Manatt considers diversity to be a fundamental component of our institutional identity. As a law firm, we have a professional responsibility, and as individuals, we have a personal responsibility to our respective communities. Incorporating diversity into our culture allows us to enhance the high-quality, creativity and excellence in legal services that our clients have come to expect.
Manatt has invested a significant amount of human and financial resources in our own diversity program. Our philosophy is simple: include women and minority lawyers at all levels of firm leadership and promote diversity in the legal profession through our support and active involvement in various minority civic and bar organizations.
The mix of our minority and women attorneys has consistently exceeded the national average among the country's top law firms. Our talented mix includes minority and women lawyers serving as heads of offices, members of the firm's Board of Directors and management team, and chairs of some of the firm's most important practice groups.
Our progressive culture allows us to maintain a growing mix of women and minority lawyers, and the results illustrate this commitment. The American Lawyer ranked our firm 29th (in the top 13%) on its Diversity Scorecard for the largest 220 law firms in the country for 2015. In 2014, we were awarded the California Bar Foundation's first-ever Leading Change Diversity Award, which recognized our commitment to diversifying the legal profession. Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers have also named our firm, for the seventh consecutive year, one of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women in the nation, and we were once again awarded the Women in Law Empowerment Forum's Gold Standard Certification, making Manatt one of 45 firms to receive national certification in 2015. We also earned a rating of 90% in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2015 Corporate Equality Index, an annual survey measuring major U.S. employers' treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees and consumers.
Targeted Recruitment Effort
At Manatt, recruiting women and minority attorneys does not end on law school campuses. Our recruiting efforts focus on locating talented women and minority lawyers at all levels. At law schools, we seek out and interview students who share our core values in ways shaped and enhanced by their own experience. Manatt's summer associate classes reflect the diversity of our communities.
Mentoring as a Cornerstone
Minority attorneys who join Manatt as new or lateral hires immediately become the focus of a mentoring program. They are paired with senior attorneys who take an active role in encouraging their career development. Mentors actively work with their protégés, helping them form business plans and involving them in firm-wide marketing and development opportunities. Management holds mentors accountable for their roles and their protégés' progress at the firm, including reviewing their efforts as part of the evaluation and compensation process.
Access to Opportunity
Success is a matter of talent and opportunity. At Manatt, we believe that the key to retaining talented minority attorneys—and therefore the key to the success of our diversity efforts—is providing a distinctive experience that offers clear access to professional accomplishment. We provide women and minority attorneys with important responsibilities and leadership opportunities in client development activities, complex litigation, large transactional matters and high-profile community and civic organizations. We also encourage and support minority and women attorneys who take leadership positions within the firm and outside in the community at large.
We challenge ourselves to make our young lawyers feel valued, involved and invested in the future of the firm. We know that they will eventually occupy the most important financial, management and executive positions at Manatt. Our professionals thrive in an atmosphere that encourages and supports responsibility, ambition and entrepreneurship. We offer true opportunity equal to individual commitment to success and advancement. That's the history of opportunity at Manatt, where professionals with talent and drive are rewarded with a nurturing, dynamic and energizing climate.
Promoting diversity in the legal profession requires both an investment of money and time. Our women and minority attorneys are prominently involved and hold leadership positions in some of the most important minority civic and bar organizations in the country including:
Manatt's Chair of the Diversity Committee
Michelle A. Cooke