About Us

At DLA Piper, diversity, inclusion and equality are a part of how we live our values. We are one of the world's largest law firms, with over 8,000 lawyers and staff in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Our people reflect the diversity of our clients and the many communities and markets where we work. With offices worldwide, our efforts to understand, value and incorporate differences are woven into our culture. We are on a journey and, like most law firms, we still have some distance to travel. But with strategic approaches within our geographic regions, we're making great progress.

These highlights demonstrate some of our recent successes:

Working Mother Accolade

Working Mother magazine named DLA Piper one of the 50 best law firms for women in recognition of our programs that support talented female lawyers by creating a firm culture in which working mothers can excel.

Diverse Partner Promotions

42% of our 2013 class of US partner promotions are diverse. This includes women, people of color and members of the LGBT community.

Reduced Hours

11% of the 2013 class of US partner promotions work a reduced-hours schedule.

Leadership Opportunities for Women

In the US in 2012, we added 23 new leadership opportunities for women associates within our women's resource group, the Leadership Alliance for Women.

WILEF

For the past two years, we have received the Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), which recognizes the leadership roles achieved by women equity partners at US law firms.

First Woman Partner

In January 2013, we named our first woman to the position of Americas co-managing partner. She is one among approximately only 6% of women managing partners within the Am Law 200.

Corporate Equality Index

For the past six years in the US, we have scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which measures success in LGBT equality.

Unconscious bias training

In our Australian offices, all partners and senior lawyers participate in unconscious bias training, which has been embedded in recruitment policies and guidance.

Reconciliation Australia

Our Reconciliation Action Plan in Australia features 14 key actions aimed at building stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organizations.

Internship support Australia

We provide paid internships to support the University of Western Australia's Indigenous Advanced Diploma, an alternative route into the practice of law.

Euromoney

In 2013, we won five Euromoney Legal Media Group's European Women in Business Law Awards. The awards honor initiatives for gender diversity, innovation, minority women, mentoring, work-life balance, pro bono work and talent management.

Women Partners

In 2013, 75% of the lawyers promoted to partner in the UK were women and in the UK, Europe and Middle East 40% of the new partners were women.

E-learning

We have a mandatory Equality and Diversity e-learning module for all partners, fee earners and support staff in the UK, developed in collaboration with other leading international law firms and industry experts.

Respect at Work Guide

Our "Respect at Work" guide, which details the behaviors that we expect of all our people, is utilized in the UK and Middle East.

Balance

We focus on improving the balance between local and international lawyers across our Middle East offices, which currently have 40% Arabic speaking lawyers.

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Education and Awareness

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • Diversity and Inclusion E-learning – In 2012, we launched an on-demand mandatory e-learning course, to ensure that everyone has an understanding of the core concepts of diversity and inclusion. All new hires are required to complete this course and it is supported by numerous other learning opportunities throughout the year.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Education Summit  Our regular retreats offer educational workshops focused on marketing and business development and are a unique and valued opportunity for our lawyers to network with one another and firm leadership.

Americas

  • Marbury Institute – The Marbury Institute is dedicated to teaching the highest standards of the legal profession through a speaker series focusing on topics critical to understanding the practice of law in the world today. Included in the institute’s programming is the Diversity and Inclusion Series featuring industry leaders sharing their perspectives on diversity, the practice of law and business. The presentations offer CLE credit and are open to clients.
  • Diversity and Inclusion on the Web – Our Diversity and Inclusion intranet site provides all lawyers and staff user-friendly information on key diversity topics, programs, and articles, as well as other resources.

Asia-Pacific

  • In our Australian offices, all partners and senior lawyers participate in unconscious bias training, which has been embedded in recruitment policies and guidance.
     
  • We have a page dedicated to our Reconciliation Action Plan for Australia, providing resources and sign posting for our people to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and protocols, as well as our approach to supporting Reconciliation.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • Our 'Respect at Work' guide, which details the behaviors that we expect of all our people, is utilized in the UK and Middle East.
     
  • We have a mandatory Equality and Diversity e- learning module for all partners, fee earners and support staff, developed in collaboration with other leading international law firms and industry experts.

