Social media and technology company Facebook, Inc. has named global law firm White & Case LLP the 2020 winner of its Law Firm Diversity Champion Award.
“We are committed to making concrete progress in diversity & inclusion in the legal profession, and congratulate White & Case on achieving the top ranking in our latest survey of outside counsel diversity efforts,” said Facebook General Counsel Jennifer Newstead. “We look forward to continuing this important work in partnership with our outside legal partners as we work collectively toward a more equitable future.”
In selecting White & Case as its Diversity Champion from among 40 firms considered, Facebook evaluated leading law firms’ compliance with its internal requirement to staff legal matters with women and minority lawyers and to give those lawyers meaningful leadership opportunities. Facebook also evaluated the firms’ diversity programs and strategy, and considered the diversity makeup of each firm’s incoming partner class.
“I’m incredibly proud of this achievement, and I’m grateful to Facebook for their hard work in evaluating their outside law firms and for recognizing White & Case’s commitment to diversity and inclusion—a responsibility both we and Facebook take extremely seriously,” noted Aalok Sharma, White & Case Lead Relationship Partner to Facebook. “As a trusted outside counsel to Facebook, this award symbolizes that it is not just our substantive work that aligns with Facebook’s expectations; our mission with respect to diversity also aligns. My core Facebook client team, consisting of 70+ lawyers, is over 70 percent women and virtually every minority group is represented. Our focus on giving talented diverse lawyers leading roles to move their careers forward has paid real dividends, including promotion to partnership of nine diverse lawyers in the past two years based on their important work for Facebook.”
Within its current five-year diversity strategy, White & Case is dedicated to increasing recruitment and retention of Black partners and other partners of color, women partners and LGBT+ partners and the pool of talent eligible for partnership; developing focused plans to disrupt factors driving any disparate diversity results in targeted offices, regions and groups; and launching a global data disclosure project to collect reliable self-identification data to inform the firm’s future strategic planning.
“We’re gratified that Facebook acknowledges and supports White & Case in its efforts to build diversity within the firm,” said White & Case Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion Maja Hazell. “Facebook is among our leading clients committed to diversity that have participated in White & Case’s 1L Diversity Fellowship by hosting minority students for externships. We look forward to further innovative partnerships with Facebook to help us meet our remaining goals.”
Recent achievements that contributed to Facebook’s recognition of White & Case include:
- As of January 1, 2020, 22 percent of White & Case’s partners are women.
- The firm continues to focus on the representation of Black lawyers and other lawyers of color.
- For the last two years, White & Case has met the criteria for Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Certification, and this year received Certified Plus status, which indicates that White & Case considered at least 30 percent women and minorities for most leadership positions and in senior-level recruiting, in addition to having achieved representation of at least 30 percent women and minorities in a large number of key leadership roles.
- White & Case recently qualified for the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) certification as a Gold Standard Firm in the United States and the United Kingdom.