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.
Diversity is indispensible in the firm’s mission to provide first-rate legal work and exceptional service. As one of the most diverse general practice law firms in the country, Arent Fox has maintained a commitment to the administration of justice stretching back 70 years. It is from this perspective that the firm knows encouraging diversity produces a variety of perspectives. It leads to richer thinking. Invites more creative solutions. Engenders better teamwork. Results in greater productivity. And makes relationships with our clients even stronger.
Arent Fox is a great firm for women and minorities because of policies that embody a culture of inclusion. Values of equality and respect serve as a foundation for the partnership at Arent Fox, and as building blocks to promoting diversity throughout the firm.
Arent Fox emphasizes the development of strong best practices, innovative rules, and flexible benefits that serve to underscore a wider commitment to fostering diversity and the advancement of women and minorities into leadership positions, both at the firm and in the broader legal and business communities. As a result of the partnership's belief that excellence and diversity go hand in hand, the firm actively promotes initiatives as a business strategy that are spearheaded by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Since 2005, Arent Fox’s chairman has served as the head of the Diversity Committee and worked to ensure that adequate resources are directed to the training, mentoring, coaching, and development of minorities.
The primary goals of the Diversity Committee are to recruit, retain, and promote women, lawyers of color, and LGBT attorneys. As a result of this philosophy, female and minority partners are leaders of several of the firm’s largest practice groups and serve on the Executive, Partner Compensation, Associate Evaluation, Professional Development, Pro Bono, and Employment committees.
In 2007, the firm’s Diversity Committee launched the Women’s Leadership Development Initiative and placed considerable emphasis on the mentoring and training of female lawyers to facilitate their professional development and success at the firm. The Initiative is co-chaired by Complex Litigation partner Barbara Wahl and Corporate & Securities partner Deborah Froling, who is the president of the National Association of Women Lawyers.
In addition, the Arent Fox Diversity Scholarship Program was founded in 2006 in an effort to attract top lawyers from diverse backgrounds. Annually, three awards — in the amount of $15,000 each in financial support — go to three minority students who demonstrate a commitment to practicing law at the highest level.
Since 2007, Arent Fox has been named one of the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers; recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of the “Top 50 Best Companies to Work for in Greater Washington, DC”; consistently ranked by Vault as a leading law firm for diversity; and received praise from the Human Right Campaign as one of the “Best Places to Work.”
Beyond policies, the partnership at Arent Fox believes it is vital to maintain an environment where racial and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, and LGBT individuals can work in an atmosphere of inclusion, support, and respect. Because being “Smart in your World” requires a commitment to diversity that is worthy of the 21st century.