Diversity: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


            Firm Logo for
            Manatt Phelps Phillips LLP

Diversity at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Diversity at Manatt

Manatt considers diversity to be a fundamental component of our institutional identity. As a law firm, we have a professional responsibility, and as individuals, we have a personal responsibility to our respective communities. Incorporating diversity into our culture allows us to enhance the high-quality, creativity and excellence in legal services that our clients have come to expect.

Manatt has invested a significant amount of human and financial resources in our own diversity program. Our philosophy is simple: include women and minority lawyers at all levels of Firm leadership and promote diversity in the legal profession through our support and active involvement in various minority civic and bar organizations.

The mix of our minority and women attorneys has consistently exceeded the national average among the country's top law firms. Our talented mix includes minority and women lawyers serving as heads of offices, members of the firm's Board of Directors and management team, and chairs of some of the firm's most important practice groups.

Inclusive Culture
Our progressive culture allows us to maintain a growing mix of women and minority lawyers, and the results illustrate this commitment.  The American Lawyer ranked our Firm 29th (in the top 12%) on its Diversity Scorecard for the largest 250 law firms in the country for 2009.  Multi Cultural Law Magazine included our Firm on its 2008 lists of the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity, Top 25 Law Firms for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Top 25 Law Firms for Openly Gay/Lesbian Americans.

Despite our progress and diversity success, we can do better.  Our challenge extends far beyond exceeding national averages.  Our plan cannot succeed if we focus only on recruiting minority and women attorneys.  The true challenge and measure for achieving success lies in creating and preserving an inclusive environment where our minority and women lawyers will stay, progress, prosper and succeed.  We have implemented a formal diversity program designed to enhance our recruiting and retention of diverse attorneys through an executive mentoring program intended to cultivate personally and professionally meaningful relationships between our diverse lawyers and our partners. 

Our commitment to diversity exists in a living document – a plan – that is concrete, easy to understand and publicly available.  The plan demonstrates to every law school student, lateral associate candidate, lateral partner candidate, recruiter, existing client, and potential client that we are serious about creating a workplace that mirrors the breadth of the communities where we and our clients live and work.

We focus on the following key areas to accomplish our mission.

Targeted Recruitment Effort
At Manatt, recruiting women and minority attorneys does not end on law school campuses. Our recruiting efforts focus on locating talented women and minority lawyers at all levels. At law schools, we seek out and interview students who share our core values in ways shaped and enhanced by their own experience. Manatt's 2005 Summer Program was the most diverse in the Firm's history. Our nine 2005 Summer Associates included two African-American students, three Hispanic students, one Asian-American student and three Caucasian students. Five of these nine students were women.

Mentoring as a Cornerstone
Minority attorneys who join Manatt as new or lateral hires immediately become the focus of a mentoring program. They are paired with senior attorneys who take an active role in encouraging their career development. Mentors actively work with their protégés, helping them form business plans and involving them in firm-wide marketing and development opportunities. Management holds mentors accountable for their roles and their protégés' progress at the Firm, including reviewing their efforts as part of the evaluation and compensation process.

Access to Opportunity
Success is a matter of talent and opportunity. At Manatt, we believe that the key to retaining talented minority attorneys -- and therefore the key to the success of our diversity efforts -- is providing a distinctive experience that offers clear access to professional accomplishment. We provide women and minority attorneys with important responsibilities and leadership opportunities in client development activities, complex litigation, large transactional matters and high-profile community and civic organizations. We also encourage and support minority and women attorneys who take leadership positions within the firm and outside in the community at large.

Long-Term Commitment
We challenge ourselves to make our young lawyers feel valued, involved and invested in the future of the firm. We know that they will eventually occupy the most important financial, management and executive positions at Manatt. Our professionals thrive in an atmosphere that encourages and supports responsibility, ambition, and entrepreneurship. We offer true opportunity equal to individual commitment to success and advancement. That's the history of opportunity at Manatt, where professionals with talent and drive are rewarded with a nurturing, dynamic and energizing climate.

Promoting Diversity
Promoting diversity in the legal profession requires both an investment of money and time. Our women and minority attorneys are prominently involved and hold leadership positions in some of the most important minority civic and bar organizations in the country including:

  • Asian Americans of Equality
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Center
  • Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association
  • California Association of Black Lawyers
  • California Black Chamber of Commerce
  • California Women's Law Center
  • Chilean Association of Attorneys
  • D.C. Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Inner City Law Center
  • International Human Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of City of New York
  • Korean American Bar Association
  • Korean American Coalition
  • L.A. Conservation Corps
  • La Raza Galeria Posada
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles Urban League
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund Board
  • Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
  • The Association of Women in International Trade
  • Women Lawyers Association
  • Women's Bar Association of District of Columbia
  • Women's Forum of Washington D.C.