The Dell Legal team believes that in addition to providing outstanding legal support for our clients we also help our company grow and thrive by supporting efforts to increase diversity and give back to the community. Not only do we work to advance these causes internally but we also take steps to increase diversity and pro bono service externally by awarding an annual Legal Diversity Award and a Legal Pro Bono Award to two law firms who have made impressive strides towards these valued initiatives.
2015 marks the fifth year of the Dell Legal Diversity Award and I was pleased to honor this year’s recipient, Norton Rose Fulbright.
At a reception last month, I was able to give the award to representatives of the firm and talk about a few of their amazing accomplishments showing their commitment to increasing diversity representation in the legal field:
- Norton Rose Fulbright truly walks the walk when it comes to diversity. In addition to having several practice groups led by women, the firm’s US managing partner is Linda Addison. In an environment where it is still rare to find law firms empowering female attorneys in this way, it is encouraging to see Norton Rose Fulbright leading the field.
- The firm has also set an ambitious goal for itself on a global level. By 2020, Norton Rose Fulbright plans to have women constitute 30 percent of its total number of partners and have all board and management committees consist of at least 30 percent female partners. In an industry that sees national averages of around 17 percent of female partners, this target sets a high standard for large firms to emulate.
- Norton Rose Fulbright has also created a Career Strategies Program designed to increase the number of female partners within its ranks. The program is staffed by experts in professional development and is delivered to all female associates in the United States.
While Dell is thrilled to recognize Norton Rose Fulbright for its diversity efforts, we are far from the first to do so. The firm has been awarded the Gold Standard Certificate by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for three straight years, has been recognized by Yale Law Women for Gender Parity in Partner Promotions, and has been recognized by both Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers as being one of the Best Law Firms for Women over the past three years. We congratulate Norton Rose Fulbright on its many well-deserved awards in this space and we are pleased to add our own prize to their collection.
On the community service front, the Dell Legal Pro Bono Award for 2015 was earned by Winston & Strawn for their amazing dedication to providing legal services to all in need.
Among their many accomplishments:
- Winston & Strawn is a significant participant in the U-visa clinic, an organization designed to provide legal support to immigrants who are victims of violent crimes.
- The firm employs two full-time attorneys whose sole job is to manage the firm’s pro bono practice. One attorney sits in the Los Angeles office and coordinates work on pro bono immigration cases, while another sits in New York and helps the firm volunteer on transactional and business matters.
- As a firm, Winston & Strawn encourages all of their lawyers to participate in pro bono by setting a goal of at least 35 hours of volunteer time every year. Over 60 percent of their associates and 30 percent of their partners met this goal in 2014 by participating in over 40 types of pro bono service.
Winston & Strawn has been recognized by many other groups for their impressive pro bono service. The firm has been awarded the 2015 Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Award, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California’s 2015 Disability Rights Award, the Legal Aid Society of New York 2014 Pro Bono Publica Award, and the Rising Star Award presented by the National Immigrant Justice Center.
Please join me in celebrating the amazing accomplishments of both these firms in furthering these important goals that align with Dell Legal’s core vision and priorities.