We consider ourselves a family firm, one with a fundamental culture of respect, camaraderie and cooperation that permeates all of our activities.
One hallmark of that culture is our commitment to diversity. We encourage diverse members of society to join us in the practice of law, to grow with us as professionals, and to benefit our clients through the diversity of their background, perception and experience. This guides us in all that we do – everything from our recruitment and professional development programs to the service providers we chose to hire.
In that spirit we proudly organize a variety of initiatives and programs that demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inside our walls and in our community.
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity ("LCLD"):
Herrick is extremely proud to continue to partner with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity ("LCLD"), an organization of more than 400 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners, who have pledged themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. Through mentorship and relationship building, LCLD helps to create a new and more diverse generation of attorneys to ascend to positions of leadership. Being a part of LCLD has afforded Herrick the opportunity to host and speak at fellowship roundtable lunches to promote diversity and mentorship amongst the group, and contribute to, and benefit from, its vast network. We are honored that Litigation Partner Shivani Poddar was selected as a member of the 2020 class of Fellows and Real Estate Associate Kamilla B. Rodrigues was selected as a member of the 2022 Class of Fellows. Herrick's Chief Operating Partner, Barbaros M. Karaahmet, is one of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's Leaders at the Front. Read his pledge here.
Corporate Equality Index 2022:
Herrick is proud to have received a high score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI is the nation's foremost benchmarking survey and report, measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. At Herrick, we are committed to creating an inclusive, welcoming environment rich in diversity where all attorneys and staff can live and work authentically.
2021 Tipping the Scales:
Herrick was recognized for 2021 Tipping the Scales in the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance's 2021 New Partner Report. The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance is a leading DC-based think tank dedicated to helping organizations create inclusive cultures that leverage flexibility to attract and retain top talent. Tipping the Scales recognizes firms with 50% or more women in their new partner class.
The Alliance’s New Partner Report is a yearly compilation and examination of publicly released data from the nation’s largest and top-grossing law firms regarding the attorneys promoted to partnership. It specifically examines the gender breakdown of attorneys promoted to partnership in their US offices. This report has been generated since 2012.
The ABA Pledge for Change:
Herrick is proud signatory of the American Bar Association Pledge for Change demonstrating our commitment to making workforces more diverse, specifically for lawyers with disabilities.
Herrick’s Diversity Committee:
It is through engaging all attorneys and legal staff, including our diverse attorneys, that we can best refine our efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive community within Herrick and bring to light and work through potential concerns. That’s why Herrick’s Executive Committee encourages active participation in the Diversity Committee from anyone at Herrick who would like to join. The Diversity Committee meets at least quarterly to continue to ensure consistency and engagement. The committee is tasked with:
- Promoting social accountability of Herrick as a whole;
- Creating metrics to measure progress and performance, including on hiring, retention, promotion, and assignment of work, among other areas, to promote transparency, objectivity, and accountability;
- Reviewing and developing policies and procedures that promote workplace diversity and inclusion;
- Organizing attorney-wide trainings and regular conversations on the benefits of diversity, promotion of inclusion and equity, and reducing unconscious biases;
- Promoting existing policies and procedures for employees to report workplace issues and creating new policies and procedures as appropriate, such as an anonymous hotline for grievances.
Herrick's Diversity Partners’ Program:
Our Diversity Partners’ Program consists of a Diversity Partner (“DP”) from each department charged with supporting diverse associates through hands-on mentorship. Each DP is charged with fulfilling certain responsibilities, including:
- Checking in with each diverse attorney in their department at least quarterly to ensure to attorney is giving the tools necessary to succeed at the Firm and help promote the goal of diverse attorney retention;
- Communicating with diverse attorneys about their career development plans and work with the attorneys to make those plans a reality;
- Ensuring diverse attorneys are receiving substantive and significant work and business development opportunities;
- Support diverse attorneys to take active roles in legal affinity groups;
- Regular reporting to the Department chairs and Firm leadership on progress.
Herrick's Women's Initiative Committee:
Our Women's Initiative Committee hosts a variety of enriching programs throughout the year. For example, the Committee hosted a viewing and discussion about the documentary "Miss Representation," which delves into how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence.
Diversity and Affinity-Focused Organizations:
Herrick attorneys participate in a number of organizations dedicated to the promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal field and supporting the career development of diverse attorneys. These include:
- Asian American Bar Association of New York
- Asian Real Estate Association of America
- Asian Real Estate Professionals Association
- Association of Black Women Attorneys
- Commercial Observer Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board
- Commercial Real Estate Women
- International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation’s New Jersey network
- Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York
- Ladies in Law
- League of Women Voters of the City of New York
- New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
- New York County Lawyers Association, Asian Practice Committee
- South Asian Bar Association of New York
Cultural Heritage Speaker Series:
Our speakers have included a range of accomplished men and women, who come to our firm to discuss how diversity has influenced their endeavors. Our guests have included:
- New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins, who spoke to us about his views on diversity, police-community relations and other themes pulled from his book A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic.
- Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, who spoke about her quest to understand the history of American Chinese food and the people who made it
- Zachary Carter, Esq., who spoke in honor of Black History Month
- Tom Ude from Lambda Legal, who spoke in honor of LGBT pride month
- Michael Rosen, who spoke about his book, What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse
- Carol Robles-Roman, former deputy mayor and the highest ranking Latina in New York City government
- Min Jin Lee, author of the Free Food for Millionaires, who spoke about growing up as a Korean immigrant first in Queens
- Rhonda Joy McLean, deputy general counsel at Time Inc., and author of The Little Black Book of Success, who spoke about her experience as one of three black girls in her grade school, and advice she had for navigating law firm life, regardless of race
- Alexandro M. Padrés, counsel at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and co-chair of its LGBT inclusion network, who spoke on a variety of issues, including then-pending court decisions regarding gay marriage
- Sara Moss, general counsel of Estee Lauder, who spoke about her trials and tribulations as a woman in the legal profession, as well as her role serving on her company’s diversity committee.