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Washington, DC (September 28, 2011) – The Defense Research Institute (DRI) has recognized Venable LLP with its annual Law Firm Diversity Award.  DRI is the international organization of all attorneys involved in the defense of civil litigation.  DRI is committed to enhancing the skills, effectiveness, and professionalism of defense attorneys; anticipating and addressing issues germane to defense attorneys and the civil justice system; promoting appreciation of the role of defense attorneys; and improving the civil justice system and preserving the civil jury.
 
Established in 2002, the DRI Law Firm Diversity Award recognizes the member law firm that has achieved outstanding diversity goals.  Nominees include law firms that achieved significant success in the area of law department management while also demonstrating a commitment to increase diversity within and outside their legal departments.  Criteria for selection includes a demonstrated commitment to diversity as evidenced by a formal diversity plan committed to achievement, sensitivity and receptivity of diversity issues including promotion of its minority and women attorneys or volunteers.

"The DRI Law Firm Diversity Award reaffirms Venable's commitment to diversity as one of our greatest strengths," said Venable Managing Partner Karl Racine.  "Venable knows the key to understanding the full spectrum of business and legal options lies in approaching the situation from a variety of diverse viewpoints.  That is why, within the firm, the executive management team and Board continually review and approve a wide range of programs to further enhance Venable's effectiveness in recruiting, retaining and developing minority attorneys and professionals."

Venable's commitment to diversity is led by the firm's Diversity Committee whose mission is to ensure Venable's commitment to attracting, retaining and enhancing a diverse professional work force is realized through recruitment, education, mentoring and professional development.  The Committee leads the diversity progress in the firm, monitors progress through retention and promotion, and regularly reports back to the managing partner, executive committee, and board.  In addition, women and minorities serve as heads of important practice groups and committees within the firm, including the Corporate, SEC & White Collar Defense and Regulatory Practice Groups, as well as the Professional Development and Recruiting, Evaluation, Partnership Selection, and Diversity Committees.

"Historically, Venable has been at the forefront of law firms making good on promises of diversity and inclusion," said Craig Thompson, chair of Venable's Diversity Committee.  "Our belief that all voices are important and add significant value can be seen both within and outside the firm.  We are extremely happy with this award and we will continue our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion"

The DRI Law Firm Diversity Award will be presented at the annual Awards Luncheon on October 27 during the 2011 DRI Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  The luncheon will feature keynote speaker Tony Blankley, Executive Vice President of Edleman. 

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Note: An American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property , regulatory, and government affairs.