The world is growing more diverse, and our ability to thrive as a firm requires our unequivocal embrace of all backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities.
We are putting firm resources—both human and financial—towards the goal of multiplying the diversity of our professionals. Through diversity we are able to approach our client’s challenges with a wider range of perspective. This brings out the best in everybody—more collaboration, more productive discussions, more creative ideas, and, ultimately, better solutions.
We see the truth of this in our work product, every day. We are convinced that diversity reaps dividends—that its ROI, if not always measurable, is as essential as it is gratifying. Diversity, is not just about fairness. It’s also good business.
While the recruitment of talented minorities and women at all levels is recognized as crucial to the firm’s future, an equal priority is retaining and supporting those who have joined the firm. Investing in the on-going professional and business development of our diverse attorneys is a major focus for the firm.
We actively support a range of affinity groups and other organizations that bring diverse attorneys together with their legal and professional counterparts. We encourage and support our diverse attorneys as they achieve leadership roles in diversity-focused organizations to help them achieve their professional and personal goals, gain leadership experience and develop professional relationships. These skills can help our associates excel at Manatt and provide the firm’s next generation of leaders.
The Executive Team of our Diversity Committee includes members of the firm’s Associate Review Committee, practice group chairs, and other senior attorneys who watch over the professional progress of diverse associates. This adds an extra safety net to assure that career paths remain open and that no attorney drops off the radar of firm management.
It is no secret that the legal profession lags behind many industries—including those of its clients—in recruiting, promoting, and retaining diverse attorneys. Leaders at large corporations are increasingly diverse, and they insist on no less from their outside legal teams. Some have specific diversity objectives that apply to all their vendors, including their law firms.
While Manatt has been recognized for its on-going diversity efforts, we are aligned with our clients’ call to do more.
We continue to evaluate what works and what works better both to increase diversity at the firm, and further diversity efforts within legal and professional communities. We are shifting more resources to our local offices, helping each office identify its own opportunities for diversity—focused events, leadership and sponsorships. At the same time, we are working to find ways to better promote interconnectivity among the offices with firm-wide collaboration on diversity.
Our open-minded perspective to try new approaches and examine previous programs is what will help us progress in the long-term goals of promoting diversity and further elevating our client services.
Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer