Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld L.L.P. has proven itself to be a true leader in the effort to promote diversity. The firm is a three-time win ner of the Thomas L. Sager award and has received accolades for its significant numbers of minority partners and AfricanAmerican attorneys by The Minority Law Journal.
Akin Gump’s Washington, D.C., office boasts impressive percentages in hiring, retaining, and promoting minorities. Of its 265 attorneys, 13 percent are people of color and 32 percent are women. Twelve percent of the office’s 113 partners are minorities, compared to 3.9 percent nationally, and 15 percent are women. Women also comprise 23 percent of its senior counsel. Among associates, 40 percent are women and 14 percent are minorities, while nearly 60 percent of first-year associates are women.
The hiring committees in each of Akin Gump’s offices actively seek minority applicants for their summer programs, which serve as primary conduits for attorney hires.
The firm utilizes a variety of strategies to employ a diverse group of attorneys and has several programs to increase the retention rate among minority and women attorneys. Akin Gump participates in mock interview programs and minority job fairs, and hosts receptions for local minority law students. The Washington office also has a Diversity Task Force to discuss issues and to devise new programs for recruiting and retention.
Akin Gump has also established the Women’s Professional Development Forum, a quarterly networking and educational program for all women attorneys in its Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia offices.
To recognize associates on the partnership track, the firm created an interim counsel level, which has increased the retention rate among senior associates, particularly minorities. Counsel receive additional compensation, training, mentoring and leadership opportunities that lead to greater client responsibilities.
The firm’s part-time work plans are an added bonus, and have seen increased participation.
With its strong commitment to diversity at every level of the employment spectrum, Akin Gump is poised to be a perennial winner in every area.
Return to List of 2002 Award Winners
From the December 2002 issue of Diversity & The Bar®