Debevoise Receives the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s 2023 Law Firm Diversity Award

2 June 2023

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has received the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s (“AABANY”) 2023 AABANY Law Firm Diversity Award.

AABANY recognizes Debevoise’s longstanding commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion within the legal profession through the firm’s numerous DEI programs and ongoing initiatives and its furtherance of AABANY’s mission, which includes the active and affirmative recruitment, retention, promotion and development of Asian American and Pacific Islander lawyers in New York.

Some of the innovative DEI programs initiated by Debevoise include the following:

  • 2022 Attorney of Color Retreat, which involved a hackathon moderated by thought leaders Jerry Kang and Devon Carbado, and during which prototypes around feedback & evaluations, work allocation and mentoring were discussed.
  • Pilot program with the National LGBTQ+ Bar, for those who identify as trans and/or nonbinary lawyers and professional/support staff working in big law firms, with monthly gatherings led by openly trans attorney Dru Levasseur, the LGBTQ+ Bar’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to create a safe space for transgender individuals.
  • Coaching by Faith Chung, the firm’s Diversity Equity Inclusion Manager, who obtained her Volta Lawyer Coach Certification and coaches lawyers at every level, with 26% of participating attorneys identifying as Asian.
  • Partnership with Ginger, a platform designed to identify patterns of anxiety, stress and depression through smartphone-based technology, and which also employs a diverse team of counselors and provides training in cultural competency for care providers.

Debevoise’s Asian Affinity Group’s programming focused on education, self-defense and allyship, including:

  • Speaking event with U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, who shared her experiences and perspectives on public service that inspired her commitment to breaking barriers as the first Asian American woman and only immigrant serving in the Senate.
  • “A History of Asian American Civil Rights Activism” workshop—led by Julia Wang of the Immigrant History Initiative—exploring Asian American history through the lens of the law and sharing the often unknown stories of resilience and strength of Asian Americans in responding to injustice.
  • Partnership with the Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and Right to Be to host a two-part interactive workshop and training focused on bystander intervention, conflict de-escalation and the role of implicit and explicit bias in conflict.
  • A travel buddy system, where Asian attorneys were paired to commute together to work in response to fears of traveling because of anti-Asian hate crimes during COVID-19.

For more information, read the press release here.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.