I, Richard Verma, personally commit to the following:
- I will use my voice as a leader in my organization and in the profession to advocate for DE&I in the legal profession generally, in leadership roles in the legal profession specifically, and in my community.
- I will sponsor and support leadership development and related programs that provide opportunity specifically targeted but not exclusive to diverse lawyers within my legal department including by supporting diverse law school students with career opportunities.
- I will co-lead our company’s whole-of-company approach to advancing equity and fighting systemic racism, In Solidarity, to ensure it delivers measurable results. As part of this program, I will advance our public policy teams’ focus on issues of human dignity, including by expanding advocacy in the areas of support to minority-owned businesses, criminal justice reform and police reform.
- I will advocate for operationalizing our company’s Human Rights Statement.
- I will meet annually with the Managing Partner/Chair of each of my top firms about my expectations regarding DE&I on the work they complete for my organization.
- I will host an LCLD Learning Experience and select at least two Fellows in attendance for a follow-up conversation.
- I will meet twice per year with my organization’s LCLD Fellows, Pathfinders, and Alumni to discuss their experiences and ask each individual to come to the meeting with a recommendation for how we could improve the work of LCLD to foster greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
- I will identify opportunities to use my chairmanship of the National Urban League to help advance DE&I in the legal profession.
- I will require my organization’s top firms to have a diverse slate of potential successors to the relationship partner for our matters, and I will require a say in their selection, together with law firm leadership.
- I will ensure that senior leaders in my legal department mentor and foster a close client-firm relationship with diverse staff and partners working on company matters by reaching out directly to them.
- I will require 100% diverse slates for all hiring/promotions within our law department. I will ensure that the hiring manager and interviewers have a lens for understanding the business case for diverse talent/representation.
- I will require diversity to be an important consideration in succession planning for internal legal leadership positions. I will measure retention and career progression in my law department and ensure equity is practiced in the filling of new job opportunities.
- I will assess our top law firms based on the diversity of law firm management, compensation committees, allocation of origination credit, and hours worked on our matters. Firms should achieve, demonstrate a concrete plan to, or show marked improvement toward, a goal of 30% minority and 50% female for each of these items. I will work to tie firm compensation to the achievement of these goals.
- I will expand our company’s relationship with NAMWOLF firms and increase the percentage of legal spend that is devoted to diverse firms. Our goal is to continue to double our NAMWOLF legal spend every year until we achieve 10% of total legal spend.
- I will advance my organization’s commitment to pay equity by meeting or exceeding our objectives for progress set forth in or annual bonus plan. I will audit pay equity and adjust for unsupportable or unjustified discrepancies between majority and minority employees.