Richards Layton & Finger
 

Diversity

Richards, Layton & Finger is an inclusive workplace that recruits the finest lawyers and nurtures their talents. What allows for our success is the firm-wide belief that diversity of people—whether by reason of gender, ethnicity, race, religion, physical ability, educational background or sexual orientation—means a diversity of experiences and skills that enhances the firm’s ability to provide preeminent client service.

Our commitment to diversity means more than good intentions. It is a policy reflected in the results we have achieved over the years: We were the first major law firm in Wilmington to have a female partner, the first to have an African-American partner, and the first to have a South Asian partner. Our current initiatives continue this commitment—for instance, the firm provides health benefits to domestic partners of attorneys and staff.

Most recently, several of the firm’s attorneys were instrumental in drafting and passing Delaware’s landmark Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011, legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples in the state. A firm director chairs the Equality Delaware Foundation, is a director of Equality Delaware, Inc., and was a recipient of the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2011 Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 award.

The firm also fosters diversity though its involvement with service projects for the community, such as those in recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and Dr. King’s dedication to service. Members of the firm also volunteer their time, effort and energies to other organizations dedicated to the improvement and advancement of traditionally underrepresented minorities, such as the National Hispanic Bar Association and the New Castle County Diversity Commission. Activities have included volunteering through the National Latino/Latina Law Students Association as a mentor for prospective law school applicants.

We are engaged in a variety of projects, programs and initiatives in our community that are designed to foster greater diversity in the firm and the Delaware bar. 

Delaware Minority Job Fair
In conjunction with the Delaware State Bar Association, the Delaware Minority Job Fair was originally organized by a consortium of Delaware legal employers interested in increasing diversity in the Delaware legal and business communities. Richards Layton took a lead role in that organization. This job fair offers law students an opportunity to interview with a variety of well-respected Delaware employers and to learn about the practice of law in the state from leaders of the legal community. A second annual job fair was added to attract first-year minority law students. Richards Layton has coordinated and organized the Delaware Minority Job Fair several times since its inception in 1992, and is an ongoing sponsor and participant.

Delaware State Bar Association Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section
Members of the firm are involved in this active section of the state bar association. This section is responsible for several community-based initiatives, including one that seeks to establish mentoring relationships between members of the section and minority high school students who one day may become members of the bar.

USLFG Committees on Women and Racial Diversity
The United States Law Firm Group (USLFG) is a national network of 19 established law firms, each headquartered in a major city in one of the country’s leading commercial states. Richards Layton is represented on both the Women’s Committee and the Diversity Committee of the USLFG.

Lex Mundi
Lex Mundi is a global network of 160 premier firms in more than 100 countries with more than 21,000 lawyers. Lex Mundi Global Opportunities for Advancement and Leadership for Women in the Legal Profession, also known as Lex Mundi GOAL, addresses this challenge by identifying and providing specific resources that assist firms in the advancement and retention of this valuable talent pool, leading to more positive working relationships and a positive impact overall. The firm has been involved in developing GOAL and conferring with fellow members to implement its objectives.

DirectWomen
DirectWomen is an initiative of the American Bar Association to identify women lawyers for appointment to corporate boards. The initiative involves a training institute to provide these women with the necessary tools to be effective board members. Richards Layton is one of the first sponsors, and directors of the firm have served on the Development Committee.

Jurist Academy
The firm is pleased to again sponsor the Jurist Academy, a two-week summer camp held at the Delaware campus of Widener University Law School that introduces minority undergraduates to the law and encourages them to pursue a legal education. In its fourth year, the program hosts students entering their junior or senior year of college. This summer the firm will welcome the students for a visit to the firm to introduce them to our practice.

High School Work-Study Program
Richards Layton participates in Howard High School of Technology’s Work-Study Program. Howard High School is a well-regarded technical school with a long history of leadership in the local minority community. The program introduces high school students to various fields, including the legal profession. The firm has hosted students in the program at our offices, introducing them to a law firm environment and providing us an important link with potential minority law school students.

Elementary School Mentoring
Attorneys and staff members mentor and tutor students at Bancroft Academy, a City of Wilmington elementary school with a predominantly minority population. Through our mentoring program, we can make a direct contribution to the daily lives and education of children in our community. In connection with this program, Richards Layton received a special tribute signed by the governor and lieutenant governor recognizing the firm’s dedication to youth mentoring in Delaware.

Richards Layton has a long tradition of valuing diversity. We also recognize that promoting diversity in our firm and community encourages even greater understanding and appreciation for diversity. Richards Layton is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability or on any other basis prohibited by state or federal law.

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