Dechert Diversity Initiative Honored for Innovation by Profiles in Diversity Journal

November 08, 2018

Dechert’s establishment of a military affinity group has been recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal in its International Innovation in Diversity Awards 2018. The contest honors novel initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The affinity group, Dechert Heroes, was created to address issues important to active-duty service members and military veterans and their families. Established by Dechert lawyers and Satra Sampson-Arokium, director of diversity and inclusion, it was set up in the belief that nurturing diverse viewpoints and attracting people from varied backgrounds helps foster a high-performance culture.

“We wanted to speak to all those with strong touchpoints with the armed forces—from veterans and the children of veterans to those with spouses or children in the military,” said Krystyna Blakeslee, a real-estate finance partner and former Marine Corps sergeant, who now leads the group. 

Members include high-profile partners such Hector Gonzalez, deputy chair of diversity and inclusion, who is admitted to appear before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and Washington, D.C. litigator Christina Sarchio, who helped win agreements from more than 30 state authorities allowing lawyers married to members of the armed forces to practice law while temporarily resident. Members have also signed up in London and Dublin.

Dechert Heroes’ primary focus will be external. The firm has long provided pro bono representation to veterans, helping with issues ranging from disability benefits and discharge upgrades to military sexual trauma; the group plans to encourage more such representations. It has been in contact with Elite Meet, an outfit that helps former Special Forces operatives find their place in the civilian world, and will also look at ways to assist client companies with their own veterans’ groups.

Winners will be profiled in the November 2018 edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal.

About Dechert

Dechert is a leading global law firm with 27 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.