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Diversity at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld:
Akin Gump’s support for LGBT+ issues begins at undergraduate level and extends through internal, firmwide initiatives to ensure equality for all employees. LGBT+ lawyers at Akin Gump maintain an informal, firmwide resource group to encourage discussion to consider legal issues relevant to the LGBT+ community and to participate in pro bono matters and recruitment initiatives. LGBT+ partners meet annually at the firm’s partner retreat to discuss mentoring, leadership and networking issues, and in the London office LGBT+ lawyers meet on an ad hoc basis to discuss LGBT+ initiatives. Akin Gump frequently sponsors and participates in programmes developed by LGBT+ resource groups. The firm is active in community organisations and programmes, including pro bono work for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and sponsors the American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project summer reception.
Akin Gump’s Women’s Professional Development Initiative – a longstanding programme at the firm – offers a valuable forum for female lawyers to discuss issues such as retention and professional development. The initiative sponsors events at both the firmwide and office level, with local resource groups responsible for office-specific events and programming. The firm recently sponsored the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk and regularly fundraises for charities supporting women. The firm has held retreats for all female lawyers including partners, senior counsel, counsel and associates. The retreats included seminars on topics such as leadership, communication skills, mentoring, work/life balance and client development. The programme reflects the interests of the firm’s female lawyers, as well as being an opportunity for the attendees to connect with lawyers across the firm and practice areas. Led by a female chairperson, Akin Gump is proud that two-thirds of partners promoted in London since 2015 have been women.
Akin Gump recognises that key components to supporting its lawyers in their careers include policies and programmes that support parents and caregivers, allowing them to effectively manage work, family and other responsibilities. The firm has generous parental leave policies, supported by other initiatives, such as parental transition coaching, that offer support and flexibility for caregivers. The firm has a Reduced Work Schedule Policy, which allows lawyers to work significantly reduced schedules and remain on partnership track. The policy specifically provides that lawyers working a reduced schedule remain eligible for counsel and partnership promotion, and Akin Gump has a good track record of promoting those who have availed themselves of this scheme. Akin Gump also offers an Agile Work Programme which recognises that providing agile work arrangements and IT equipment plays an important role in providing excellent client service at the highest levels while also providing additional flexibility to lawyers and staff. The firm has partnered with Bright Horizon’s Family Solutions to offer our employees who have responsibilities caring for children or ageing or ill parents, emergency care when their regular care option is temporarily unavailable.
Firm Quote On Diversity:
Since its founding, Akin Gump has committed itself to ensuring meaningful diversity at every level of the firm. Just as we work across borders and practice areas, we also reach across boundaries of race, gender, ethnicity, faith, socioeconomic background, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression to serve our clients with powerful solutions to their legal challenges. To ensure the richest mix of professional and personal experience, Akin Gump delivers lawyer recruitment, promotion and retention through a wide array of offerings, including professional development opportunities for lawyers, agile working opportunities and lawyer support networks.