Diversity & Inclusion
Valuing our differences
Committed to Inclusion
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected as a core value and embedded throughout the life and policies of our firm. We promote an environment where all perspectives are welcome and valued, and where each individual is provided with opportunities to develop and advance. A firm-wide advisory committee led by Chief Diversity Officer Maria Lewis and a full-time diversity staff guide our initiatives designed to:
- Foster mutual professional and personal respect
- Create an environment in which all individuals are valued
- Attract the best and brightest legal talent from all backgrounds
- Promote education and awareness on topics of diversity and inclusion
- Develop, retain and advance the careers of our diverse lawyers
Faegre Drinker’s 21 locations are connected through cross-office affinity groups that unite professionals across common dimensions of diversity to build relationships, increase visibility opportunities, attain formal and informal support networks and resources, and create business opportunities for the firm and one another while furthering the firm’s overall strategy.
Professional Development & Advancement
Joining our firm is just the beginning of building a career at Faegre Drinker, and we recognize that we must provide a stable, supportive environment to encourage our diverse talent pool to develop their legal skills and explore their professional interests.
We are invested personally in the success and growth of our attorneys. The firm invests in mentoring and sponsoring relationships, including peer integration, in which a mentor is assigned during each new associate's first year at the firm. This mentorship continues throughout the attorney’s tenure with Faegre Drinker. We track the projects of our diverse associate class to ensure they are given opportunities to work on our most significant matters and with key clients.
Creditable Hours Program
Organizations & Partnerships
We sponsor, organize and participate in a variety of major events addressing issues important to diverse communities, both in the legal profession and in the wider business communities that we serve. Faegre Drinker is proud to partner with the following national organizations:
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Association of Corporate Counsel
- Corporate Counsel Women of Color
- Diversity & Flexibility Alliance
- Diversity Lab
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Lambda Legal
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- National Asian Pacific Bar Association
- National Bar Association
- National LGBT Bar Association
- South Asian Bar Association
- Twin Cities Diversity in Practice
- Wanton Injustice Legal Detail
Building the Pipeline: Faegre Drinker believes that diversifying the legal profession begins long before law school. We work with organizations (including Cristo Rey High School in Chicago and Philadelphia, Lilly Legal on Street Law and Just the Beginning Foundation) to connect students to attorneys and mentors in their communities.
Recruitment & Hiring
We take a comprehensive approach to recruiting, retaining and advancing the careers of a diverse group of attorneys. Our efforts to recruit a diverse talent pool — from recent law school graduates to experienced attorneys — spans the country and the world. And we know that if we want to move the needle, we can’t do it alone. We participate in innovative programs, including:
- The Women in Law Hackathon
- 1L Diversity programs
- New efforts that identify untapped methods for increasing diversity in the legal profession
Partnerships with clients, professional associations and community organizations to deepen our reach and magnify our impact.
Holding Ourselves Accountable
We hold ourselves accountable for progress on building a diverse workforce and rely on national benchmarking surveys, including:
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum
- Working Mother Best Law Firms for Women
- Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index
- Vault/Minority Corporate Counsel Association Law Firm Diversity Survey
- Feedback from Faegre Drinker clients
Faegre Drinker is also proud to be recognized by Diversity Lab as a Mansfield Certified Plus firm — one of the “trailblazing law firms” demonstrating meaningful progress in creating diverse leadership teams and pipelines to leadership. Modeled after the National Football League’s revolutionary Rooney Rule, the Mansfield Rule measures the diversity of consideration pools for leadership positions in law firms. We are one of only 92 firms nationwide to receive the “Plus” certification, not only for meeting the consideration pool requirements but also for successfully reaching at least 30% representation in a notable number of current leadership roles.
In 2021, we attained Mansfield 4.0 Certification for affirmatively considering at least 30% women, attorneys of color and LGBTQ+ attorneys for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and senior leadership positions. We are now participating in Mansfield 5.0, which elevates the responsibilities of participating firms to:
- Track their candidate pools in a disaggregated manner, prompting them to measure the impact of the Mansfield Rule by each underrepresented group. Firms must also include an option for Middle Eastern/North African identity, a demographic often overlooked by current self-identification options.
- Consider at least 30% underrepresented lawyers for nominations to Chambers USA to increase the external visibility of underrepresented lawyers with clients and in the marketplace more broadly.
Consider 30% underrepresented individuals when hiring and promoting C-level or other senior-level professional staff roles.