This month we awarded the 2014 Legal Department’s Dell Legal Diversity Award to Alston & Bird. This is our third year for this award, which we present annually to a law firm that represents Dell in the U.S. and best exemplifies Dell’s focus on diversity. We had a very impressive group of finalists this year but Alston & Bird’s commitment to diversity in the legal profession and its innovative programs gave them the edge.
"It is our duty to achieve our highest selves, and thus serve as beacons for our peers, helping them reach their own higher selves. This holds true throughout Alston & Bird, at all levels, where the importance of our individuality—our diversity—is fostered and celebrated," said John L. Latham, diversity partner at Alston & Bird.
Significantly, Alston & Bird is known within our department for providing diverse representation and leadership on Dell legal matters and for recognizing and celebrating diversity in the firm’s culture. They also have a wealth of formalized and well thought-out programs and initiatives, from retention and promotion to high school and community pipeline programs. Some of the aspects of the firm’s overall diversity initiatives that we found particularly noteworthy are the following:
- Member firm of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a firm-wide Diversity Steering Committee and Diversity Committees in each office.
- The Practice Group Diversity Development Initiative, which gives each attorney individual budget to spend on diversity-related events.
- Diversity mentors, under which attorneys in the firm are paired with mentors who are actively involved in the attorney’s professional development. This is supplemented by the Diversity Committee Liaison Program, which pairs diverse attorneys with Diversity Committee members.
- A culture of inclusiveness, with required diversity awareness education programs and employee networking groups for women, LGBT and ethnic minorities.
- The Women’s Initiative, a networking and career-building, and business development program with its own budget as well as other programs specifically designed to give women at the firm strong female role models and business opportunities.
- The Alternative Career Path Policy, a formalized program providing flexibility to women and other attorneys while keeping opportunities for advancement intact.
- Wide representation in leadership roles at the national, state and local level in diversity-related organizations and diverse bar associations.
- Targeted recruitment at and sponsorship of the nation’s leading diverse job fairs and minority law student events – including ones for LGBT and Law Students with Disabilities – clerkship programs for diverse 1Ls, and high school pipeline programs.
- The summer program kicks off with a visit to the Martin Luther King memorial in Atlanta, which serves as a meaningful introduction to the firm’s emphasis on diversity.
- One of only 6 law firms in “Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For,” 15 years in a row.
- One of “Best Places to Work for LBGT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign.
We are extremely pleased to add Alston & Bird to the list of our past Diversity Award winners, Hogan Lovells and Farella Braun + Martel. While we continue to drive diversity initiatives within our own ranks, we take pride in working with our external law firms to help advance diversity initiatives in the broader community.
Please help me in congratulating Alston & Bird on this impressive achievement.