FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2013
Ropes & Gray LLP Honored with Northeast Region Sager Award from
Minority Corporate Counsel Association
WASHINGTON ? For demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, Ropes & Gray LLP has received the prestigious Northeast Region Thomas L. Sager Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). The law firm was honored during MCCA’s 14th Annual Creating Pathways to Diversity© Conference Open Plenary Session, sponsored by Walmart, held at the New York Marriott Marquis on Monday, September 16, 2013. Richard Marshall, Partner, accepted the award on behalf of Ropes & Gray.
Each year, MCCA awards the Thomas L. Sager Award to five law firms across the nation that exemplify diversity and inclusion by improving their hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys. The award is named for MCCA board member and DuPont Company Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas L. Sager.
Ropes & Gray LLP received the award for its “Behind the Billable Speaker Series,” which was sponsored by the firm’s Attorneys of Color affinity group and showcases the firm’s leaders. Prominent partners, both majority and minority, speak to the group about their path to success. The series of conversations are aired as video-conferences nationwide. The firm’s chairman, managing partners, and practice group leaders have shared stories about their careers and how they relate to diversity. Ropes & Gray’s diverse demographics have increased over the past few years. The firm added more than 30 diverse attorneys during the past year, and now has 180 minority attorneys on staff.
“Although some law firms have scaled back their diversity effort in recent years,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO, “Ropes & Gray has continued to provide opportunities for all of their talent to grow and thrive, thereby making their firm stronger and more competitive… We hope the entire legal industry will follow their example.”
Two other law firms were recognized as finalists during the event: BakerHostetler was honored for recognizing and reporting the number of openly LGBT lawyers – a practice that is being adopted firm-wide. There are now proposals to the firm’s policy and management committee to include gender identity and expression in the firm’s nondiscrimination policy, and extend bereavement and FMLA-type leave to same-sex couples. The firm employs six LGBT attorneys and plans to participate in the next Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Davis Polk & Wardwell was recognized for augmenting its existing mentoring initiative with the launch of its Career Advisor Program, or CAP, for the firm’s New York corporate department. It provides associates greater responsibility earlier in their careers. The CAP program matches a team of two partners or counsel in a practice group to act as advisors to each associate permanently assigned to that group. By assigning advisors after associates have begun to establish themselves in a practice group, the firm knows that they are getting meaningful education.
MCCA was founded in 1997 to advance the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA accomplishes its mission through publishing, research and training, pipeline initiatives and networking. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National LGBT Bar, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information, go to mcca.com.