Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Ogletree Deakins believes that because of its philosophy and practice of inclusion - soliciting, valuing, and incorporating the myriad viewpoints of its lawyers - the firm is more creative, stronger, and better able to address the evolving issues in the workplace.  

Ogletree Deakins encourages and supports membership and participation in local, state, and national professional associations.  Our lawyers are active in organizations such as the National Bar AssociationNational Asian-Pacific Bar Associationthe Hispanic National Bar Association, the Cuban American Bar Associationthe American Bar Associationthe National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, and Lambda Legal

Additionally, the Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the National Bar Association and an Officer and Board member of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California are members of the firm.  Firm members regularly participate in programs sponsored by the National Employment Law Council, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and Corporate Counsel for Women of Color.

In recent years, the firm has worked to enhance its profile in the diversity and inclusion arena, and as a result, we have received several awards and recognition from various organizations and clients across the United States. Specifically, the firm has received recognition for outstanding diversity metrics in the areas of recruiting, retention, advancement, and promotion of diverse attorneys, and various awards for our overall diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives. 

Because of our commitment to increasing diversity at the firm and in the profession as a whole, we are better positioned to attract, recruit, and retain attorneys across the globe. Examples of some of the awards and recognition include:

  • In November 2017, for the second year, Ogletree Deakins earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI).  CEI is a benchmarking tool created by HRC that focuses on corporate policies and practices that relate to LGBT employees
  • In September 2017, for the second time in firm history, Ogletree Deakins was recognized as a WILEF (Women in Law Empowerment Forum) Gold Standard Firm for leadership roles achieved by equity women partners.
  • In June 2017, Ogletree earned the ranking of #15 out of the top 25 firms for overall diversity on the Vault Associate Satisfaction Survey.  The firm maintained its #4 ranking in the labor and employment practice area (out of approximately 120 eligible law firms).  This survey measure associates’ perception of firm culture and diversity and was administered to over 17,000 associates.
  • In May 2017, Ogletree Deakins won the Riley Institute’s Upstate Diversity Leadership Award for Outstanding Business. Established in 2004, this award recognizes a business that exhibits leadership in promoting diversity in the Upstate South Carolina region.
  • In December 2016, Ogletree Deakins was awarded the 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Company Award from the Greenville Society of Human Resource Management (GSHRM).  This award recognizes a company that has shown commitment to workplace diversity in the categories of CEO Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion; Human Capital; Corporate and Organizational Communication; and Supplier Diversity.
  • In November 2016, Ogletree Deakins earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI).  CEI is a benchmarking tool created by HRC that focuses on corporate policies and practices that relate to LGBT employees.
  • In November 2016, Ogletree Deakins was selected as the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Workplace Diversity Award by the South Carolina Chamber.  This award recognizes companies for their significant contributions to the advancement of South Carolina through diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts. 
  • In October 2016, Ogletree Deakins was selected as the winner of the 2016 ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award.  This recognition acknowledges businesses/organizations who celebrate the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential – creating balance in leadership worldwide.
  • In July 2016, Ogletree Deakins was named a top 50 Best Law Firm for Women by Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers. This recognition acknowledges firms that lead the industry in creating and using best practices in retaining and promoting women lawyers.
  • In June 2016, Ogletree Deakins was ranked #9 on the National Law Journal’s 2016 Women in Law Scorecard, which ranks the nation’s largest law firms according to their inclusion of women attorneys.
  • In May 2016, Ogletree Deakins earned an “A” for overall gender diversity by Above the Law on its Law Firm Gender Diversity Index.
  • In May 2016, Ogletree Deakins was ranked as the #1 law firm for black attorneys by Law360.
  • In April 2016, Ogletree Deakins was ranked #24 on the list of The 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys by Law360.
  • In January 2016, Ogletree Deakins was selected as the winner of the 2015 AT&T Legal Department Diversity & Inclusion Award in the large law firm category.
  • In October 2015, Ogletree Deakins was named a top 50 firm for diversity on the American Lawyer’s 2015 Diversity Scorecard, an annual ranking of large U.S. law firms. The scorecard was based on our percentage of minority attorneys and partners in U.S. offices.
  • In October 2015, Ogletree Deakins was awarded the Thomas L. Sager Award for the Midwest Region from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. The firm was recognized for its outstanding commitment to hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse attorneys.
  • In July 2015, Ogletree Deakins was recognized as a WILEF (Women in Law Empowerment Forum) Gold Standard Firm for successfully demonstrating that women represent a meaningful percentage of equity partners, have leadership positions in governance and on compensation committees, and are the most highly compensated partners.
  • In May 2015, Ogletree Deakins was ranked as the #1 law firm in the country for African American attorneys by the American Lawyer. Ogletree Deakins was also ranked top law firm for African American attorneys by Law360, and recognized by U.S. News & World Report as Best Lawyers® Law Firm of the Year in Employment Law – Management for 2016.
  • In April 2015, after being nominated by the firm’s business resource group dedicated to the engagement and advancement of women lawyers, Ogletree Deakins Women’s Initiative, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance awarded an Ogletree Deakins attorney and her client the Flex Success Award. This award honors law firm shareholders who work reduced-hours schedules and clients who have been integral to making workplace flexibility a reality.

Also, throughout the firm, diverse attorneys hold leadership positions with varying levels of responsibility. The firm believes this is a key component of our recruiting and retention strategy. We believe that by keeping diversity in leadership top of mind, it helps to increase our ability to retain and promote women, LGBT, racially and ethnically diverse, disabled, and veteran attorneys.

The firm’s diverse representation percentages are as follows:

  • 33% Diverse Board of Directors
  • 20% Diverse Compensation Committee
  • 25% Diverse Managing Shareholders
  • 69% Diverse Associates
  • 45% Female Attorneys

Ogletree Deakins’ Director of Professional Development and Inclusion, along with other firm leaders, attend and participate in diversity organizations such as The Leadership Council for Legal Diversity , the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys, Inc.,  and the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals.  The events sponsored by these organizations allow members of the firm the opportunity to exchange ideas on best diversity and inclusion practices and assist the firm in retaining an innovative edge.

Because the firm has a long tradition of diversity among its lawyers and staff, we are uniquely situated to assist our clients with creative and effective solutions in the increasingly diverse global economy. 

Ogletree Deakins advises and encourages its clients to address and be sensitive to diversity issues and to recognize and understand that the diversity of its workforce is a source of innovative ideas and competitive advantage.  We work with our clients to manage and benefit from their workplace diversity through counseling, development of diversity initiatives, and on-site training.