Dell Legal awarded its first Diversity Award five years ago and every year since then we have been extremely impressed at the improvements our outside counsel have made in embracing and encouraging diversity. During our annual award selection process we learn about the stellar work being done by law firms that value diversity as highly as Dell. While the hard work to narrow the field to a list of finalists is difficult, it is also inspiring to hear about all of their efforts.
This year Dell is pleased to name three law firms as finalists for our Diversity Award. While I congratulate every firm that was considered for the award, the efforts taken by these three firms are worthy of specific commendation. Our three finalists this year are Hogan Lovells, Sidley Austin, and Baker Botts. All three firms have diverse members in both senior and associate levels, as well as diverse representation for their lawyers working on Dell matters. Their efforts – a few highlights below – not only contribute to the success of their firms but to the continued accomplishments and inclusiveness of the legal profession.
- Hogan Lovells surveyed their industry and saw that women were underrepresented in legal management positions. They launched an initiative to have at least 30 percent of their management roles be filled by women and gave themselves a number of years to reach this goal. That goal was surpassed two years ahead of schedule.
- Sidley Austin not only recruits from diverse law schools but it also offers programs to assist individuals just starting their legal journeys. The firm supports prelaw scholars with LSAT preparation classes, offers assistance for law school application fees, introduces new students to law school curriculum and provides networking opportunities to help build a diverse workforce from the start of law school.
- Baker Botts instituted two new initiatives in the last year to help improve diverse representation within their firm. First, they implemented a blind review process for summer associate writing assignments to prevent unconscious bias for candidates; and second, they piloted a diverse associate sponsorship program to pair minority associates with influential partners for exposure via work on substantial projects.
This is but a small sampling of the work being done by our three Dell Legal Diversity Award finalists and all other candidates. We congratulate these firms on being named finalists and look forward to naming the winner soon.