Diversity of background, culture and thought is a vital part of the firm’s identity and we are committed to promoting an inclusive community where all are welcomed and encouraged to do their best work. We respect the different backgrounds and perspectives of everyone at the firm, and support colleagues in developing their full potential.
Read the Debevoise Statement on Diversity.
Happening Now: Debevoise Affinity Groups Launch “Identities in the Workplace” Workshop Series
The Women’s Resource Group and Debevoise Affinity Groups launched a workshop series focusing on identities in the workplace. The inaugural workshop featured panelists Melissa Tidwell (General Counsel at Reddit and a Debevoise alumna) and Professor Suzanne Goldberg (Columbia Law School) who discussed the role of authenticity in the workplace. The next workshop slated for the fall will explore imposter syndrome.
Diversity is a Core Value and Critical Business Priority
Debevoise’s top priority has always been to provide the best legal service to our clients, and we recognize that the inclusion, sponsorship and advancement of lawyers of color, women lawyers and LGBTQ+ lawyers within the firm are cornerstones of our continued success.
Our performance on diversity is an important business metric. Some of the ways we invest in attracting diverse talent are sponsoring diverse student groups at law schools across the country; attracting diverse candidates at the Northeast BLSA Job Fair, the Hispanic National Bar Association Job Fair and the Lavender Law Career Fair (LGBTQ+), and recruiting from historically black universities; connecting diverse candidates with diverse Debevoise lawyers to provide guidance during the recruiting process; hosting a diversity reception and social events for diverse offerees, enriching the summer associate experience through the involvement of affinity groups; and providing diversity and inclusion training for summer associates.
Investing in the Development and Retention of Diverse Lawyers
Debevoise takes the necessary steps to ensure that diverse associates are able to develop their legal skills and see a career path for themselves at the firm.
- Mentoring programs support the retention and promotion of diverse lawyers, increase lawyer engagement and foster talent development.
- Training and professional development programs help lawyers identify and utilize practical tools they can implement in their daily practice.
- Affinity groups and affinity group programs strengthen the support systems and sense of community among different groups and increase the substance training opportunities for associates of diverse backgrounds: Black Lawyers Affinity Group, Asian Affinity Group, First Generation Professionals Affinity Group, Jewish Affinity Group, Latin@ Affinity Group, LGBTQ+ Affinity Group and Women’s Resource Group.
- The Diversity Speakers Series features senior legal executives from different fields and diverse backgrounds speaking about their professional experiences and career paths.
Building an Inclusive Community of Diverse Lawyers
Our lawyers serve in leadership positions at, and the firm supports, organizations that cultivate a more diverse and inclusive legal profession and create opportunities for minority students.
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Debevoise is active in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). Presiding Partner Michael W. Blair serves on the Executive Committee of the Board and as Treasurer. In 2017, Debevoise was named a “Top Performer” by the LCLD.
- Catalyst. In 2017, Debevoise joined more than 40 leading global businesses to launch Catalyst CEO Champions for Change. Partner and Co-Chair of Debevoise’s litigation department, Mary Beth Hogan, is a member of Catalyst’s Board.
- National Association of Women Lawyers. Debevoise is a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Challenge Club.
Debevoise Women’s Review
The Debevoise Women’s Review, a first-of-its-kind platform among law firms, was developed to inspire the legal and business communities to engage in discussion and collective action around gender diversity. Unlike a traditional marketing platform, the content is developed and the editorial process managed almost entirely by lawyers at the firm, most of whom are associates, allowing for an authentic, first-person perspective. Join the conversation at women.debevoise.com.
Not Just Talk: From Idea to Action
At Debevoise, we ensure that associates have a voice in how the firm follows through on its commitment to diversity and inclusion. We value their ideas and we don’t just listen—we act. For example, the firm recently developed a new diversity training program aimed at mid-level and senior associates who are involved in assigning work to, and supervising, junior lawyers and staff. This new program was suggested by an associate at an affinity group meeting. Within a month, we had developed a program and added it to the firm’s regular mid-level and senior associate training curriculum.
What People Say About Us
- #1 in the 2018 Chambers Associate Law Firm Diversity Survey.
- #6 for Overall Diversity by Vault 2018 Best Law Firms for Diversity Survey.
- Perfect Score — for the ninth consecutive year, Debevoise received a perfect score for “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
- In 2018, 66% of women litigation partners were among Benchmark Litigation’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation” in the United States.
- Recognized 10 times by Working Mother Media as one of the “50 Best Law Firms for Women”.
By the Numbers
- 40% of Debevoise partner promotions since 2008 have been women.
- From 2012 to 2017, the representation of lawyers of color at the firm increased by 42% for U.S. associates and 86% for U.S. partners.
- 55% of associates hired in our U.S. offices in 2017 were women.
- The firm’s five most recent U.S. summer classes are 43% diverse, including LGBTQ+.
Download Diversity Brochure
Workforce diversity data relating to our London office is available from our London HR Manager.