Diversity

We recognize that the quality of our counsel relies on the diversity of our perspectives. To realize the true power of a diverse and inclusive workforce, an organization must encourage an environment where all professionals feel supported and have a sense of belonging. This is our goal.

Venable's Commitment to Fight Racism

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 is confirmed 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. Two of our four divisions are led by women or racially diverse attorneys, and women and racially diverse partners chair or co-chair 15 of our 32 practice groups. While we are proud of our progress, the ongoing struggle for racial equity underscores the urgent need to do even better. In the spring of 2020, the firm’s management committee spearheaded a “Moments and Movements” campaign to acknowledge and confront discrimination. They are now creating forums where our professionals can freely share their experiences and disseminating educational resources that explore systemic racism. These efforts build upon the firm’s board-level Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, which was established by our chairman, Stu Ingis, in 2017. Through this work, we have developed a multipronged approach to recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse talent.

Commitment to Our Professionals

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 from a wide range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and social backgrounds.

Recruit. We proudly partner with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), the premier organization fostering equality in the legal profession, to 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, and senior staff 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.

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.

Former Venable partner Judge Robert Wilkins was instrumental in the development of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Partly because of the contributions of Judge 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.

Recruiting and Retention
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Recruiting

Venable's Hiring Committee makes a concerted effort to interview diverse candidates who have a demonstrated record of success, including academic achievement and other credentials. For the past two decades, all of our entering classes of associates and summer associates have included significant diverse representation. In 2019, our 2L summer class was 41% racially diverse and/or LGBTQ+ students and 65% women. In 2020, the 2L summer class consisted of 49% racially diverse and/or LGBTQ+ students and 51% women.

We recruit diverse talent from historically black law schools and other top-tier schools around the country, and from job fairs, such as the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, the Northeast Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Job Fair, the Western Region BLSA Job Fair, and the Lavender Law conference.

We proudly partner with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), the premier organization fostering equality in the legal profession, to build and cultivate a robust recruiting pipeline. Partnership with LCLD requires active participation in LCLD conferences by our co-managing partners.

Venable attorneys are also well represented in the National Bar Association, the oldest and largest national association of predominately African American lawyers and judges in the country, and in the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

Venable is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Diversity Fact Sheet
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At Venable, we believe the best way to help our clients resolve their legal and business issues is by bringing the broadest possible range of perspectives and experience to bear. We firmly believe that a talented and diverse legal team delivers the best results for our clients.

We are committed to inclusion, openness, and support for all of our lawyers and staff, and for our communities. To meet these standards, we welcome lawyers and staff from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. We pledge to maintain these high standards in all of our recruiting efforts and professional development initiatives.

Recruiting and Developing Our Diverse Workforce

Supporting our clients' diversity goals begins with attracting, retaining, and promoting a diverse and talented attorney base. We aggressively recruit top talent from the country's top-tier, regional, and historically black law schools. We also recruit promising attorneys from government agencies, companies, and law firms of all sizes. Because of these efforts, 39% of our attorneys are women, racially diverse associates make up 25% of our associate ranks across all offices, and since 2009 the number of racially diverse partners has increased by 40%.

Diversity in Our Leadership

This commitment starts at the top. Venable was the first Am Law 100 law firm to have an African American serve as its managing partner: Karl Racine, who went on to become the current DC attorney general. 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 racially diverse partners lead some of our premier practice groups, including eCommerce and Privacy, IP Transactions, FDA, International Trade, Financial Services, Antitrust, Nonprofit, Healthcare, and Wealth Planning; and the Professional Development and Recruiting Committee, the International Steering Committee, and the Venable Foundation.. 

Supporting Women and Families

The firm strongly supports its women lawyers' professional and personal development in key ways. This includes funding business and career development education and accommodating flexible and reduced work schedule requirements for lawyers. Indeed, approximately 9% of our lawyers are on a reduced schedule. Venable also provides a wide range of family-friendly benefits and programs for all of our lawyers and staff.

Pro Bono Representation

The firm has long recognized the importance of providing first-rate legal representation to those who are unable to afford an attorney. This commitment is important to our community, the firm, and our profession.

Recognition
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  • In 2020, 2019 and 2018, Venable received top honors from the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity for its diversity and inclusion efforts
  • In 2019, Venable was named a Lawyers of Color Diversity & Inclusion Leader
  • In 2019, Venable was named a Gold Standard firm by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)
  • In 2019, Venable was recognized by The American Lawyer as a "Top Firm" for Diversity
  • In 2019, Venable was recognized by Yale Law Women among its Top Ten Firms for Gender Equity and Family Friendliness Report
  • In 2019, Courtney Capute was named to the Baltimore Sun's Women to Watch
  • In 2019, Venable received the New York City Bar Association's 2019 Diversity Fellowship Program Partner of the Year Award
  • In 2019, Lisa Tavares was named to the Emerging Women Leaders in Law (Private Practice) by DCA Live
  • In 2018, Savoy featured Lisa Tavares and Claude Bailey among its "2018 Most Influential Black Lawyers"
  • In 2018, Diversity Journal named Claudia Lewis, co-head of the FDA practice and Venable board member, among its "Women Worth Watching"
  • In 2018, the DC Breastfeeding Coalition recognized Venable's DC office with the Silver Level Award during its Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards
  • In 2016, Venable received the Diversity and Inclusion Partnership Award from Edward Jones
  • In 2015, the University of Maryland Black Law Students Association (BLSA) recognized Venable efforts to promote diversity with its 2015 Firm Diversity Award
  • In 2013, Venable partner Suzanne St. Pierre was honored by pro bono client Brooklyn Community Pride Center at the organization's annual gala. BCPC provides social services to the LGBT community in Brooklyn, with a focus on youth and seniors
  • In 2012, for the third year in a row, Venable was named a Top 100 Law Firm for Diversity and Top 100 Law Firm for Women by MultiCultural Law magazine
  • In 2012, Venable received a diversity award at the 33rd Annual Awards Banquet of the Black Law Students Association of the University of Baltimore
  • In 2011, Venable received the Law Firm Diversity Award at the DRI Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. In 2011, the firm also received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon for the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • In 2010, the University of Maryland Chapter of the Black Law Students Association recognized Venable as "Firm of the Year"