Diversity

Wed, 12/14/2011 - 15:15

When it comes to diversity, we don’t just talk the talk. To us, diversity is a no-brainer. You don’t only see it in our policy manual. You see it in our people.

At Arent Fox, we believe that excellence and diversity go hand in hand. We are committed to seeking and retaining a varied group of attorneys and staff throughout the firm and believe that diversity is a strategic requirement for business success. Diversity has several beneficial effects: It produces different perspectives, richer thinking and more creative solutions to the challenges our clients face; it helps to instill a collegial culture of mutual respect throughout the firm; and it enhances our lawyers’ ability to represent clients in the real world of judges, jurors and the legal system as a whole.

Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Arent Fox has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is led by the firm’s chairman and includes many members of our senior management team. The primary goals of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee are to recruit, retain and promote lawyers of color, women and LGBT lawyers, and to ensure that adequate firm resources are dedicated to their training, mentoring, coaching and business development. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s budget is strategically designed to achieve these primary goals, and the firm has strong marketing and professional development programs to support these initiatives.

Diversity Scholarship. Each year we award a Diversity Scholarship to three minority first-year law students, each of whom receives $15,000 as well as a position in the firm's summer associate program. Since its conception in 2006, the firm has awarded 22 scholarships and recognized 31 finalists throughout the country, including the most recent recipients who attend Boston College Law School, Emory University School of Law, and Howard University School of Law.

Recruiting Initiatives. Since the Diversity and Inclusion Committee was restructured by the firm’s chairman in 2005, the firm has consistently increased the number of lateral and entry-level minority lawyers hired. Law students of color and LGBT students have comprised approximately 50 percent or more of the firm’s summer associate classes since 2006. Recent diversity sponsorships include the National and Regional Black Law Students Association, the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Lawyers, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the Hispanic Bar Association and a variety of Asian Bar Associations.

Gender and Leadership. Arent Fox is committed to advancing women into leadership roles. Female partners serve as practice leaders and on the executive committee as well as on the member compensation, associate evaluation, professional development, pro bono and employment committees. Approximately 37 percent of Arent Fox attorneys are women and 25 percent of partners are women, exceeding the national average of 19 percent. In the past 5 years, nearly 50 percent of attorneys promoted to partner firmwide were women. Our women lawyers are also committed to and recognized by the legal and business communities outside of Arent Fox. Our female lawyers have served in leadership roles such as chair of the ABA’s Health Law and Intellectual Property Law Sections, President of the New York State Bar Association, President of the National Association of Women Lawyers and as an executive officer of the Women’s Division of the New York Institute of Credit.

LGBT Initiative. Arent Fox welcomes and supports its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attorneys, staff and clients. Our firmwide LGBT initiative meets regularly to review firm policy, plan professional development events, and discuss pro bono and other charitable-giving opportunities. We partner with numerous LGBT community organizations, including the National LGBT Bar Association and Lambda Law, and our attorneys and staff have participated in numerous cases advancing equality for LGBT people and their families.

Rankings. Vault has consistently ranked Arent Fox in the top 25 for its efforts to increase and support diversity. Vault has recognized Arent Fox among the nation’s top 25 Law Firms for Overall Diversity, as well as Diversity for Minorities, Diversity for Women and Diversity for LGBT.

Arent Fox was named one the 50 Best Law Firms four times by Working Mother magazine, the National Association for Female Executives and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC.

Arent Fox has consistently earned a perfect score of 100 in the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign.