NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2020

Dentons US LLP - Chicago, Illinois

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Co-Chairs
Diversity Chair First Name Ms. Gail Lione
Diversity Chair Last Name Mr. Thurbert Baker

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Ms.
Diversity Contact First Name Lia
Diversity Contact Last Name Dorsey
Link to your organization's diversity website

Recruitment methods

Which of the following methods do you use to increase the presence and retention of under-represented groups? (Check all that apply) Diversity job fairs
Outreach to law student groups
Formal mentoring efforts
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee


At Dentons, we believe that diversity and inclusion are essential to the success and strength of our Firm and the quality of our advice to, and representation of, our clients. We are committed to being the leader in diversity and inclusion within our firm, the legal profession and in the communities we serve. Our culture of inclusion is a reflection of our core values, and our commitment is consistent with our belief that inclusivity yields creativity, productivity and innovation. By attracting, supporting, promoting and retaining individuals from all backgrounds, inclusive of race, ethnicity, faith, religion or spiritual beliefs, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, abilities, social perspective and other characteristics, we create a dynamic and inclusive work environment that is critical to our success.

Dentons takes an active approach to creating and nurturing an inclusive, diverse workplace that attracts, supports, promotes and retains individuals from all backgrounds through the following efforts:

Professional Development and Advancement Programs

  • Emerge Sponsorship Program: Designed to advance high potential diverse lawyers towards partnership and leadership, the program undertakes individual and teaming assessments, sponsorship training, career planning and business development coaching for protégés and sponsors.
  • Preparing for Rain: Dedicated to help women lawyers hone their rainmaking skills, the program guides women lawyers through their "five-year moment"—the years immediately preceding and following promotion to partner—by addressing systemic and individual barriers to business development success often faced during this time.

Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Lawyers

  • Participation in diversity job fairs such as GW Law Career Center’s Diversity Networking Reception, the Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair, the Northeast Black Law Student Association Career Fair, the University of Missouri Diversity Fair and the Southeastern Minority Job Fair.
  • Collaboration with diverse law student organizations to increase awareness of Dentons’ brand and career opportunities.
    • Our Washington, DC, office hosts an annual event, “Navigating to Big Law,” which is designed to introduce diverse students to a large law firm environment. The program includes a panel discussion and networking event and provides students with an overview of the skills, tools and resources needed to obtain—and succeed at—a job in Big Law after graduation.
    • Our San Francisco and Oakland offices send representatives to the Bay Area Legal Recruitment Association (BALRA) Summer Associate Diversity Mixer and the BALRA 1L Diversity Resume and Interview Skills Workshop.
  • Participation in diversity and inclusion industry initiatives such as the Mansfield Rule, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge and Diversity in Law Hackathon
  • Dentons US achieved Mansfield Rule Certification Plus for 2019. Certified Plus status indicates that we considered at least 30 percent women, lawyers of color and LGBTQ+ lawyers for leadership positions and senior level recruiting over the year and that we reached at least 30 percent diverse lawyer representation in a large number of our key leadership roles and committees. Dentons has achieved Mansfield Certification for two consecutive years and is participating in the current round of certification, Mansfield 3.0, which runs from July 2019 to July 2020.
  • Forming alliances with key organizations such as Catalyst, the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance (DFA), the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association(MCCA) and RISE.
  • Participation in diversity and inclusion events, such as the MCCA’s Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference and Diversity Gala, the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Convention, the National Asian Pacific Bar Association Convention, the National Bar Association Convention and the Working Mother Gala Awards Luncheon and Career Accelerator Summit for Women in Law.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

  • Affinity Groups: Dentons’ Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latinix, LGBT+, Native American and Parent Affinity Groups help foster an inclusive culture by supporting the professional advancement of diverse members through networking, training and business development initiatives.
  • WomenLEAD: Dentons’ WomenLEAD Committee supports women through networking opportunities, training initiatives, business and client development events and strategic partnerships.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Speaker Series: Ongoing conversations with employees, clients, diversity leaders and other industry champions throughout the legal profession addressing a wide range of diversity and inclusion topics.
  • Unconscious bias awareness trainings: Designed to help Dentons’ colleagues become more thoughtful about how they interact with others.
  • Global Inclusion Day: Dentons hosts an annual Inclusion Day, featuring a range of firmwide discussions and events.
    • In 2018, Dentons invited all colleagues to The Big Inclusion Conversation to discuss experiences, ideas and potential action steps to create a more inclusive Firm.
    • Building on that success, Dentons launched The Big Inclusion Project in 2019. Participants from across the globe worked in teams to develop an innovative implementation plan, to build inclusion across every part of our firm.
Non-discrimination policy

Employment opportunities at the Firm are and shall continue to be open to all qualified applicants on the basis of their experience, aptitudes, and abilities. Employment and advancement at the Firm are based on the individual’s achievement, performance, ability, dedication, professionalism, potential for promotion, and Firm needs. We do not discriminate in any of our employment policies or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other personal characteristic protected by applicable law.

Diversity fellowships or scholarships

Does your organization or office sponsor/offer a Diversity Fellowship or Scholarship? Yes
If yes, is the program open to 1L
Please provide a brief description of the program

Dentons participates in the 1L Scholars Program through LCLD. This program is designed to expand opportunities for diverse first-year law students. Students with strong academic performance and leadership potential can work side-by-side with lawyers and other legal specialists. In each of the past two years, one of our 1L LCLD Scholars has had the opportunity to split their time working with one of our top clients.

Dentons also participates in the Colorado Pledge to Diversity program. The Colorado Pledge to Diversity Legal Group was founded in 1993 by 13 Denver area law firms dedicated to bringing about real change to the legal community through diversity. The 1L Summer Clerkship Program comprises of around 20 Denver law firms and corporate legal departments. It is designed to expose diverse law students to larger law firms or corporate legal departments during their 1L summer.

Affinity group information

Does your organization or office have affinity groups? Yes
If yes, please describe your affinity groups below

Affinity Groups

Dentons Affinity Groups help enhance and foster an inclusive Firm culture by supporting the professional advancement of diverse members through networking, training and business development initiatives. Affinity Groups are also open to allies who want to support our diverse lawyers. Dentons Affinity Groups include:

  • Asian, South Asian, Pacific-American Professionals (ASAPP)
  • Black Professional Alliance
  • Hispanic/Latinx Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA)
  • Native American Affinity Group
  • ParentsLEAD
  • Purple Pride+

Dentons WomenLEAD

WomenLEAD (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advancement and Development) provides tools and opportunities to help women succeed and advance. Our US WomenLEAD Committee, as well as local WomenLEAD Committees in offices around the country, arrange networking opportunities, training initiatives, business and client development events and strategic partnerships to help women reach the top levels of their respective fields and to influence the business of tomorrow.