Annual award celebrates outstanding efforts to increase inclusion, diversity and equity in the legal profession
NEW YORK, June 14, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has recognized five law firms — Baker McKenzie; Allen & Overy; McDermott Will & Emery; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; and Lewis Silkin — with its Outside Counsel Diversity Award. Now in its second year, the annual award celebrates firms working with Accenture that are making tangible progress in inclusion, diversity and equity. This commitment is a key aspect of how Accenture chooses its legal partners.
“We work with legal partners that share our belief in the power of diversity — it is critical for innovation, attracts the best people and makes us smarter,” said Julie Sweet, chair and CEO, Accenture. “We are honored to recognize these five outstanding firms, whose strong commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity makes their work — and ours — the best it can be.”
Accenture’s legal team analyzed the diversity initiatives for 2021 of more than 70 small, medium and large law firms, measuring their progress in diversity (both firm-wide and specifically on Accenture matters); inclusion, diversity and equity activities; and advancing diversity commitments across the legal industry.
“The winners share our values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Joel Unruch, general counsel and corporate secretary, Accenture. “We recognize these leaders for their commitment and believe that all our partners have an opportunity to make significant contributions to diversity across the legal profession and to accelerate change.”
The Accenture Outside Counsel Diversity Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of these law firms:
Baker McKenzie continues to be a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2019, the firm set ambitious 40:40:20 global gender aspirational targets for leadership, which represents 40% male, 40% female and 20% non-binary or flexible by 2025 and is already making good progress. Baker McKenzie also partners with the Accenture legal team in pro bono initiatives on several programs, including a recent proprietary tool that helps analyze domestic violence laws around the world, and is also involved in a mentorship program to develop diverse talent with mergers & acquisition skills.
Allen & Overy has a dedicated diversity and inclusion lead who works with senior leadership, including partner-level regional leads, to help the firm achieve its ambitious diversity, equity and inclusion goals. The firm has a reverse mentorship program, which pairs up senior leaders with junior and diverse lawyers to understand their career aspirations and challenges.
McDermott Will & Emery continues to promote diverse lawyers into partnership and leadership roles. The firm also supports various diverse employee groups to further promote inclusion and equality in the legal industry. Through McDermott Rise, a dedicated program to combat inequality and promote fairness for Black and all entrepreneurs of color, McDermott provides legal and business services to early-stage and emerging companies that have innovative plans and are solving important problems in their communities, helping them launch and scale their businesses.
Osler has invested in internships, scholarships and sponsorships to help increase the pipeline of Black and Indigenous talent in the legal industry in Canada. Osler’s Advancement of Women Lawyers program helps propel senior women associates into partnership. The firm’s Legal Professional Resource Groups, including the Osler Black Lawyers’ Network, Osler South Asian Network, Asia-Pacific Affinity Network, Osler Pride Network and Osler Women Lawyers’ Network, provide social networking and business development opportunities. The firm also provides clients with a dashboard that reports on gender diversity at the matter level.
Lewis Silkin established a six-year legal apprenticeship program that combines work experience at the firm with formal education. This introduced a non-traditional path to achieve a law degree, opening up the opportunity to practice law to all, despite financial or other barriers. The firm has several internal and external programs to promote inclusion and diversity and is a founding member of LeGalBesT, a London-based LGBT network for small- and mid-sized law firms.
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