Flexibility

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • Alternative Work Solutions – Our commitment to diversity and inclusion includes a recognition that our lawyers have responsibilities and interests outside the firm and that they may need or desire flexibility to better integrate life and work. Alternative Work Solutions are individually tailored arrangements designed to accommodate the interests of the lawyer and meet the needs of the firm and its clients, and include reduced-hours schedules, ramp-up schedules and full-time flexible work arrangements.

    Alternative Work Solutions are integral to the firm’s objectives to reduce attrition, lower costs associated with hiring and training new lawyers, and also contributes to the long-term financial health of the firm by supporting strong client relationships.
  • 11% of US lawyers announced in our 2013 class of partner promotions work a reduced-hours schedule.
     
  • 9% of our lawyers work a reduced-hours schedule; the national average for large firms is 6%

Asia-Pacific

  • We recently increased parental and paternity leave provisions in our Australian offices.
     
  • Throughout Australia we also offer remote working training and resources as part of our 'Flexibility' toolkit.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • Our award-winning approach to flexible working and encouraging women to succeed as leaders within our firm in the Ukraine has led to women representing 75% of the local partnership.

Leadership
From The Top

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • Our firm leaders are personally involved in our partnerships with other organizations. This includes Stasia Kelly on the board of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a national diversity organization for which we are a founding member, and Lee Miller, global co-chairman, on a working subcommittee within the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance, a national organization that studies and addresses issues at the intersection of diversity and flexible work strategies.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • We are a founding member of UK initiative PRIME, a project supported by the Law Society and the Sutton Trust. Our Senior Partner, Janet Legrand, is a Director and Trustee of PRIME, which aims to give young people from nonprivileged backgrounds access to quality legal work experience. As part of our commitment to PRIME and our wider global initiative Break into Law, we facilitate work experience projects in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

LGBT

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • The Human Rights Campaign has named DLA Piper as one of the 2013 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality. This is our fifth consecutive year to achieve this distinction.
     
  • As part of the firm's annual celebration of LGBT Pride Month in the US, hundreds of lawyers and staff participate in nationally video-conferenced workshops designed to raise the awareness of LGBT-related issues. Recent events have focused on anti-bullying and how to be a better straight ally.

Americas

  • The US LGBT Resource Group serves as a forum and advisory body on matters important to the LGBT community and provides opportunities for engagement in a variety of projects and initiatives. It works to raise the awareness of LGBT issues throughout the firm and to help create an inclusive environment where everyone feels they have the ability to bring their "whole self" to work. The resource group is also instrumental in identifying and leading pro bono activities that benefit the LGBT community. Membership includes LGBT lawyers and staff, as well as straight allies.

New Perimeter

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

New Perimeter is a nonprofit organization established by global law firm DLA Piper to provide pro bono legal assistance primarily in less developed and post-conflict countries. Founded in 2005 as a result of our firm’s commitment to support legal advancement worldwide, New Perimeter draws on the skills and talents of more than 4,200 DLA Piper lawyers globally. To maximize our impact, we send teams of lawyers in-country to work alongside our partners and clients whenever possible. We focus our work on legal education, women and children’s rights, access to justice and law reform, environmental protection, economic development and food security.

New Perimeter projects include:

New Perimeter is supporting the Kosovo Chamber of Advocates Gender Commission in developing and implementing a three-year strategic plan to increase female bar membership. 

New Perimeter assisted CARE in carrying out a pilot advocacy project in Africa to help increase women’s access to financial services, address gender exclusion and increase gender equality.

Since 2010, New Perimeter has partnered with corporate client GE and sent teams of lawyers to teach legal drafting to law students at the Law School of Tanzania. 

Partnerships

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

We are pleased to be able to partner with numerous organizations to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. A few examples include:

  • Diversity and Flexibility Alliance (The Alliance) – The Alliance studies work/life integration issues and solutions to address challenges in creating inclusive environments that develop and promote diverse lawyers. Our global co-chairman, Lee Miller, is part of a working group within The Alliance focused on developing and delivering best practices for flexible work arrangements in the legal industry.
     
  • The Ron Brown Scholar Program – This organization provides scholars with the financial resources to attend some of the finest colleges and universities in the country. We are pleased to support the funding of scholarships and to provide internships to Ron Brown scholars.
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)– This organization of US-based corporate general counsel and law firm managing partners is dedicated to creating a truly diverse legal profession. In addition to being founding members, our Americas co-managing partner, Stasia Kelly, serves as secretary to the board.
    • The firm also participates in the LCLD's 1L Scholars Program, the Law School Mentoring Program and the Fellows Program. 
  • The Jackie Robinson Foundation – This organization provides scholarships in conjunction with a comprehensive set of skills and opportunities to disadvantaged students of color to ensure their success in college and to develop their leadership potential.

