International law firm Dorsey & Whitney is pleased to announce that the Firm has committed to take one “Do Something Hard” action as part of the 2021 Inclusion Blueprint.
Dorsey is one of 50 law firms that are participating in the Inclusion Blueprint, a collaborative project between Diversity Lab and ChIPs. The project provides a first-of-its-kind tool to measure inclusion actions that law firms can and should employ—at both the leadership and practice group levels—to ensure that historically underrepresented lawyers have fair and equal access to quality work, influential sponsors and clients, and other opportunities.
The assessment includes three main categories for law firms to track, measure, and benchmark their diversity and inclusion efforts at the leadership and practice group levels: (1) current diversity representation thresholds and year-over-year progress; (2) ongoing inclusion practices and activities; and (3) a commitment to “hard” actions to be implemented over the next year.
The public commitments to “Do Something Hard” are a new addition to this year’s assessment. Following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, many law firms issued statements confirming their commitment to racial equality and ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly in the workplace and beyond. “Research shows that real change requires actions that are meaningful, sustained long term, and measurable—not just statements,” said Erin Hichman, Diversity Lab’s Director of Data Management. “The ‘Do Something Hard’ actions, when put in place by firm management and supported by all partners at the practice group level, signal that they are serious about and committed to making their own group’s systems more equitable.”
The actions at the Leadership level include: (1) 50 hours of billable credit for DEI contributions; (2) partner and/or practice group leader compensation linked to DEI; and (3) pay and origination credit equity gap analyses for partners.
The actions at the Practice Group level include: (1) matter credit for diverse lawyers for new and expanding work; (2) client team diversity and direct access; and (3) an Ally Action Pledge.
By committing to the first Leadership action, Dorsey will go beyond simply offering 50 hours of “billable credit” to lawyers for meaningful contributions to diversity and inclusion at the Firm and in the profession by tracking and measuring whether those hours are being used equally by various demographic populations and making changes to remedy unequal distribution across various demographic populations.
As part of their commitment to these actions, the participating firms’ leaders will report their progress to Diversity Lab and also participate in the 2022 Inclusion Blueprint to remain accountable to these actions.
Read more about Dorsey and the law firms that have publicly committed to implement the actions at the Leadership and Practice Group levels by January 2022.“Dorsey knows that real change requires action, not just statements,” said Dorsey Managing Partner Bill Stoeri. “We believe that the ‘Do Something Hard’ actions will lead to improvements in how we operate our business and in how our policies and practices impact colleagues and clients. We are dedicated to improvement both inside and outside our Firm.”