Most law firms and legal departments recognize the value of diversity in the legal profession, and many have taken steps to increase diversity within their organizations. But challenges remain, including high attrition rates. To provide meaningful support and guidance to diverse lawyers, our client Goldman Sachs chose White & Case to help develop its GS Latitude Mentoring Program. In 2019, the program, which launched as an initiative of Goldman Sachs’ London legal division, continued to expand into new regions. Latitude targets diverse law firm associates with three to six years of experience, levels at which significant attrition is common. Diverse is broadly defined to include factors such as ethnicity, gender, LGBT status, economic background and disability. Following an initial meeting, Goldman Sachs mentors and White & Case mentees connect at least quarterly as they pursue mentees’ objectives. Mentors and mentees often build relationships that last beyond the formal program. Mentors offer mentees a valuable outside perspective, providing guidance on issues such as building confidence, networking or promotion. The program launched three years ago, pairing three White & Case associates in London with senior Goldman Sachs lawyers for one year. Based on the enthusiastic response, Goldman Sachs extended Latitude to more lawyers and regions. In the program’s second year, six White & Case associates, from London, Frankfurt and Moscow, participated. In 2019, Latitude included seven Firm associates in London, Milan and New York. “Latitude is a key element of our legal division’s diversity program, and complements our firmwide focus on the importance of mentoring,” said Rowland Stacey, a Goldman Sachs Executive Director & Senior Counsel, who coordinates the program. “We are pleased to have broadened Latitude’s reach and look forward to further expanding our successful partnership with White & Case.”
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