FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2013
Minority Corporate Counsel Association
WASHINGTON ? For demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, Haynes and Boone, LLP has received the prestigious Thomas L. Sager Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). The law firm was honored during MCCA’s Taste of MCCA Networking Series held at the Dallas World Aquarium on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Accepting the award on behalf of Haynes and Boone was Felicity Fowler, Partner and Co-chair of the Attorney Diversity Committee.
The event was attended by 100 people, and was co-partnered with Shell Oil Company. Attendees enjoyed networking and a wine tasting.
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. It is presented at Taste of MCCA Networking Series around the country.
Haynes and Boone, LLP received the award for creating its “Women in Law Initiative.” The firm sends letters to presidents of Women-in-Law Student Associations at the law schools where the firm recruits to increase awareness of the job opportunities at Hayes and Boone. A similar program, called the Minority Scholars Program, provides outstanding law students from area law schools, including University of Texas, SMU, and University of Houston, with monetary scholarships to assist with law school tuition, books, and living expenses. The initiatives are just a few of the ways that Hayes and Boone are working to increase the pipeline of diverse students. In 2012, 50 percent of the firm’s new hires were women and 25 percent were minority.
“Although some law firms have scaled back their diversity effort in recent years,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO, “Haynes and Boone, LLP 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:
Jackson Walker L.L.P. was honored as a finalist for the second year in a row for the South Region. MCCA isn’t the only organization to notice: American Lawyer ranked Jackson Walker among the top five Texas firms for diversity. The firm’s success is multifaceted yet there is an undeniable incentive to work for a firm that promotes its associates. 63.6 percent of the firm’s newly elected partners were women or minorities. Over the last six years almost 50 percent of the firm’s newly elected partners were women and minorities. Jackson Walker is in the top five of 183 national law firms at which women constituted a majority in new partner classes of 10 or more.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP was recognized for the Diverse Attorneys Working Group which was established in 2011 for senior associates, counsel, and partners who are attorneys of color or LGBT attorneys. It has its own substantial budget, accountability, and an assigned support staff. Since its creation, the firm has seen a three percent increase in attorneys of color firm-wide. It has also experienced a two percent increase in all partners of color. The firm is now composed of 15 percent minority attorneys and 33 percent women attorneys. Sutherland recorded a perfect score on the 2013 Corporate Equality Index Survey conducted by MCCA Innovator Award winner the Human Rights Campaign.
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.