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Diversity is one of the core values at Davis Wright Tremaine, and is central to our recruiting, retention, and purchasing efforts.

For complete information on our firm’s recent diversity actions, as well as firm statistics, please see our latest Diversity & Inclusion Report and visit DWT Diversity.

Providing Scholarships for Diverse Students
Started in 2002, our 1L Diversity Scholarship Program offers a paid summer clerkship and $10,000 scholarship in several office locations.  It is open to diverse first-year law students who have a record of academic achievement and who are committed to civic involvement and promotion of diversity. Recipients of the scholarship include several of our attorneys.

Our paid summer clerkships offer a valuable opportunity for soon-to-be lawyers to try out several areas of law, work in a team environment, and build on the skills that will make them successful. We take the time to train and mentor our summer clerks in both substantive skills and professionalism so that they can hit the ground running as first-year associates.

Helping Diverse New York Law Students Navigate Their Career Path
In 2015, the firm expanded its 1L Diversity Scholarship program beyond the Northwest to include an associate working in the New York office. More than 200 students competed for this single scholarship, submitting applications that included a written statement describing their background and why the scholarship would be personally meaningful. “These young people all had just amazing stories,” says Lynn Loacker, partner-in-charge of the New York office. “Yet we could hire only one. So we kicked it around and thought, ‘What else can we do for these students?’”

That conversation gave birth to a new—and now annual—DWT-hosted reception and panel discussion called “Navigating Your Career Path: A Discussion and Networking Event Focused on Diverse Law Students.” Portia Moore, a partner in our employment services group and chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, served as moderator for the inaugural event in January 2016.

Supporting, and Drawing Support From, Other African-American Lawyers in New York
When Macon B. Allen passed the Maine bar exam on July 3, 1844, he became the first black man in the U.S. granted a license to practice law. More than 170 years later, African-American men remain greatly underrepresented in the field. About 60 of these lawyers in New York City have formed a group in Allen’s honor called 1844. Meeting once a month, and with an annual retreat, they support one another’s professional and personal growth while promoting diversity within the profession.

“It’s the most important thing I’m doing with my legal education right now,”
he says. “I have made strong bonds with people I met three years ago who I now consider my closest friends. That means I can reach out to senior attorneys and get answers to nuanced legal questions simply by calling a friend.”

Introducing High School Students to Law Firm Life
Each year, DWT’s New York City hosts a participant in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program run by the New York City Bar. The program places high-achieving inner-city high-school students with legal employers, where they have a six-week, paid internship performing administrative work, shadowing an attorney, and learning about life as a legal professional.

The students also participate in weekly development programs, including a law class at Columbia University School of Law, a visit to a state Supreme Court judicial chamber, and multiple career development workshops with a diverse group of attorneys.

Starting a “Women in Nonprofit” Networking Group in New York
In January 2015, DWT expanded its Tax-Exempt Organizations and Employment practices to New York with the addition of a number of experienced lawyers—many of them women. To celebrate that growth and the role of women in the nonprofit sector, DWT organized a springtime “Women in Nonprofit Networking Reception.”

In response to the enthusiasm generated at the reception, DWT launched the Women in Nonprofits network (WiN), spearheaded by J.J. Leitner and Laura Sack. The goal is to build the pre-eminent community for women directors, in-house counsel, and management of nonprofit organizations in New York City. WiN followed the May gathering with an October event, held at DWT’s New York offices and featuring guest speaker Carol Robles-Román, president and CEO of Legal Momentum, which focuses on advancing the rights of women and girls.
Davis Wright Tremaine Repeats as Innovative Law Firm of the Year
2017 Diversity & Inclusion Report