Focus on a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
“I want to look around the firm and see people who are like me, and people who are different from me.” Jiyon Yun, Partner and Diversity Committee founding member.
As diverse as the clients we represent, Archer Norris is proud of our efforts and achievements in furthering a diverse workplace. Law firms in California are widely seen as outpacing the rest of the nation when it comes to creating diverse work environments. As we expand our focus beyond our home state, we also have the opportunity to expand our long-standing practice of encouraging and supporting diversity.
The Archer Norris Diversity Profile
Diversity is not an abstract concept at Archer Norris. It is our reality and a reflection of the communities where we serve and reside. We are more diverse than most large law firms, as surveyed by The American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard 2011. The Archer Norris workforce is nearly 60 percent female and more than 28 percent minority.
More than 80 percent of our managers are women and we have more than 40 percent female/minority lawyers. Partner diversity is nearly 25 percent, which includes a 7 percent increase in female/minority partners in 2009 alone, and gives us a strong foundation upon which to build.
Diversity Across the Firm
Our commitment to diversity includes everyone in the firm - lawyers and staff. It encompasses differences in race, gender, age, ethnicity, national origin, disabilities, marital status, religious beliefs, political affiliation and sexual orientation. A 2010 internal survey of Archer Norris employees received a nearly 85 percent response rate. They indicated overall positive support and a shared purpose for our efforts and commitment to diversity.
Foundation of Support for Hiring and Retaining Diverse Talent
We believe that attracting and maintaining a diversified workforce generate a positive impact. Archer Norris is proud to live by the example of our responsible business practices that improve our counsel to clients.
Diversity Programs to Encourage and Engage Employees
Archer Norris has a formal diversity committee that develops programs to reflect and embrace the diversity of our firm. It is chaired by partner Nandor Krause, and includes partners Glenn Mau, Trajan Perez, and Jiyon Yun, along with several members of firm management. Attorneys and others in the firm are invited to attend annual Open Forum meetings, where we share ideas for advancing diversity at Archer Norris in a collaborative team environment.
Program objectives include:
Recruit diverse candidates, both lawyers and staff, to our workforce
Create a work environment that makes full use of the varied contributions of our employees
Identify and support involvement in diversity programs and events
Firm Culture and Diversity
Our commitment is reflected in our firm culture, which actively supports work-life balance concerns. A significant number of our attorneys and staff work flexible schedules, tailored to their needs and the needs of our clients. We also provide equal opportunity for women, racial and ethnic minorities, gay and lesbian individuals, and those with disabilities.
The diverse backgrounds, quality and experience of our lawyers are among our greatest strengths. We are committed to the goals established by national and local bar associations to achieve equal opportunity in the legal profession. As part of our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds, members of our diversity committee and others actively participate in the recruiting process.
Future Diversity: Summer Intern Program
Archer Norris recognizes that today’s law students are the legal leaders of tomorrow. We are proud of our success in attracting a diverse group of students from nationally recognized law schools who join us during the summer. This year, the law students who joined us for the summer are 66% female/minority; last year’s class was 66% female. In 2009, participants in our summer program were 80 percent female and 40 percent minority. Most important, we are committed to providing the training our summer interns need to become skillful and effective practitioners.
A Long-Term Focus on Diversity
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a business imperative that we build from the ground up. Our recruiting policy mirrors our resolve to recruit and retain the best talent available regardless of background, age, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, disability or sexual orientation.
Our lawyers value our diversity commitment and many choose to remain with Archer Norris for their entire careers. That trend is apparent in our increasingly diverse partner ranks – drawn in part from lawyers who joined the firm on Day One and developed their careers with us, including Sharon Collier and César Alvarado. Such partners greatly influence our firm culture and the implicit promise of diversity: by valuing the differences between us we establish a platform for creativity, innovation and problem solving.