New York – December 17, 2021 – Diversity Lab has named Cooley a 2021 Inclusion Blueprint Champion, which recognizes law firm leadership and practice groups proactively tracking and incorporating inclusion practices that correlate to greater diversity. Of the 62 law firms that participated in the Inclusion Blueprint, Cooley is one of only 20 firms to be named as a champion. In addition to firm leadership, Cooley’s business litigation practice also met the criteria needed for the distinction.
To be recognized, Inclusion Blueprint Champions had to achieve an index score of at least 70 out of 100 across four key indicators:
- Current diversity representation based on average or above-average thresholds
- Year-over-year diversity representation progress
- Diversity representation tracking
- Meaningful inclusion practices and activities
They also had to commit to implementing at least one “Do Something Hard” action in 2022. The “hard” actions at the leadership level include providing 50 hours of billable credit for diversity, equity and inclusion contributions – an initiative Cooley implemented in early 2020; linking partner and/or practice group leader compensation to DEI; and conducting pay and origination credit equity gap analyses for partners. Meanwhile, the practice group actions include providing matter credit to underrepresented lawyers for originating or expanding work; staffing client teams with at least 50% underrepresented lawyers who have direct access to clients; and committing to an Ally Action Pledge.
In addition to measuring the diversity representation thresholds and inclusion actions for women and lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds, this year’s scoring included thresholds and actions for lawyers who identify as LGBTQ+. The assessment also inquired about lawyers with disabilities, for whom thresholds and actions will be included in the 2022 scoring.
The Inclusion Blueprint is a one-of-a-kind assessment that provides firm management and practice group leaders with a roadmap of inclusion practices that they should employ and track to ensure underrepresented lawyers have fair and equal access to quality work, influential sponsors and other opportunities. It also outlines diversity representation thresholds that firms should strive to reach by incorporating and monitoring these inclusion practices.
Cooley commits to publicly sharing and maintaining accountability for Cooley’s progress and to work toward systemic change within the firm, the broader industry and communities. The firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan outlines the objectives and metrics the firm aims to achieve to drive these efforts.
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