an emphasis on electrical engineering, has been a member of the Board of Directors for the National LGBT Bar Association since 2010, and currently serves on the Association’s membership committee and as co-chair of the Association’s Affiliate Congress. Mr. Protas has also established a scholarship for LGBT law students interested in pursuing a career in patent law. "Diversity in the legal community, and especially in the patent law community, is important to me. My hope is that this scholarship will encourage LGBT law students to consider careers in patent law."
  • Partner Jeremy D. Protas founded and implemented a successful "Small Group Outings" program to maintain a cohesive environment as the Firm grows. The program fosters comradeship by pairing partners and associates from varying practice groups for lunches or dinners, to get better acquainted with their colleagues. This increased comradeship has benefitted project staffing, because matters increasingly cross technical disciplines and demand the experience of multiple practice groups.

At Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, we believe that diversity and inclusion of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives make us stronger as a Firm, and we are committed to investing in that strength.