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Diversity: Mayer Brown LLP

 



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Diversity at Mayer Brown LLP


DIVERSITY

[NOTE: This discussion applies to US offices only]
At Mayer Brown, we view the attainment of diversity at all levels of our organization as crucial to, and a natural result of, building a cohesive, successful law firm. We recruit, develop, and promote the highest caliber lawyers, and are committed to providing our lawyers with opportunities to realize their potential regardless of race, religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

As of January 1, 2007, our firm's US diversity profile consisted of the following:

Associates

  • Total Attorney Population: 611
  • Total White Attorneys: 476
  • Total African American Attorneys: 33
  • Total Hispanic Attorneys: 31
  • Total American Indian Attorneys: 1
  • Total Asian Attorneys: 70
  • Total Female Attorneys: 273

Partners

  • Total Attorney Population: 472
  • Total White Attorneys: 449
  • Total African American Attorneys: 7
  • Total Hispanic Attorneys: 5
  • Total American Indian Attorneys: 0
  • Total Asian Attorneys: 11
  • Total Female Attorneys: 77

Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Our Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is made up of 28 partners from across the country. Members include hiring partners from each U.S. office, the firm's chairman, and dedicated diversity initiatives professionals. CDI performs a comprehensive analysis of the firm's diversity progress in the areas of recruiting, retention, and promotion. The committee meets face-to-face twice a year and holds monthly conference calls to ensure we maintain our momentum and progress.

Recruiting. Our ability to recruit diverse legal talent is a key factor in our cohesiveness and continued success. We also have an obligation to the legal profession, so our commitment to diversity reaches beyond our own walls. We create and/or participate in a variety of programs and initiatives to foster greater diversity in the legal profession.

We host a Career Development Program to prepare the next generation of diverse law students for the challenges that they will face. Most of our offices host one or all of the following:

  • A "How to Succeed in Law School" panel, which is designed to prepare first-year diverse law students for the challenges that await them in law school.

  • The Résumé Workshop for first-year diverse students. Our lawyers volunteer to work with attendees and each student receives in-depth feedback on how to enhance his or her resume.

  • A Mock Interview Program helps first-year diverse law students hone the skills they will need. Each student participates in one-on-one, 20-minute interviews with our lawyers and receives constructive criticism to improve interview techniques.

Increasing the pipeline of diverse lawyers is important to us. We offer financial support to the Council on Legal Education Opportunities (CLEO) and support law student affinity groups by providing speakers for their events, hosting workshops, and making financial donations. We also sponsor two special initiatives:

  • The Minority Law Student Leadership Summit is a two-day gathering of affinity group leaders from numerous regional law schools. The summit creates a forum for minority law student leaders to discuss issues unique to their respective law school communities. The summit agenda comprises speeches, round-table discussions, and breakout groups - all chosen and/or designed by the student planning committee.

  • We are the sole financial sponsor of the National Black Law Students Association's Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. Members of the firm's litigation department review briefs and serve as judges in both the preliminary and final rounds of this national competition.

Retention. One factor in our success is our Annual Diversity Retreat, which is a cornerstone of our diversity and inclusion program. Diverse lawyers from London and U.S. offices meet in a host city for a multi-day retreat. The retreat provides our diverse associates with additional opportunities to interact with the firm¿s senior management, network with other diverse lawyers, enhance professional and business development skills, influence firm policy, and discuss the path to partnership. Attendees also interact with clients at some programs.

Our retention efforts address issues faced by female lawyers. We hold regional Women¿s Forums so female lawyers can meet with firm management, network with other women at the firm, and discuss firm policy and issues important to the group.

We continue to seek better ways to accommodate professional and personal interests and obligations for all lawyers. Our part-time program, domestic partner coverage, and employee benefits all provide support for the realities of life for today's lawyers.

Mentoring is an important component of retention. All entry-level diverse associates are assigned a mentor who ensures they have proper guidance and learn how to thrive -- not just survive -- in a large law firm. Members of CDI conduct the Periodic Review Program, which ensures that proper mentor relationships develop within practice groups.

Collaborative Efforts and Sponsorships. We are a national sponsor of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). We participate in the MCCA diversity conferences held in Chicago and New York and partner with the MCCA in hosting diversity roundtables. We also attend the MCCA dinners at which clients are honored for their diversity achievements in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Los Angeles.

The firm is an annual sponsor of the ABA Minority Counsel Program, and a national sponsor of and a frequent contributor to specialty bar associations and related professional organizations that focus on diversity.

We demonstrate our commitment to the GLBT community by supporting legal services organizations working on GLBT issues such as the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and Chicago AIDS Council. The firm is an annual national sponsor of Lambda and in 2005, the Chicago office hosted a Lambda national board meeting that included a reception for Chicago-area GLBT lawyers and Lambda supporters.

Communication. The firm hosts a diversity website at www.mayerbrown.com/Diversity. The Spotlight on Leadership section highlights the awards and achievements of our diverse lawyers. Diversity events are listed on both our diversity website calendar and our firmwide events calendar.

We publish a diverse lawyer directory that features lawyers from U.S. offices, listed by office and practice area, so that members of the legal community who have an interest in our initiatives see evidence of our commitment.

We periodically publish a diversity newsletter to update the firm about ongoing diversity initiatives.

Awards and Achievements. We are pleased to note that the firm recently received the following honors for its commitment to diversity:

  • We ranked 22nd out of the 250 law firms surveyed by the Minority Law Journal's 2006 Diversity Scorecard.

  • We are the 2006 recipient of the MCCA's Mid-West Thomas L. Sager Award. This prestigious diversity award is given to law firms that have demonstrated sustained commitment to improve the hiring, retention, and promotion of minority lawyers.

  • The Puerto Rican National Bar Association has presented us with the 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award.

  • Our New York office is the 2005 recipient of the Justice Frank Torres Award for Commitment to Diversity.