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Global Women's Initiative

At Dechert, we empower women to succeed by fostering an environment that provides opportunities for their development, advancement and leadership within the firm.

Members of Dechert’s Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) meet regularly with firm leadership to identify and implement initiatives that promote opportunities for women to advance and lead throughout the firm. Individual offices provide additional formal and informal support for women lawyers.

Among Dechert’s initiatives that focus on women are formal and informal mentoring, development training, meetings and events for summer associates, internal and external networking, special interest events, and leadership training. The GWI launched the Sponsorship and Sustained Support Program for senior women associates to help navigate the path to partnership. Local GWI Chapters host welcome receptions for new women associates each year.  The GWI also hosts business and legal community events, including women’s networking events for International Women’s Day.

We encourage women to participate in professional groups such as the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Woman Advocate Committee of the American Bar Association. 

Mentoring, Development and Leadership

Dechert has formal firm-wide and practice group mentoring programs for women, as well as opportunities such as conferences, presentations, meetings and discussions on topics of particular interest to women.

Our Critical Skills training program focuses on helping all of our lawyers to develop skills for professional success. We complement this program with additional, tailored training for women on topics such as communication, management, leadership and business development.

The Sponsorship and Sustained Support program focuses on sponsorship and career development and helps women successfully navigate the path to partnership. The program provides targeted individual and small group support, which includes general information sessions, skill-level appropriate training, individualized attention from Dechert partners, access to consultants and advisers, and networking opportunities with other program participants and Dechert partners.

Four female partners currently serve on the firm’s 14-member Policy Committee (the highest governing committee of the firm). Women also serve as practice group leaders, office managing partners, and committee leaders. Women are robustly represented on our key Diversity, Ethics, Hiring, Pro Bono and Strategic Planning committees. We support women partners with internal leadership training initiatives.

Networking and Other Events

The firm regularly hosts external and internal networking receptions, seminars, programs, meetings, and social events – such as lunches, museum tours and wine tastings – for women lawyers, summer associates, clients and alumnae.  Additionally, we sponsor women lawyers who wish to attend women’s networking events hosted by outside groups. 

Recruiting

Women attorneys participate in and help enhance the firm’s recruiting efforts through speaking engagements hosted by law school women’s groups, bar associations and student organizations. 

Community Support

Dechert provides pro bono legal services to women who cannot afford legal counsel. We represent women in domestic violence cases, assist them with petitions made under the Violence Against Women Act and, with partner organizations like The Advocates for Human Rights, work to improve domestic violence laws in countries around the world. We regularly staff clinics, including those organized by the New York City Family Court Legal Services Project, that counsel women on a range of family law, homelessness and human trafficking issues.

Our London lawyers are led a group of 37 women lawyers across firms to provide pro bono advice through the Circle and Oxfam on the implementation of the African Union Women Protocol in African countries. The group is currently working with Kenya as a pilot and expects to expand the program to all other 45 signatories of the Maputo Protocol. We also support Inspiring Girls International, an organization that is dedicated to raising the aspirations of young girls around the world by connecting them with women role models.
 

To learn more about our Global Women’s Initiative, please contact:

Amanda DeBusk, Partner
Co-chair, Global Women’s Initiative
+1 202 261 3452
amanda.debusk@dechert.com

Sabina Comis, Partner
Co-chair, Global Women’s Initiative
+33 1 57 57 81 66
sabina.comis@dechert.com

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