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Seattle

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.

Supporting “Flexible Schedules” and Helping Women Succeed in Big Law
In July, Working Mother magazine published an article that featured DWT as one of the firms “flipping the script,” and our success accommodating flexible schedules was particularly highlighted. The article profiled Sheehan Sullivan Weiss of our Employment Services Group in Seattle.

The mother of two young children, Sheehan works a reduced-hours schedule and was promoted to equity partner while doing so. “Despite working a reduced-hour schedule,” the article said, “Sheehan herself serves on committees and volunteers whenever her practice group chair or managing partner asks for assistance. For her, it’s a way to keep her profile high.”

Connecting Our Women Associates with Partner Role Models
Following up on a highly successful pilot project launched last year, DWT held two Women’s Summits in 2015 to connect rising women lawyers at the firm with successful partners. More than a dozen senior DWT women came together with associates and counsel at two events—one in D.C. and one in Seattle— for networking, Q&A, and discussions related to business/client development, partnership process, and more. Each full-day event wrapped with a reception and dinner. The firm held a third summit in L.A. in February 2016.

Providing Scholarships for Diverse Students
Started in 2002, our 1L Diversity Scholarship Program offers a paid summer clerkship in our Seattle, New York, or Portland office, and $7,500 for second-year tuition and expenses. It is open to diverse first-year law students who have a record of academic achievement and who are committed to civic involvement that promotes 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 our summer clerks in both substantive skills and professionalism so that they can hit the ground running as first-year associates at DWT.

Helping First-Year Law Students Attain Diversity Scholarships
Three young associates from DWT volunteered at a February 2015 event held at the Seattle University School of Law where first-year law students were engaged in mock interviews to help them successfully apply for 1L diversity scholarships. The event was spearheaded by the Washington State Bar Association’s Diversity Committee and attended by DWT’s Mimi Gentry, Julien Kern, and Laura Turczanski  (an alumna of the school).

Joining With Clients and Friends to Engage Men in the Advancement of Women
During the summer, DWT came together with Liberty Mutual Insurance, Moss Adams, and lead underwriter Alaska Airlines to sponsor the “Seattle Forum on Engaging Men, Advancing Women.” The forum focused on how men can become better allies in support of women’s advancement into leadership roles, how they can influence other men to do the same, and how women can develop positive relationships with these male allies.

Assessing What Works and What Doesn’t
DWT was pleased to sponsor and participate in an Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession symposium held at Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters in September. DWT partner Ken Payson spoke as part of a panel discussion on “Diversity and Inclusion: What Works and What Doesn’t.” Ken is co-chair of the firm’s Class Action Defense Group and chair of the firm’s Seattle hiring committee.

Supporting Networking Opportunities for Diverse Law Students
For the sixth year, DWT’s Seattle office hosted a Diversity Speed Networking Event, organized by the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at the University of Washington School of Law. Co-sponsored by DWT and Microsoft, the event was an opportunity for first-year law students to engage with practitioners from Seattle’s legal community—including judges, public defenders, in-house lawyers, and lawyers working for private firms and the government.

Celebrating the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
In 2015, DWT was a Platinum sponsor of the King County Bar Association’s annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon in downtown Seattle. Janai Nelson, associate director-counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, was the featured speaker at the sold-out event. Attendees included DWT partners Dirk Giseburt, Chris Helm, Jayanne Hino, and Ken Payson, as well as associates Mimi Gentry and Shirin Soleman.

Hosting a “Careers in Law” Forum for Students and Recent Grads of Color
In August 2015, DWT’s Seattle office hosted a “Careers in Law” program to support the important work being done by the Rainier Scholars program, which provides intense, personalized support for students of color in the Seattle area. The evening consisted of a robust panel discussion and an active networking session, all geared toward providing more than a dozen high school students, college students, and recent college graduates with insights and perspectives on practicing law.

DWT Diversity & Inclusion Committee chair Portia Moore, along with summer associate Amanda Hailey, joined U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones, Erin Hebert from Rios & Cruz, and Mark Larrañaga, a partner at Walsh & Larrañaga, for a panel discussion moderated by DWT partner Sean McCann.
Davis Wright Tremaine Repeats as Innovative Law Firm of the Year