Diversity is important to Dechert, beginning with a commitment to our people and extending to the clients and communities we serve. We recognize the benefits that greater diversity in ethnicity, gender, culture, and life experience can provide to both our clients and ourselves. |
Understanding a Diverse World
We seek opportunities to enrich our relationships with clients by offering a diverse team of talented professionals. We also believe that lawyers and staff of different backgrounds working together can help us get better results. We strive for an inclusive environment that cultivates fresh perspectives and rich, rewarding experiences.
The Diversity Committee
Dechert’s firmwide Diversity Committee is focused on translating our commitment to diversity into an action plan. It accomplishes its objectives by developing new initiatives in the areas of leadership, recruiting, retention, professional development, and community outreach, and by increasing the level of cooperation between it and the firm management, including the partners and administrators who are charged with lawyer hiring and development.
- Identifies diversity issues in need of attention from the partnership;
- Suggests solutions to diversity-related problems and assists firm management in implementing solutions;
- Assists partners whose clients have questions about diversity issues; and
- Serves as a resource for those at the firm who are directly affected by diversity concerns or interested in learning more about diversity.
Expanding Leadership Roles
Over the years, women and minority attorneys have taken an active role in firm governance. Women and minority partners have been elected to our Policy Committee, the firm's main governing body; manage departments and practice groups; and serve on important committees that direct our hiring, pro bono, ethics, and diversity programs. Women and minority associates have been appointed to various firm committees where they gain leadership experience and make significant contributions to further develop and enhance the firm's hiring and associate programs.
Dechert’s diversity and hiring committees work together to ensure that lawyers from diverse backgrounds are involved in all aspects of the recruiting process. This extends to the firm’s participation in minority outreach events designed to broaden the firm’s pool of women and minority applicants and increase the number of those applicants who receive offers from our firm.
The following are examples of our minority recruiting outreach and support activities:
- Vault/Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) Legal Diversity Job Fair (sponsorship)
- BLSA Mid-Atlantic Job Fair
- BLSA Northeast Job Fair
- Philadelphia Area Minority Job Fair
- BLSA Paul Robeson Gala and Alumni Dinner at Columbia University School of Law (sponsorship)
- BLSA Annual Spring Conference at Harvard Law School
- BLSA Annual Sadie Alexander Commemorative Conference at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (sponsorship)
- BLSA reception at Howard University
- WLSA luncheon at Cornell University Law School (sponsorship)
- WLSA luncheon series at Duke University School of Law (sponsorship)
- Philadelphia First Year Minority Law Students Reception
- Diversity Networking Reception at Washington Area Legal Recruiters and Administrators Association (WALRAA)
- The African-American Law and Policy Report Diversity Dinner at University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (sponsorship)
- Villanova Law Minority Alumni Association workshop (sponsorship)
- Sponsored advertising for Asian Pacific American Law Student Association
Retaining and Promoting
Our diversity committee works closely with minority and women lawyers—individually and in smaller groups—to gather information about their experiences and to provide direct support as they work to establish professional networks for themselves and meaningful careers at the firm. We encourage ongoing dialogue among partners and diverse associates by sponsoring events that stimulate knowledge-sharing and networking. For example, we have launched a series of lunch and breakfast programs to be held at least quarterly for women partners and associates to increase their opportunities for interaction.
The firm has adopted formal policies permitting partners, counsel, and associates—both men and women—to work part-time while raising children or taking care of other family members. These benefits programs extend to domestic partners. Our firm has elected part-time associates to the rank of partner, and these partners are active contributors to the life of the firm.
Diversity and Community Involvement
For years, Dechert attorneys have been involved in initiatives in the legal community aimed at improving diversity. Many of our attorneys have held and continue to hold significant roles in local bar organizations and other community groups concerned with diversity issues.
The following examples demonstrate our leadership and involvement in diversity issues:
- The firm is among the signatories of official statements sponsored by bar associations in Philadelphia and New York in support of increasing the representation of women and minorities in the legal community.
- The firm is a founding member of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG), which is dedicated to increasing diversity in Philadelphia area law firms and corporate law offices. A Dechert partner chairs the PDLG Board, and a retired Dechert partner has run PDLG's first-year law student placement program since its inception.
- The firm is a member of The Boston Lawyers Group, a consortium of more than 30 Boston law firms and legal organizations committed to building a more diverse and responsible legal community.
- The firm has sponsored a Diversity Fellowship at the newly established Drexel University College of Law in Philadelphia. As a sponsor, Dechert pledges one six-month internship plus a yearly stipend for all three years to a Drexel law student with a background that is underrepresented in the Philadelphia legal community.
Learn more about Diversity at Dechert