Diversity

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Diversity and Inclusion at Dechert

At Dechert, our mission in the area of diversity and inclusion is to:

  • maintain an inclusive environment that cultivates and values different backgrounds and perspectives in order to better serve our employees, clients and communities.
  • harness the power of difference to enrich our relationships with clients by offering diverse teams of talented, productive professionals.
  • create equal and fair access to all aspects of firm life which reflects the diversity of the world in which we practice.
  • uphold our commitment to diversity by being a leader in the field through innovative initiatives and sustained diligence.

The Diversity Committee

Dechert’s Diversity Committee is comprised of partners, associates and administrators from around the globe. The purpose of the committee is to transform the firm’s mission from words into action by focusing on the areas of: recruiting, professional development and community outreach.

While the overall committee concentrates on the global issues impacting diversity and inclusion, there are several related initiatives to support the needs of certain lawyers. Active initiatives include the Global Women’s Initiative and the Asian, Black, Latino and LGBT affinity groups.

In order to make sure the appropriate amount of attention and resources are devoted to our efforts, Dechert has a senior management-level Deputy Chair of Diversity position. The current deputy chair is Hector Gonzalez, a prominent white collar litigation partner.

Dechert also has on staff a Director of Diversity. The director is part of the firm’s Global Talent team and is responsible for strategic oversight and implementation of the diversity efforts of the firm.  

Recruiting

We operate 27 global offices and our more than 900 lawyers speak 36 languages. This international and diverse environment is an excellent place for LGBT, minority and women lawyers to practice law. Dechert lawyers are able to work on headline grabbing work while being part of an organization that values the individual.

An important part of our culture is to hire and groom Dechert talent at the junior level and nurture that talent to partnership. In addition, we also hire lateral talent. We actively recruit diverse lawyers and partners in the lateral market. Our senior diverse laterals bring with them fresh ideas, leadership and enhanced mentorship. Their presence greatly enhances our overall diversity efforts and provides our junior associates with an additional source of information and support.

Professional Development

Dechert has a robust professional development program that works closely with the Diversity Committee and the affinity groups to ensure that our associates get the highest levels of training, feedback and support as they build their careers here.

The firm acknowledges that diverse lawyers may face unique challenges and our diversity efforts intend to provide an additional layer of support. The committee and affinity groups make sure that there are open lines of communication to the firm leadership, helpful mentorship relationships and business development opportunities. Our recent work includes:

  • engaging a top diversity consultant to conduct a global assessment of all lawyers to understand their views of the firm which subsequently became the impetus to create a strategic plan detailing concrete actions to further diversity at the firm.
  • increasing our emphasis on work/life balance leading to a significant change in the firm’s paid family leave policy. The firm increased paid leave for U.S. lawyers from 12 weeks to an industry-high 18 weeks, and permits an additional eight weeks of unpaid leave.
  • adopting 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 benefit programs extend to domestic partners. 
  • hosting cultural competence seminars to increase the level of comfort and dialogue around the firm, including in our non-U.S. offices.

For more information regarding specific women’s initiatives, visit our Global Women's Initiative page.

Community Outreach

For years, Dechert lawyers have been involved in the legal community working on projects aimed at improving diversity and promoting its importance. In addition to pro bono matters, many of our lawyers have held and continue to hold significant roles in local bar organizations and other community groups concerned with diversity issues.

  • Firm lawyers crafted and submitted two amicus briefs in support of Edith Windsor and marriage equality as part of the historic U.S Supreme Court DOMA decisions. A group of Dechert lawyers, including associates, also travelled to Washington, D.C. to listen to the arguments in person.
  • We achieved a perfect score of 100 in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the second consecutive year, and we were named one of the ‘Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2013.
  • We are an active sponsor of the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY). Most recently, our lawyers participated in a workshop designed to help prepare students for the 2013 interview season. Students learned effective interviewing skills specific to the legal profession while providing students with the opportunity to practice interviewing with, and receiving feedback from practicing lawyers.
  • We are a founding member of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG) and a member of The Boston Lawyers Group (BLG).
  • We are a signatory to:

Interested in a career at Dechert? Visit our Careers page.


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