Day Pitney LLP
Diversity is a core firm value at Day Pitney. We embrace diversity because we understand that the input of professionals with varying perspectives invites innovation and creativity, which, in turn, better equips us to serve our clients. We are dedicated to maintaining our focus to achieve meaningful and lasting results. We are proud of what we have achieved so far, but realize that there is still much to do. We remain committed to supporting diversity within our firm and in the communities in which we practice.
Here is an overview of some of our more recent diversity milestones:
- In April, Day Pitney LLP and Gray Haile LLP announced a strategic alliance that will enable each firm to expand its client base and provide clients with a team of diverse lawyers with sophisticated business law experience. Gray Haile, which was formed in 2006, is a boutique, minority-owned transactional law firm based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures, corporate financing transactions, private security placements, and venture capital. The firm traces its origin to an effort to build a top-flight corporate law practice comprised of experienced attorneys who had practiced at some of the country's premier law firms. The strategic alliance is an innovative way to accomplish two important goals for law firms: (i) attaining manageable growth and (ii) meeting the expectations of corporate clients who are emphasizing the need for law firms to increase the retention and promotion of minorities.
- Last January, our Executive Committee approved and implemented the position of Director of Professional Development, Diversity & Legal Recruiting. Our Director is charged with overseeing the firm's diversity efforts. She is an active member of the Day Pitney Diversity Committee, works closely with the Professional Recruitment Committee to help increase diversity through recruitment, oversees the professional development of all firm attorneys, helps to encourage dialogue between firm leadership and minority attorneys, and regularly represents Day Pitney at various diversity conferences and functions.
- Our Professional Recruitment Committee and our Diversity Committee have collaborated closely to increase the number of law students and minority attorneys in our first-year and summer classes. To that end, we participate in the Rutgers-Newark/ Minority Student Program and the University of Connecticut School of Law Cultural Diversity Initiative. We have also attended several minority job fairs, including the Philadelphia Area Minority Job Fair, the Vault/MCCA Minority Job Fair, the BLSA New York City Job Fair, and the Hispanic Bar Association Job Fair. We have sponsored several resume writing and interview skills workshops for minority law students at the University of Connecticut School of Law, Boston area law schools, and Howard University Law School. We are pleased to report that minority law students will comprise 38% of our 2007 summer class, and minority lawyers comprised 36% of our 2007 fall associate class, firm-wide.
- In September 2006, the Day Pitney Foundation announced the establishment of the Day Pitney Foundation Diversity Scholarship at Fordham University Law School. The Foundation will fund two $10,000 Day Pitney Foundation Diversity Scholarships each year to first- or second-year law students who demonstrate financial need and academic merit and who come from groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession. The first Day Pitney Foundation Diversity Scholarships were awarded for the 2006-2007 academic year.
- Day Pitney is a signatory to the New York City Bar Association's Statement of Diversity Principles (the "Statement"), which is a collaborative effort of some of the largest firms in the country to support and strengthen the commitment to the hiring, retention, promotion, and leadership of minority attorneys. As a signatory, Day Pitney joins more than 110 other law firms and government and corporate legal departments who have committed to offering periodic diversity training and to tracking and reporting recruitment, attrition, and promotion data to the New York City Bar.
- In March 2006, the National Association for Law Placement Diversity Advancement Committee cited the former Day, Berry & Howard minority mentoring program, now in place at Day Pitney, as a "best practice" in its Diversity Best Practices Guide. Initiated in 2002, each non-partner minority attorney who "opts in" to the program is assigned an Executive Committee mentor. Executive Committee mentors ensure that minority attorneys have access to and an opportunity for guidance from firm leaders. The Day Pitney minority mentoring program simultaneously empowers Day Pitney attorneys of color and provides direct feedback to our Executive Committee about firm diversity. The Executive Committee also meets quarterly with all minority attorneys, both partners and non-partners, to discuss an agenda of issues created by the non-partner minority attorneys.
- Day Pitney's Women Working Together ("WWT"®) sponsors an annual Leadership Luncheon and Panel Discussion. This year's panel discussion featured "Women Business Owners and Founders." The panelists were three women business owners who have experienced great success starting their own companies. The Luncheon also provides an opportunity to network with other women business leaders.
- WWT® also hosted a reception for women students attending nearby law schools to provide an opportunity for these students to meet and talk with women practitioners on an informal basis. The reception included a panel discussion, where women attorneys at the firm answered questions and provided comments to law students about practicing law as a woman, and specifically about being a women attorney at Day Pitney.
We are also proud of our continued internal work and broader community efforts to support diversity. Many recent articles feature discussions of Day Pitney diversity or are authored by Day Pitney professionals, and our Day Pitney attorneys also often serve as panelists and presenters on the topic of diversity.
The firm's diversity efforts have not gone unnoticed. In March, 2006, for the second year in a row, our legacy firm, Day, Berry & Howard (DBH) was named one of the top 100 law firms for diversity by Multicultural Law magazine. DBH ranked number 78 for diversity overall, and number 34 for associates, generally. Similarly, on February 3, 2007, the Urban League of Greater Hartford, Inc. publicly acknowledged the firm as an "Urban Sponsor" at its 2007 Black History Award Celebration. We are very proud that our Co-Managing Partner, Jim Sicilian, received an award for his "dedication and contribution in promoting understanding and respect in our diverse society" at the April 12, 2007 Human Relations Award Banquet of the National Conference for Community and Justice.
Day Pitney is committed to fostering an inclusive environment for people of diverse backgrounds at all levels. We continue to strive to provide challenging opportunities, meaningful guidance, and positive incentives to assist our professionals in achieving their greatest potential. In doing so, our goal is ultimately to create advantages out of our differences and to achieve richer, broader goals.
For more information about diversity, please contact Edgardo Ramos, Chair of the Diversity Committee.