Proskauer stands against racism. While our work towards racial justice is longstanding, we know that we must do much more.
Racism is a global issue that impacts society at large, but we know that change begins within our own institutions. At Proskauer, we are focused on combating bigotry and prejudice and enhancing diversity and inclusion efforts.
Raising Collective Consciousness
We have developed a new, ongoing featured speaker series and regularly scheduled forums to explore specific concepts relating to racism, equity, and inclusion. These discussions will be open to the Proskauer community, including our clients and alumni.
The first of our Exchange Forums - “A Conversation on Being Black in America and Effective Allyship” - was held on Juneteenth and attended by over 1,000 people from our Proskauer community. Hosted by our Black Lawyer Affinity Group, the discussion was facilitated by culture change expert Michelle Silverthorn.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, Retention, Promotion and Training
Proskauer is heavily invested in its diversity initiatives. We are working to meaningfully increase the pipeline of diverse lawyers and business services professionals in our Firm.
Our approach is guided by our Diversity Task Force and informed by feedback from our people. The Task Force is a leadership group empowered to develop major, targeted initiatives to raise the bar for the Firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy and to ensure that all voices are heard and elevated. It includes two members of the Firm’s Executive Committee, the Firm’s Managing Partner, two department chairs, three office heads and recruiting team members, among others.
Accordingly, the Task Force has implemented mandatory bias awareness training, which has been undertaken by all members of the Firm. We also have training focused on inclusive hiring, mentoring/sponsoring across difference, and inclusive leadership. Our goal is to train every member of our workforce on diversity and inclusion concepts to ensure that everyone is equipped to champion diversity and inclusion at Proskauer and as members of the larger legal industry.
We know that transparency and accountability is essential. We will continue to regularly share our diversity plan and the progress that we make with our employees and our clients.
Collaboration with Racial Justice and Community Organizations
It is critical that we continue to collaborate with racial justice institutions, community organizations, other leading legal organizations, our clients and alumni to create sustainable and impactful solutions to combat racism. We are developing a number of immediate and long term pro bono opportunities, focused in particular this year on justice reform and mass incarceration, and voter protection.
As part of our work for racial justice, Proskauer has provided counsel on more than 300 pro bono matters this year, totaling approximately 10,500+ hours. One of our most valuable resources is our people, and by the end of 2020, we will have committed at least 25,000 hours of our time to racial justice causes. We aim to meet or exceed this goal each year going forward.
Our work this year has particularly focused on criminal justice, voting rights, immigration cases, advice to minority-owned small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs of color, nonprofits with racial justice missions, and anti-poverty and anti-violence matters. We were proud to collaborate with the Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, nonprofits committed to advancing diversity and inclusion. Moreover, we advised the Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Consortium, Universal Hip Hop Museum, and 16th Street Baptist Church Community Development Corporation, non-profits dedicated to preserving and celebrating Black History.
Proskauer is a community of over 1,300 individuals around the world, and we know that each of the communities in which we live and work faces its own set of unique social justice issues and complexities. To enable our own people to engage with causes they are passionate about, in addition to our own Foundation, we have created an employee-donation match program to support public organizations fighting for racial justice.