OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
The firm recognizes the need to strategically position itself to recruit and retain the best and brightest people and bring the widest range of ideas, experiences and approaches to bear on the issues facing its clients. The firm has an active Diversity Committee and is committed to ensuring that diversity manifests within the firm:
- In the respectful and collegial way we treat each other, our clients and members of the community;
- In hiring without regard to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or disability;
- In facilitating career development;
- In the options we create to help balance work requirements and family commitments;
- In the way we make our workplace more interesting and enjoyable because different talents and perspectives stimulate our thinking; and
- In the way we examine everything we do.
Davis & Gilbert’s Diversity Committee is itself diverse and includes male and female attorneys of different races, religions, national origins and sexual orientations. The Committee also comprises full and part-time attorneys of all seniority levels and from various practice groups. Its mandate is to review the firm’s existing diversity practices and recommend specific, realistic strategies and policies for enhancing and strengthening the firm’s diversity efforts. The co-chair of the Committee serves on the firm’s Management Committee, and his active and ongoing participation ensures a commitment by senior-level firm management to continued progress in cultivating a diverse workplace.
The Diversity Committee meets regularly to discuss both industry and firm initiatives, to consult with diversity experts, and to implement plans that will promote diversity goals. The Committee's work focuses on such areas as:
- Recruiting Talent: Increasing opportunities to hire minority, women, LGBT and other diverse attorneys.
- Retaining Talent:
- Facilitating access to clients and assigning matters equitably,
to ensure that all attorneys, including diverse attorneys, have a
fair and equal opportunity to thrive within the firm.
- Strengthening policies that allow for family-friendly work
- Coordinating Greater Community Outreach: Supporting and actively participating in key bar and legal associations, business organizations and community groups that are focused on specific diverse constituencies or general diversity goals.
OUR WOMEN'S INITIATIVE
Davis & Gilbert has an ongoing Women Attorneys’ Speaker Series during which prominent women attorneys speak to the firm’s women lawyers about their unique career paths, professional experiences and a variety of different topics including work-life balance, opportunities for flex-time arrangements, rainmaking and professional development. The program’s first speaker was a senior woman partner who has been with the firm for more than 50 years and who was a member of the firm’s Management Committee and a prior chair of the litigation department. Since then, we have had a number of female attorneys from both the public and private sectors present.
Davis & Gilbert retained Lauren Stiller Rikleen of the Bowditch Institute for Women's Success and author of the book Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women's Success in the Law to conduct three workshops for women counsel and associates. These workshops were designed to help women lawyers position themselves as a "go to" lawyer, generate business, cultivate mentoring relationships and balance work with family, and thereby achieve greater career success.
OUR DIVERSITY EVENTS
Davis & Gilbert has an ongoing commitment to educate our attorneys in the areas of diversity and inclusion. The firm has a "Lunch & Learn" series during which speakers present on a variety of diversity-related issues, laws and initiatives within both the legislature and the community at large.
Davis & Gilbert encourages and supports attorney involvement in professional and community-based diversity organizations. Below are just a few examples of the many ways the firm and our attorneys participate in these organizations.
- The firm is a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Firm Affiliate Network, pledging a commitment to MCCA's 10 Basic Principles of diversity and inclusion, and establishing a partnership with MCCA in order to advance the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys. The firm uses the MCCA job board as a resource for diversity hiring, and uses its resources and materials to facilitate the promotion of best practices in diversity. Our attorneys have access to the career center, professional development initiatives and mentoring opportunities available through MCCA.
- One of our partners is the former Co-Chair of the Board and current Board member of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), a New York statewide civil rights organization committed to achieving equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers and their families. Davis & Gilbert is a yearly sponsor of ESPA's annual Fall Dinner fundraiser event.
- Davis & Gilbert is a longstanding participant in the New York City Bar Association's Minority Fellowship Program. The Fellowship Program is a highly competitive summer employment program that partners law firms, corporate law departments and government agencies with high-achieving first-year minority law students from New York City-area law schools.
- Davis & Gilbert has been a supporter of the New York Women's Foundation (NYWF) annual "Celebrating Women" breakfast. The NYWF helps low-income women and girls in the five boroughs achieve sustained economic security through expanded opportunities.
- The firm has a long history of supporting Sakhi for South Asian Women, an organization devoted to combating domestic violence within the South Asian community in the New York metropolitan area. The firm provides both pro bono legal services and financial sponsorship and support to Sakhi and was honored at their 2012 annual Gala as the first recipient of the newly-created Visionary Supporter award.
- Davis & Gilbert sponsored a "Read-Aloud" program in conjunction with Learning Leaders, in a public school in Harlem. More than 30 lawyers visited the school to read to second graders and the firm donated numerous books, all for the purpose of exposing minority and other students to the legal profession.
- For several years, Davis & Gilbert has partnered with the Justice Resource Center through their MENTOR program in the New York City-wide Moot Court/Mock Trial annual competition for high school students. The Justice Resource Center offers programs that educate students on the law, the legal process and the fundamental values upon which the law and legal process are based. Through the MENTOR program, our attorneys act as coaches and mentors to students from Murry Bergtraum High School, a public high school in lower Manhattan, introducing the students to the legal community and law-related professions and preparing the students to compete in the Moot Court Competition and the Mock Trial Competition.
OUR SUPPORTIVE WORKPLACE
Domestic Partner Medical Insurance: Davis & Gilbert provides domestic partner medical insurance benefits for all employees and their same sex partners.
Flex-Time: Davis & Gilbert provides family-friendly benefits and workplace policies that address such issues as flex-time employment, part-time employment, primary and secondary caregiver leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
Mentoring: Davis & Gilbert recently launched a Mentoring Program to increase communication and a sense of community among all attorneys. New associate hires are matched with senior attorneys or partners in order to ensure that the new associate has a mentor to whom they can turn as a resource for guidance and support as they develop their legal careers at the firm.
For additonal information on the firm's commitment to diversity, please contact:
Howard J. Rubin - Diversity Committee Co-Chair
Jennifer Tafet Klausner - Diversity Committee Co-Chair
Angela Romina Totino - Director of Diversity