Wachtell Lipton is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment that supports the recruitment, retention and advancement of women and men of all backgrounds at all levels of the firm. We are committed to recruiting a diverse and talented body of lawyers and administrative staff considering diversity in its broadest form.
Wachtell Lipton is an original signatory to the New York City Bar's Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention. We were one of the first New York City law firms to offer health benefits to domestic partners.
Wachtell Lipton has a Diversity Committee that, along with the manager of recruiting and diversity, provides guidance and recommendations on policies, procedures and specific action steps to meet our objectives with regard to diversity and inclusion.
The mission of the Diversity Committee is:
- to oversee the firm's diversity enhancing programs, including those with respect to recruitment, retention and promotion;
- to oversee policies mandating nondiscrimination and mutual respect throughout the firm;
- to oversee the firm's activities with respect to diversity training;
- to oversee and monitor implementation of the firm's commitments as a signatory to the New York City Bar's Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority Representation and the New York City Bar's Statement of Diversity Principles, including those with respect to:
- hiring entry-level classes that substantially reflect the diversity of graduating law students;
- achieving a level of diversity throughout a class's progression that is at least as great as when the class was first hired;
- achieving representative diversity in promotions, including counsel and partner; and
- achieving leadership positions throughout the firm that reflect the diversity among senior legal professionals.
Diversity Initiatives and Programs
We have adopted a written policy for Alternative Work Arrangements in recognition that, while our associates and counsel are highly committed to the practice of law, special circumstances may arise in their lives that may make it necessary or appropriate for them to seek work arrangements that are more flexible than the traditional work schedule.
For more than ten years, we have administered a 1L Summer Associate Diversity Program, which has produced a number of full-time associate hires.
Since 2009, we have hosted a series of heritage month recognition presentations at the firm. We have been fortunate to welcome a former director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, presidents and executive directors of a number of nationally recognized public interest organizations, a circuit court judge and the general counsel of a Fortune 100 company, among others.
Wachtell Lipton has been an active participant in various school-sponsored minority job fairs. We are also sponsors of the Lavender Law Career Fair. Throughout the year, we sponsor numerous student-affinity group activities, panels and conferences at various schools.
We have been a partner firm in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Corporate Law Intern Program since 2007. A number of these summer interns have gone on to become full-time associates. We also participate in and are benefactors for the Prep for Prep Internship Program and the Legal Outreach Summer Internship Program. The Legal Outreach Program provides attorneys with the opportunity to teach and mentor middle-school students and judge mock negotiation and oral argument exercises.
We were one of five pilot firms that participated in the NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program in 2009 and have continued and expanded our involvement in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Attorneys volunteer to teach law-related topics in high school history and civics classes in New York City public high schools, work with students on mock cases, and host a one-day conference at the firm at the end of the program.
We actively encourage and support affinity group meetings among our attorneys. While informal in nature, these forums have proven to be a good way for diverse attorneys to get together to discuss shared concerns and work toward a common goal. Currently, we have groups that represent our women, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and LGBT attorneys.
We are members of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and actively participate on its Pipeline Committee.
For the past four years, we have received a 100 percent rating on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) as surveyed by the Human Rights Campaign.
For the past five years, we have been listed on the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity as surveyed by Multicultural Law Magazine.