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
• 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.
We operate 27 global offices and our more than 900 lawyers speak 40+ 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.
Dechert has a robust professional development program that works closely with the Diversity Committee and our 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.
• Emphasizing work/life balance leading to a significant change in
the firm’s paid family leave policy. Dechert offers 18 weeks paid
leave for U.S. lawyers, and permits an additional eight weeks of
• 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.
For years, Dechert lawyers have been involved in the legal community working on pro bono projects aimed at improving diversity and promoting its importance. Recent matters include:
• Bringing litigation in eight U.S. states challenging overly restrictive
voter registration laws that disproportionately affect minorities.
Currently the firm has five active cases in Kansas, Nevada,
South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
• Helping immigrant women and girls find stability in the United
States through VAWA petitions, U-Visas and the Special
Immigrant Juvenile Status.
• Representing victims of human trafficking — primarily the domestic
workers of foreign diplomats — find immigration relief and
• Working with human rights organizations to help create NGO
toolkits for those advocating on behalf of disabled women.
• Assisting victims of domestic violence in securing restraining
orders against their abusers.
• Volunteering regularly at legal clinics in London, Philadelphia,
San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to provide pro bono advice
to homeless men and women.
• Submitting two amicus briefs in support of Edith Windsor and
marriage equality as part of the historic U.S Supreme Court
• Fighting for same-sex couples to receive equal benefits from
the U.S. Social Security Administration following the fall
of the Defense of Marriage Act.
• Representing LGBT asylum seekers fleeing their home
countries due to persecution based on sexual orientation.
• Representing Dot Gay LLC in an international arbitration against
the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN) to secure the rights to operate the registry for the
.gay top level domain - a domain for the benefit of the
LGBT community, run by the community.
• Providing free corporate advice for organizations that support
diversity, such as the Philadelphia Area Diversity Job Fair and
Diversity in Arts and Nations for Cultural Education (DANCE).
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.
• We achieved a perfect score of 100 in the Corporate Equality
Index (CEI) and were named one of the ‘Best Places to
Work for LGBT Equality’ by the Human Rights
Campaign Foundation each year since 2012.
• We are an active sponsor of the Korean American Lawyers
Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY).
• 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 The Statement of Goals for Increasing
Minority Representation and Retention and The Call to Action
for the Retention and Promotion of Women Attorneys adopted
by the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Read our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.
Interested in a career at Dechert? Visit our Careers page.