When I think about diversity at Latham & Watkins, several things stand out in my mind.
First, Latham is a firm that is not afraid to confront diversity issues head on. It has always been important to me to work somewhere that I'm comfortable sharing my thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding diversity, and I've found that at Latham. Through our Diversity Committee, our Diversity Scholars Program and our recruiting activities, Latham commits significant amounts of time and resources to recruiting and retaining diverse associates. For example, our Diversity Scholars Program demonstrates the depth of the firm's commitment to improving diversity in our profession. Similarly, the Recruiting Committee’s Diversity Hiring Sub-Committee and the Multicultural Promotion & Attainment Coalition (MPAC), spearheaded by associates in our New York and Washington, D.C. offices, work to create an atmosphere where diversity is an integral part of our firm culture.
Our formal Mentoring Program arose out of a Diversity Committee study of best practices and follow-up discussions and is now a tradition for all new associates across the firm. In addition, Latham's open door policy with respect to Office Managing Partners and local department heads and the accessibility of Associates and Recruiting Committee members encourages associates to discuss their feelings on diversity or any other issue. I've always found everyone to be as open and comfortable discussing diversity issues as they are with any other topic.
I also appreciate the smaller things through which the firm demonstrates its commitment to diversity. Latham has been incredibly supportive of my role on the Associate Board of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, which strives to foster racial and ethnic diversity in the Chicago legal community as well as the broader legal profession. Not only did I get a strong letter of recommendation for my candidacy from one of the partners here in the Chicago office, but the firm has hosted and supported various panels and events organized by the Committee. It’s easy for a firm to say it values diversity, but it’s quite another thing to see that support play out over and over again.
Finally, the fact that diversity is so ingrained in our culture leaves me free to focus on my professional development, knowing that I am respected for who I am and what I do. I have been able to set and achieve professional goals secure in the knowledge that I am judged on my abilities as an attorney above all else. That kind of security gives me the freedom to continue growing professionally and develop the skills necessary to build a practice and have a successful legal career.