Americas

  • The Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) – CLEO initiatives target students in college through to law school with a focus on diversifying the legal profession. As a CLEO partner, DLA Piper has supported numerous CLEO projects and scholarships. To date, our engagement with CLEO has impacted the lives of over 600 undergraduate and law school students of color.

Asia-Pacific

Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in Australia features 14 key actions aimed at building stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organizations. We collaborate with Westpac on our approach to implementing RAP, developing projects aimed at increasing cultural awareness and community cohesiveness.


 

UK, Europe and the Middle East

In order to have a greater impact on improving the diversity within our sector, we collaborate with local and global community partners, educational institutions and clients. Some examples are as follows:

Bsn Diversity League Table – We are featured in this UK table, which is produced annually and provides profiles of lawyers across all minority groups. 

The Law Society – We are a signatory of the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter in the UK. We also have representation on the Law Society Equality and Diversity forum, which provides an opportunity to meet regularly with diversity professionals from the other top 10 law firms to share best practices and adopt a collaborative approach to increasing diversity across the profession.

 

Our Women's Network collaborated with the Royal Bank of Scotland's Focused Women’s Network and Oxfam to host an International Women's Day Fundraising Event aimed at raising awareness of the issues faced by women in Niger and Rwanda.

Pipeline Development

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Break Into Law

Our global pipeline development initiative Break Into Law includes dozens of projects around the world through which we are investing in future legal professionals and a more inclusive legal profession. This initiative allows us to leverage resources and best practices around the world and to better support young people from underrepresented backgrounds in their pursuit of education and career opportunities.

Americas

  • Success in Law School Mentoring Program – Through our partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, over 40 of our lawyers mentor diverse 1L law school students across the country. Collectively with other firms and corporations, in 2012, 1,371 mentors and 1,374 mentees participated in this program.

Americas

  • Our Lawyer for a Day program enables underrepresented middle and high school students to visit our offices and gives them the opportunity to learn about law firm culture. The goal is to have the students hear firsthand from our lawyers and staff about the importance of hard work, discipline, focus and positive role models. Nationally, this program has impacted the lives of over 500 students.
     
  • 1L Scholars Program – Through our partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, we host 1L students in our offices each summer. This program is designed to strengthen the legal pipeline by expanding the number of opportunities for diverse first-year law students. The program offers students the rare opportunity to work side-by-side with our lawyers around the country.

Americas

Our Undergraduate Internship Program seeks to identify, mentor, and develop underrepresented undergraduate students who aspire to careers in the law. The six-week paid summer internship gives students a broad view of the aspects involved in working at a large law firm and encourages them to begin developing professional networks.

As of 2013, there are 19 alumni, and:

  • 1 has graduated from law school
  • 3 are currently enrolled in law school
  • 6 are currently preparing for and/or applying to law school

Asia-Pacific

  • DLA Piper provides paid internships to support the University of Western Australia's Indigenous Advanced Diploma, an alternative route into the practice of law.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • Volunteers that participated in our Work Experience Program for non-privileged students reported increased pride in being a member of our firm (96%) and a greater feeling of commitment (95%) as a result of their engagement.
     

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • Our UK year-long apprenticeship scheme has fulfilled roles within our finance, knowledge management and HR departments, as well as leading to full-time employment within our firm.
     
  • For the past seven years, the winner of our Italian International Law Theses Competition has received a paid internship offering hands-on experience in our firm, as well as the potential to enter a full-time trainee role.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • For the past six years our All-Ukraine Scholarship Competition has provided an opportunity for any Ukrainian law school student to win either an internship at DLA Piper or a monetary scholarship. Our year-long apprenticeship scheme has fulfilled roles within our finance, knowledge management and HR departments, as well as leading to full time employment within our firm.
     
  • Throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, we offer paid legal internships and business administration apprenticeships aimed at providing talented young people with opportunities to gain hands-on experience and training, regardless of their background and economic status.
  • As one of only a handful of international law firms with a license to hire women in Saudi Arabia, our women lawyers regularly present at female universities to inspire women to consider legal careers.
     
