Sarah L. Olson Named Chief Diversity Officer of Sidley Austin LLP
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It was announced recently by Sidley Austin LLP that Sarah L. Olson has been added to the firm as the Chief Diversity Officer. Olson had more than 10 years experience in creating and exercising policies that create a diverse environment. She is also renowned litigator in the legal world.

Olson, the Diversity Committee, and the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women will work together in an effort to the worldwide diversity of the firm and its initiatives. The co-charis of the Diversity Committee are Catherine Valerio Barrad, Walter Carlson, Carlos Rodriguez and Stanley Stallworth. The co-chairs of the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women are Laurin Blumenthal Kleiman and Kathleen Roach.


“We are delighted to welcome Sally to our firm,” said Thomas Cole, Chair of the firm’s Executive Committee. “We are committed to creating and fostering a diverse work environment at Sidley, and we are so fortunate to have Sally bring her broad and distinctive skills to the position.”

“I am thrilled to join Sidley,” Ms. Olson said. “The firm is a leader with a long history of advancing diversity in the legal profession. It is exciting to join a firm with Sidley’s remarkable dedication to the recruitment, retention and promotion of talented lawyers from an extensive range of backgrounds and experience.”

Olson formerly worked for Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP, where she launched the company’s diversity and inclusion initiative before leaving for Sidley. Olson earned her J.D. from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. Olson has been awarded numerous honors during her career, with one of the more recent ones being named to the National Diversity Council’s 2011 list of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in the state of Illinois. Olson sits on the advisory board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. Olson is also a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals. Other organizations that Olson belong to include the following; the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association and the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago.

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“As Chief Diversity Officer, Sally will be instrumental in advancing our mission to attract and retain outstanding lawyers who reflect the global marketplace that we serve,” said Charles Douglas, chair of the firm’s Management Committee.

The Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative was created in 2006 and was the first program of its kind in United States law firms across the country. The program has a goal of creating more diversity in law schools across the country by supporting undergraduate students with finances.

One of the world’s premier law firms, Sidley Austin LLP employs more than 1,600 lawyers across the world. They practice law in 17 cities in the United States and internationally. Those cities include Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.


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