Venable’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is, without question, one of the firm’s greatest strengths. Our mission is to deliver the highest-quality legal services in the most efficient manner, and we pride ourselves in identifying, recruiting, and retaining the best, brightest, and most capable attorneys and legal staff from all walks of life. We understand fully that only relevant actions lead to success, and that developing a work environment that values the worth and potential of every member is one of the most relevant actions in which we can engage as a law firm.
Our belief that all voices are important and add significant value can be seen both within and outside the firm. Racially diverse and women partners are a significant presence in the firm's senior leadership and throughout the firm's management structure. Forty percent of our board consists of women and racially diverse members – nearly double the typical representation of such attorneys on boards at comparable law firms. Women and diverse partners lead key firm leadership committees, including Professional Development and Recruiting, the International Steering Committee, and The Venable Foundation.
The members of our Diversity Committee are dedicated to ensuring that no employee at Venable feels that his or her background presents a barrier to success. We believe that Justice Thurgood Marshall was correct when he said, "In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute." We know that we pay our firm and our clients the highest tribute by doing all that we can to strengthen our greatest resources, and improving the quality of the Venable experience.
Management's Commitment to Diversity
Venable knows that the key to understanding the full spectrum of business and legal options lies in approaching the situation from a diverse set of viewpoints. We recruit, develop, and promote highly skilled lawyers, paraprofessionals, and support staff with varied perspectives and a wide range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and social backgrounds.
While we are proud of our progress, we know we have more to do. In 2017, the firm's chairman, Stu Ingis, established a board-level Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to assess our current diversity and inclusion efforts and identify ways to accelerate them. In our mission to reflect the diverse communities we serve, we follow a multi-pronged approach to recruit, retain, and promote diverse talent.
Recruit. We proudly partner with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), the premier organization fostering equality in the legal profession, to help build and cultivate a robust recruiting pipeline. Partnership with LCLD requires active participation in LCLD conferences by our co-managing partners.
Retain. Firm leadership, including the board, and members of the Evaluation and Hiring Committees, have received mandatory unconscious bias and inclusion training focused on "Inclusive Leadership."
Promote. Our affinity groups promote career growth and wellness for our diverse attorneys, focusing on support for members and the ongoing development of junior and mid-level lawyers. Through workshops and networking events, group members develop relationships with Venable leaders, mentors, colleagues, and clients.
Management's Commitment to our Communities
We believe that strong communities are not homogeneous, but are instead built by individuals with a wealth of experiences and backgrounds. Venable takes great pride in strengthening the communities in which we live and work by supporting education and social justice initiatives, and by providing legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need.
Community organizations in which Venable attorneys play an active role include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington, DC, The South Baltimore Learning Center, and a host of others in every community in which the firm has a presence. In addition, former Venable partner Robert Wilkins was instrumental in the development of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Partly because of the contributions of Mr. Wilkins, Congress passed legislation authorizing the museum and initial appropriations of $30 million for its construction.
In pursuit of our mission to support diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, Venable is pleased to consider sponsorship and event requests from all bar affiliated organizations, law schools, and law student organizations. We ask that you direct all sponsorship requests and event inquiries to Noelle Kellogg at +1 212.503.0673 or NEKellogg@Venable.com.