Diversity

Providing the highest-quality legal and business counsel means learning from—and integrating—a multitude of ideas and perspectives. In that regard, Venable’s commitment to fostering diversity among our attorneys, policy advisors, and legal staff remains one of our greatest priorities.

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. Women and minorities have a significant presence in the firm’s senior leadership and throughout the firm’s management structure. Attorneys with diverse backgrounds play key roles on the firm's various committees, and assist in creating the policies and procedures that make us successful. They provide leadership to several key committees, including the Management Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Finance Committee. Venable attorneys also offer dedicated, client-focused legal representation, and make substantial contributions to the communities in which they live and work. Indeed, that is the Venable way.

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 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.

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. These programs include such diverse initiatives as the Just the Beginning Foundation, D.C. Minority Partners, Stakeholder 100, "Call to Action," and others.

Leading minority attorneys also play key roles on the firm's management committees, including Legal Personnel, Associate Evaluation, Hiring, Compensation, Partnership Selection, and Diversity.

Management's Commitment to the Minority Community

We believe that strong communities are not homogenous, 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.

Our support for the minority community extends across many facets of our lives as professionals, from handling pro bono matters to advocating on behalf of organizations that serve minorities. For example, Venable attorneys have donated thousands of hours of pro bono legal services to organizations pursuing critical civil rights lawsuits. One example of this commitment is Mitchell Mirviss's two-decade involvement in a series of lawsuits to improve the quality of care provided to foster children in Baltimore. Another is former partner Robert Wilkins' landmark racial profiling lawsuit against the Maryland State Police and the subsequent monitoring of that organization’s compliance. Wilkins’ suit is one of the longest-running civil rights lawsuits in the nation’s history. In these two matters, and the many others in which Venable attorneys have donated their services, the firm has shown an unwavering commitment to defending the rights of the minority community.

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, Robert Wilkins was instrumental in the development of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Due in part to 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 Shannon Curry at +1 202.344.4421 or sdcurry@Venable.com.

Diversity Committee
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Recruiting and Retention
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Recruiting

Venable's Hiring Committee makes a concerted effort to interview minority 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 minority representation. In fact, in every year since 2005, minorities represented 20 percent or more of our entering associate class.

In our effort to identify and attract minority candidates, we place a strong emphasis on such initiatives as on-campus recruiting at law schools and job fairs with significant minority populations, and outreach to minority student organizations. In addition, Venable has been an active participant in and contributor to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and other groups devoted to recruiting promising minority students to the legal profession.

Venable attorneys also are 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.

Retention, Mentoring and Professional Development Programs

Venable has active programs in place that assist our minority retention, mentoring, and professional development efforts. These include our Preceptor Program, in which all first- and second-year associates are assigned to a "Preceptor," typically a partner or senior associate, who is responsible for the new lawyer's training and integration into the firm. Each new attorney is matched with a lawyer who has accepted responsibility for that new attorney's initial success at Venable.

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 minority 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, more than 36 percent of our attorneys are women, and minority attorneys make up 20 percent of our associate ranks.

Diversity in Our Leadership

Venable's commitment to diversity starts at the top. Diversity and inclusion are primary objectives of the firm's strategic plan. The firm's former managing partner, Karl Racine, was the first African American managing partner of an AmLaw 100 firm. Women and minorities serve as heads of important practice groups and committees within the firm, including the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Antitrust, International Trade, Corporate, and Regulatory Practice Groups, as well as the Professional Development and Recruiting and Diversity Committees.

Our Diversity Committee

Under the direction of chair Nora Garrote, our Diversity Committee makes recommendations to firm management regarding the best ways to support our goal of maintaining a diverse and inclusive firm. The committee also drives the successful implementation of diversity initiatives.

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 nine percent 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

Venable's dedication to the minority community extends to our pro bono work as well, and 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 2019, Venable Named a Lawyers of Color Diversity & Inclusion Leader
  • In 2019, Venable Recognized by The American Lawyer as a "Top Firm" for Diversity
  • In 2019, Venable Recognized by Yale Law Women in Its Top Ten Firms for Gender Equity and Family Friendliness Report
  • In 2019, Lisa Tavares Named to the Emerging Women Leaders in Law (Private Practice) by DCA Live
  • In 2018, Savoy featured Lisa Tavares and Claude Bailey as a "2018 Most Influential Black Lawyers"
  • In 2018, The DC Breastfeeding Coalition recognized Venable's DC office with the Silver Level Award during its Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards
  • In 2018, Venable received top honors from LCLD for its diversity and inclusion efforts
  • 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 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"