The first step – recruitment
One of the greatest challenges law firms face in building a diverse workforce is the limited number of diverse law school students. Attracting diverse talent requires a concerted effort to communicate the Firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the support it provides to its lawyers and their development. Our work has substantially increased awareness of the Firm and its commitment, and the number of applicants we are able to recruit.
The Firm has made great progress in enhancing its diversity and, over the last three years, has received the #1 ranking on The American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard in the United States. We have also ranked in the top ten among international firms for the last three years on the Black Solicitors Network’s Diversity League Table for our London office.
The key to success – retention
Our Diversity Committees monitor individual performance to ensure that our people are receiving the right support at the right time for their development.
Affinity Networks—Beyond the Individual: Our affinity groups are a critical component in creating a sense of community among the diverse groups within the Firm. Affinity groups are led by partners, counsel or associates. Each group sets its own agenda and goals specific to the issues the community feels are most important to them. Affinity groups are also the drivers of activity to create and enhance awareness among partners and associates.
We use affinity groups and external speakers to support our diversity initiative.
The Firm has nine global affinity groups:
- Asian, Black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Spectrum LGBT Affinity Groups in the United States
- Spectrum LGBT Affinity Groups in London and Germany
- Colorful (Minority/Migration background) Affinity Group in Germany
- Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) LINK Affinity Group in London
Diversity Speaker Series: This series is dedicated to provocative discussion and debate with speakers on a variety of subjects. Recent guests have included:
- Nicky Moffat, formerly the highest ranking female member of the British military
- Rebecca Edwards, Chief Communications Officer for GE’s Oil and Gas Division
- Shawn Miles, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Global Public Policy & Regulatory Strategy Counsel, Citibank Worldwide
- Somesha Ferdinand, General Counsel - International Legal Department, AXA Corporate Solutions
- Ije Okoli, Director, Commercial Banking Legal - Markets, Lloyd’s Bank Commercial Banking
- Manar Morales, President and CEO, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance
- Ripa Rashid, Managing Partner, Hewlett Consulting Partners and Senior Vice President, Center for Talent Innovation
- Dr. Arin N. Reeves, President of Nextions LLC
The events raise awareness, understanding and tolerance by introducing a broad spectrum of topics and encouraging the sharing of ideas and perspectives.
The road to long-term success – investment
In addition to our constant investment in the diversity of the legal community through law school affinity groups, job fairs, panel discussions and networking events, we continue to expand our support for diverse communities.
- Pro Bono: The Firm has a longstanding and extensive commitment to pro bono efforts assisting the disenfranchised of the world. Click here for examples of our recent pro bono efforts.
- Education: Education is one of the key areas of focus for our community outreach and diversity efforts. We make it a priority to sponsor and support programs that help improve the education and career guidance of minority students such as:
- Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) USA Law Program: As an SEO partner, we host highly talented summer interns of color who will be entering the nation's premier law schools in the fall and entering the job market in two years as summer associates.
- Rare Recruitment: We are a law firm partner with Rare Recruitment, a leading organisation in the UK that connects exceptional people from diverse backgrounds with jobs in top organizations.
- White & Case Disputes and Competition 1L Diversity Fellowship: 1L law students participate in our entire 10-week summer program for 2L law students and spend between two and five weeks with a client.
- Cristo Rey New York High School: As a participant in Cristo Rey's unique Corporate Work Study Program, we bring in students to work in our New York office, giving them the chance to earn up to 70 percent of the cost of their education, and providing experience and exposure to the corporate work environment to students who may not otherwise have access.
- White & Case Award for Best Student Note at Howard University Law School: An annual monetary award given to the law student at Howard University Law School who writes the best note published in the Howard Law Journal. The award recipient is also nominated for the Burton Foundation Award, a national award honoring both working lawyers and law students for excellence in legal writing.
- Law Firm Diversity Pipeline Program of Street Law: We participate in and sponsor the Law Firm Diversity Pipeline Program of Street Law. This program partners law firms with nearby, diverse high school law classes. Volunteers teach lessons and lead activities designed to increase students’ knowledge and interest in the law and legal careers. Street Law develops classroom and grassroots programs that educate students and communities about law, democracy and human rights.
- White & Case/Orison Marden Fellowship: Established at New York University in honor of Orison Marden, a leading partner at White & Case who served as longtime director and chairman of the board of The Legal Aid Society, this fund supports summer fellowships for 1L students who choose to work in a public interest capacity in developing nation economies and preferably at organizations that focus on the advancement of women and children.
- Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic: White & Case is a sponsor of this networking event for minority law students, lawyers and judges in South Florida.
- Mexican American Bar Foundation: We co-sponsor the Foundation's annual gala and fund a scholarship to Hispanic/Latino law students attending ABA-approved law schools in the Los Angeles area.