Promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels of the Firm is part of our daily life. We are guided by a Diversity Action Plan that outlines concrete steps to enhance our diversity awareness, recruiting, associate development and advancement.
The Diversity Committee—whose 30 members include African-American, Asian, Latino, and openly gay and lesbian partners—manages the Firm’s overall diversity efforts. Three partners co-chair our Diversity Committee and work closely with the firm’s Director of Diversity to implement the Diversity Action Plan. Our Diversity Advisory Council, comprised of associates and counsel, provides essential input to the Diversity Committee and plays an important role in recruiting.
The Diversity Committee spearheads these initiatives:
- Mentoring: Simpson Thacher partners serve as mentors to diverse associates, focusing on retention and career development. More than 200 associates have participated in the Diversity Mentoring Program.
- Affinity Groups: The Firm supports five affinity groups:
- Asian/South Asian/Asian-American
The Affinity Groups’ Professional Development Series meets monthly in New York with video-audio links to other offices. Typically moderated by associates, these meetings feature Firm leaders, Simpson Thacher alumni, clients and other outside speakers who provide advice and insight on navigating a career in the law.
Our quarterly Perspectives Series highlights influential legal practitioners and their insights on career paths, achievements and diversity in the legal profession. Recent events include:
- A conversation with New York Public Library General Counsel Michele Coleman Mayes
- A conversation with Elisa Garcia, General Counsel of Office Depot
- A networking reception in honor of Latino/a federal judges in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York—all of whom attended
- A conversation with Venture for America founder Andrew Yang
- A conversation with former associate and U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso
- Community Outreach: The Firm’s Urban Education Initiative partners with public schools in New York and Los Angeles. UEI aims to enhance the pipeline of students of color who enter college and to expose them to the legal profession. Since its launch, over 500 Simpson Thacher employees—from junior staff to senior partners—have hosted visits by more than 800 public high school and middle school students.
Simpson Thacher also participates in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and Legal Outreach programs, and sponsors events of several organizations focused on promoting diversity in the legal profession. To name a few:
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Council of Urban Professionals
- Lambda Legal
- LatinoJustice PRLDEF
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- Out in Law
Our initiatives have been widely recognized by the broader community. For the third consecutive year, Simpson Thacher received a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index. The Firm also received the 2012 Leadership and Excellence in Inclusion and Diversity Award that Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Division presents to just one of its many counsel.