  • We provide internships to women law students from the Prince Sultan University in Saudi Arabia.

Promotion and Leadership

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • Working in partnership with the Marketing and Professional Development teams, Diversity and Inclusion fosters the promotion of diverse lawyers by demystifying the pathways to success and providing the legal and marketing skills needed to become a successful lawyer at our firm. Our most recent partner promotion statistics attest to growing success in this area – 42% of our 2013 new US partners are diverse. Additionally, recent promotions to office managing partner include five diverse lawyers.
  • Champions Program – This project is designed to support the firm’s initiative to retain, develop and advance diverse lawyers. The program pairs protégés with champions who work together to advance the protégés’ careers. Our primary goal, over time, is to see an increase in the number of underrepresented lawyers becoming truly successful partners. Early indications are promising.

Recruitment

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • Each year, we visit numerous law school campuses and participate in various diversity job fairs seeking talented second-year law students for our summer associate class. Some of the US diversity job fairs that we participate in include: the National Black Law Students Association, LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference, Southeastern Minority Job Fair, and the Boston Lawyers Group Fair.
  • The Legal Recruiting and Diversity and Inclusion departments work closely together to sponsor and participate in pipeline projects, career fairs, receptions, discussion panels and other law school outreach events. We regularly evaluate our recruiting strategy to ensure that we are maximizing our opportunities to attract diverse candidates.

Resource Groups

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • We support the following Resource Groups in the US: African American/Black; Asian Pacific American; Hispanic/Latino, LGBT; and the Leadership Alliance for Women.
    • Each of these resource groups has an executive sponsor, someone who is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and who advises the group and helps to champion their objectives. 
       

 

    • Each group serves as a forum for social interaction among people from similar backgrounds within the firm, encourages the exchange of information and ideas through professional networks, and supports educational opportunities and business development activities.

Asia-Pacific

  • Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in Australia features 14 key actions aimed at building stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organizations. As part of our commitment to our RAP, we have RAP Committees in each of our Australian offices that seek to raise awareness and understanding of reconciliation, while helping to implement the key actions from our plan.

Retention and
Development

 In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

  • Executive Sponsors – In 2010, we appointed executive sponsors to each of our US resource groups to advise the groups and help champion their objectives. The executive sponsors are members of the firm’s Executive Committee and they have the responsibility of knowing the lawyers within their respective groups and for monitoring and supporting their success.
  • Champions Program – This project is designed to support the firm’s initiative to retain, develop and advance diverse lawyers. The program pairs protégés with champions who work together to advance the protégés’ career. Our primary goal, over time, is to see an increase in the number of underrepresented lawyers becoming truly successful partners. Early indications are promising.
  • Associate Talent Management Program  Our firm’s merit-based evaluation and compensation initiative addresses many of the goals of our diversity and inclusion strategic plan by providing all associates with a well-defined career road map for success at DLA Piper, establishing a more systematic and holistic basis for providing feedback, and recognizing and rewarding performance.

Women

In the Americas, Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and The Middle East

Americas

Our US women’s resource group, the Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW) works to provide leadership opportunities for women in addition to offering support through various methods including a mix of formal presentations, networking events, lawyer panels and business development opportunities. Examples include:

  • Global Women’s Leadership Summit – This dynamic networking event for women general counsel and other senior women in the legal departments of various global companies focuses on the relationships between the general counsel, the board, the C-suite and other stakeholders. In 2012, this award-winning event had more than 200 women in attendance.
  • Women of Color Forum – We recognize that there are unique barriers that women of color face in the legal profession that contribute to their high rate of attrition in the US. Through this forum, we work to eliminate these barriers and strive to provide our women of color with opportunities to excel.
  • Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day Celebrations – Launched in 2010, our global offices annually host a number of events throughout the month of March designed to strengthen relationships among women lawyers, promote our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and to celebrate women in law and business.

americas

  • 19% of DLA Piper’s US equity partners are women.
     
  • In 2013, Working Mother magazine named DLA Piper one of the 50 best law firms for women in recognition of our programs that support talented female lawyers by creating a firm culture where working mothers can excel.
     
  • In 2012, we received the Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), which recognizes the leadership roles achieved by women equity partners at law firms.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • In the UK, women represent 21% of the partnership and DLA Piper International 19% of the partnership -- In the UK legal market in 2012, the Magic Circle accounted for women partnership percentages of only 14.6%.
     
