Firm Chair — Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
I, David Dekker, personally commit to the following:
- I am a strong believer in the merits of a free enterprise system, but recognize that historically many have been denied a full and fair opportunity to participate, compete, and thrive by reason of membership in disadvantaged groups. I will strive to: (i) help remove continuing unjust barriers to success; (ii) ensure the availability of fair opportunities for all by driving more effective and pervasive guidance, allyship, mentoring, and succession planning; and (iii) promote full utilization by diverse attorneys of available avenues to success.
- I will use my platform to communicate and implement Pillsbury’s strategic, Board-approved commitment to diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusion (“DEI”) in the profession because we are a stronger, richer, and more capable firm when we are, at every level, a diverse and inclusive community.
- I believe attorneys in my Firm are well-intentioned with respect to DEI but are, at times, so engrossed in their practices that they miss opportunities to do more to support the success of members of historically disadvantaged groups. To address this, I will strive to drive more widespread, affirmative efforts to position diverse individuals to succeed and move to the highest levels of the Firm, including engagement with Firm Leadership and partners on the importance and impact of their active support for our Firm’s DEI commitment.
- I will visit with at least three clients annually to discuss the Firm’s and my own personal commitment to DEI. Each meeting will be an opportunity to seek to develop a strategy on how to partner to: (i) diversify our respective organizations’ talent pipelines; (ii) increase opportunities for diverse attorneys already at our organizations; and/or (iii) collaborate on pro bono and community service work, with a focus on racial equity.
- I will visit annually with at least two peer law firm leaders to explore how we can work collectively, versus competitively, to build a more diverse and inclusive industry.
- I will volunteer to co-host an LCLD Leadership Lunch with a general counsel.
- I will be reverse-mentored annually by at least one law student and one Firm attorney, with backgrounds different from mine, to broaden my perspective by endeavoring to see our Firm and the legal profession through their eyes.
- I will attend our Attorneys of Color and Pillsbury Pride conferences as a speaker and a listener.
- Diverse voices, including one focused on DEI, will be heard in the rooms where key Firm decisions are made, including: Board meetings, Executive Team meetings, and on the Firm’s Hiring, Partner Compensation, Partner Performance and Succession Planning Committees.
- We will continue to exceed Mansfield Rule certification standards, with a goal of having at least 50% Mansfield diverse attorneys fill our leadership and governance roles, partner promotions and formal client pitch opportunities by the end of 2023.
- We will continue to actively recruit diverse talent, including for lateral positions, by offering 1L Diversity Fellowships to talented students demonstrating a commitment to advancing our DEI goals, and an expansion of the schools and networks from which we typically recruit.
- We will support pipeline programs, including expanding our engagement with Thrive Scholars to provide mentoring and training to high-achieving, low-income high school students of color.
- We will continue to host regular Firm-wide implicit bias and ally trainings and other educational programming to better understand and improve the different experiences of our diverse attorneys and staff.
- We will maintain accountability by requiring Practice Section Leaders to consider DEI initiatives and statistics through Section scorecards, and to present on progress made on DEI plans to Firm Leadership. Partner performance considered in compensation decisions will include personal contributions to the Firm’s DEI commitment.
- We will continue to seek to advance our diverse and underrepresented attorneys by ensuring origination credit is fairly shared, and lawyers from underrepresented groups are included among teams identified in succession plans for key Firm clients.
- We will seek to curate an Advisory Board comprised of a synergistic group of our clients’ general counsels (or equivalent), to innovate with Firm Leadership on ways to advance our respective DEI goals and have a broader, collectively positive societal impact.
- We will exceed Pillsbury’s 3-Year Equal Justice Commitment, which initially pledged to provide the value of an additional $10 million in volunteer time spent on pro bono and community service work focused on racial equity issues, plus $1 million in funding for racial equity issues.
- We will support our attorneys’ participation in minority bar associations and organizations which provide tangible and valuable development and networking opportunities for diverse attorneys and allies, including CCWC, HNBA, LCLD, MCCA, NAPABA, and NBA.
- We will examine diversity metrics from a 360 perspective—including for recruiting and hiring, staffing of client matters, partner promotions, leadership roles, and attrition—and monitor our progress as compared to the legal industry generally, law firm peers, and our own Firm goals.
- We will explore innovative ways to better integrate technology into Firm functions and initiatives, to allow for accurate real-time metrics-tracking available on internal matter dashboards and to improve DEI initiatives and outcomes.
- Circumstances change: we will periodically review our metrics against our goals, and correct course as necessary so that our efforts remain directed toward pressing issues, not stale ones.