Last year on June 19, the firm celebrated Juneteenth as a firm holiday. This year the firm will again celebrate Juneteenth as a firm holiday.
“This is a time to celebrate the historic significance of the end of slavery. It began with the abolitionists, culminated with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and led to the June 19 decree in Galveston, Texas in 1865,” said firm Chairman Ronald Urbach “It is vital to consider the impact of racism in our society, and how we can work together to help achieve the goal of racial and social equality.”
In May 2020, we witnessed the horrendous murder of George Floyd. This led to an outcry against this injustice that fueled a nationwide movement to effect positive change — a movement that continues to this day. And there has been some meaningful change. Legislation has been passed in several states modifying certain policing methods and police training. Congress is considering federal legislation to implement change on a national level. Even with today’s politics, there are ongoing bipartisan efforts to pass the legislation.
There has been an acceptance by an ever larger segment of our nation that action must be taken and more must be done. Though progress can sometimes appear slow, history teaches us that there is continued movement forward towards a more just and equal society. We must continue to work hard and be resolute in our belief that our efforts will lead to positive change.
We at Davis+Gilbert are doing our part. Over the past year, we have increased the firm’s focus on civil rights and racial and social justice, with particular attention directed to the needs of our local minority communities. Some of the actions we have taken include:
- Expanding the 50 hour billable hour credit category to now include work supporting diversity and inclusion
- Signing on to the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule certification program for Midsize Law Firms
- Participating in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, an annual intensive program that places diverse NYC high school students with employers of legal talent for the summer
- Signing on to Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, which strives to amplify the voices of communities and individuals to better use the law as a vehicle for change
- Partnering with the following pro-bono organizations:
- The City Bar Justice Center, which provides pro bono legal services for low-income and otherwise vulnerable New Yorkers
- The Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit representing low-income people in the Bronx that is helping to transform public defense
We will continue to be a strong advocate for change in our society and community to help achieve social and racial equality.
About Davis+Gilbert’s Diversity Commitment
The firm recognizes the need 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, which ensures that our diversity and inclusion commitment remains a firm-wide priority. 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.