  • In 2013, 75% of the lawyers promoted to partner in the UK were women and 40% of the new partners were women in the UK, Europe and Middle East combined.
     
  • We collaborated with the Royal Bank of Scotland Focused Women’s Network and Oxfam to host an International Women's Day Fundraising Event aimed at raising awareness of the issues faced by women in Niger and Rwanda.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • Our Diversity Board and Women’s Network work to create an empowering environment and provide a platform for the development and support of the careers of our employees through networking events and an award-winning mentoring scheme. The network now has over 500 members and its mentoring scheme won an award for 'Best International Firm Mentoring Program' at the 2012 Women in Business Law Awards.
    • Our award-winning mentoring scheme run by the Women's Network allows members to link in with their colleagues, sharing knowledge and experience to inspire future women leaders.
    • A maternity coaching initiative is being piloted in London, aimed at providing expectant mothers with additional support. This includes one-to-one coaching from trained professionals at key stages throughout the period of maternity leave.
  • WIN - a series of events, tools and forums addressing the technical, commercial and personal aspects of working in-house. Women's WIN is a new addition to the overall WIN program, which offers a range of knowledge, support and networking opportunities for women in-house lawyers. The national program schedule for 2013 includes over 30 events for clients to attend across our UK offices.

UK, Europe and the Middle East

  • DLA Piper Netherlands is a member of the foundation called Talent to the Top and as a signatory to this charter has set specific objectives for 2012-14. The foundation organizes several diversity meetings and networking opportunities. As part of this, DLA Piper Netherlands has a three year plan to focus on gender. In its first year, the charter set targets to improve gender retention rates. These were as follows:
    • 25% women partners - achieved 18%;
    • 40% women lead lawyers - achieved 50%+ (70% among new starters).
  • The strategy for 2012-14 includes increasing gender retention rates with a goal of 50% women at lead lawyer level and 20-25% women at partner level.
  • As one of only a few international law firms with a license to hire women in Saudi Arabia, our women lawyers regularly present at female universities to inspire women into a professional career in law. We also provide internships to women law students from the Prince Sultan University in Saudi Arabia.

Asia-pacific

  • In Australia there are set targets to increase the percentage of women at partner level from 20% in 2011 to 25% in 2014, and of team leader/location heads from 11% to 15% in 2014.

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Recognition

Working Mother Accolade

Working Mother magazine named DLA Piper one of the 50 best law firms for women in recognition of our programs that support female lawyers by creating a firm culture in which working mothers can excel.

WILEF 2013

For the second consecutive year, we are pleased to have received Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum, which recognizes law firms for advancements in leadership opportunities among women equity partners.

Euromoney 2013

In 2013 we won five awards that celebrated the best initiatives for gender diversity, innovation, minority women, mentoring, work-life balance, pro bono work and talent management.

The Lawyer

2012 Excellence in Training - Winner

2012 Most effective diversity program Women’s Network - Gender

Legal Week

Ranked top for work/life balance.

Human Rights Campaign

DLA Piper scored 100% on the Corporate Equality Index and has been named one of the 2014 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality for the sixth consecutive year.

MCCA

We were one of three finalists in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2013 Thomas L. Sager Award for the West Region.

Euromoney 2012

Best International Firm Mentoring Program - Women's Network

Best International Firm for Women in Business Law - Ukraine

Best International Firm for Work Life Balance and Best Firm - Canberra

LCN

2011 Commendation for Diversity

Your Honour Award

Our Global Women’s Leadership Summit is the proud recipient of first place honors from the Legal Marketing Association in 2012.

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Meet Our Diversity and Inclusion Team

While it is the responsibility of everyone at DLA Piper to advance our firm’s Diversity and Inclusion goals, our Diversity and Inclusion team, together with the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, coordinates and leads the implementation of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan.

The team includes:

Jackie Kim Park
Jackie Kim Park
Co-National Diversity and Inclusion Partner (US)
Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams
Co-National Diversity and Inclusion Partner (US)
Genhi Givings Bailey
Genhi Givings Bailey
Director, Diversity and Inclusion (US)
Janet Legrand
Janet Legrand
Board Member (UK)
Carl Jewitt
Carl Jewitt
Corporate HR Executive (UK)

Contact Us