Our Diversity & Inclusion

We focus on the pipeline for diverse candidates as early as possible and work with schools and other organizations to build a diverse “pipeline” of students interested in the legal profession.

Law Schools

In another effort to personally invest in the pipeline, we offer two $15,000 diversity scholarships to rising 2L law students that are offered in conjunction with a summer associate position with law schools across the country. Our Diversity Scholarship program enhances the diverse talent pipeline by supporting minority first-year law students who have demonstrated strong academic achievement and a commitment to community service. In 2020, the two recipients were students at Harvard who will join the firm as associates in fall 2021. We recently hired a graduate who had participated in the program.

Additionally, each of our offices sponsor and partner with local schools and pipeline programs that support diverse future lawyers. Another of our key initiatives enabling us to support the pipeline of diverse lawyers is our involvement with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). We currently are participating in all three of LCLD’s programs: the 1L LCLD Scholars Program, in which firms can partner with companies to support a diverse 1L in their summer class; the Pathfinders Program, which is geared towards advancing and supporting diverse mid-level associates; and the Fellows Program, which connects diverse junior partners with leaders at companies and provides opportunities for business development and professional growth. 

The firm hosted Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) fellows in each US office (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC) in summer 2021 and has participated in the SEO Program since 2017. SEO Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and complete a paid internship in a top law firm prior to their first year of law school. We also support the American Bar Association (ABA) Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, among others.

The firm sponsors various diversity-related programs and events at law schools around the United States, such as the American Bar Association (ABA) Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, among others.  Our lawyers regularly visit law school campuses, building relationships with student associations, speaking at student events and hosting seminars and receptions for student associations, such as women law student organizations and other diverse groups.

We are a major sponsor of Chicago Scholars “High 5 Campaign.” Chicago Scholars is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged youth in Chicago attend college or other post-secondary education. Through the "High 5 Campaign," we support five college-bound students and annually volunteer in the New Scholar Selection Day event.. 

High Schools and Elementary Schools

The firm continues to work with the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and four other law firms on a pipeline program that introduces grammar school children to the field of law through programming, mentorship and eventually scholarships.

We have partnerships with several Chicago-area high schools and Urban Alliance.  Our Washington, DC office lawyers work with the Thurgood Marshall Academy, the District’s first law-themed public charter high school.  In this capacity, volunteer lawyers run workshops on constitutional law topics, teach students important legal concepts, help them develop analytic skills and also help students see how they can participate in civic life.  Our New York City office sponsors the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program.

June 2019

From left:  Diversity Scholar Divine Collins, Grant Folland Scholar Jocelyn Sitton, Diversity Scholar Sarah Soleiman, dinner guest speaker Tony West, Diversity Scholars Charles Mahone II and Kiana Outen, and Partner Katya Jestin at the 18th Annual Diversity Dinner in 2019

June 2019

From left: 2019 SEO Fellows Tomi Johnson, Tayo Awoyinfa, Donovan Hicks, Mariah Watson, Denise Laspina.