Managing Partner — Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
I, Michael Gerstenzang, personally commit to the following:
- Communicate on at least a quarterly basis to the Cleary Gottlieb community regarding our Six Pillars diversity, equity and inclusion principles and strategy, including our Firm Values Pillar.
- Engage with our partners about the value and importance to the firm of their active and visible support of DE&I initiatives, among other things through discussions at our firm-wide partner meetings and Executive Committee meetings, engaging with Counsel, Senior Attorneys and associates to engage in and support our DE&I initiatives.
- Use my platform as the leader of one of the world’s most prominent law firms to advocate for systemic changes to uproot racial inequity in our society, including supporting a broad range of pro bono representations and initiatives.
- Meet at least twice per year with each of our affinity groups comprised of attorneys and professional staff from underrepresented backgrounds and group representatives to hear about their experiences and perspectives on ways the firm/I can support their development and professional goals.
- Encourage and support partner engagement in our associate sponsorship program, which was recently launched to help support, develop and advance attorneys from underrepresented backgrounds, including attorneys of color, and women and LGBTQ attorneys, including by meeting with the partner sponsors to gain feedback and provide insight on further diversifying our talent pipeline and leadership.
- Lead our firm’s commitment to become -- and remain -- Mansfield Rule certified, for our U.S. offices as a minimum baseline for holding ourselves accountable for progress on DE&I within our firm.
- Organize and participate in discussions with clients about our firm’s commitment to DE&I and pursue specific initiatives for partnering with clients to pursue shared goals in this area.
- Encourage and support a firm-wide initiative to develop partnerships with minority and women-owned law firms, to create opportunities to work together on client projects and to establish meaningful institutional ties between our respective firms.
- Solicit ongoing feedback from all of our attorneys and professional staff, emphasizing they are encouraged to share their opinions and thoughts – even if difficult to hear or address, and reassuring them they will be heard.
- Meet at least once per year with our partners and professional staff who are designated to act as ombudsmen and internal solicitors of feedback about the inclusivity of our culture.
- Act as a champion and role model for inclusive management and equitable talent development in the partnership and my practice group by staffing my teams diversely and allocating work equitably, mentoring underrepresented associates, and driving DE&I discussions within my practice group.
- Embed critical DE&I competencies, such as inclusive leadership, developmental mindset, antiracism and allyship into core training modules across the organization.
- Hold practice groups and practice group leaders accountable for driving DE&I progress by requiring business strategy presentations to address the diversity of the pipeline of associates and equitable allocation of billable and nonbillable work across demographic groups.
- Become -- and remain -- Mansfield Rule certified, for our U.S. offices as a minimum baseline for holding ourselves accountable for progress on DE&I within our firm.
- Expand metrics used to assess partner performance, including visible and demonstrated commitment to DE&I and upward feedback, including on ability to develop talent equitably and lead inclusively.
- Continue to support programs designed to expand and diversify our talent pipeline, including LCLD and SEO and explore new initiatives to identify and recruit candidates beyond our traditional base.
- Continue the Cleary Fellowship Program, in which associates are seconded for a year to nonprofit organizations working on racial equity and social justice pro bono initiatives.
- Continue to support the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) through our membership.