NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2020

Cooley LLP - Santa Monica, California

Diversity & Inclusion

View All Sections | Hide All Sections

Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Mr.
Diversity Chair First Name TJ
Diversity Chair Last Name Graham

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Ms.
Diversity Contact First Name Amie
Diversity Contact Last Name Santos
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
Recruit at schools with large minority populations
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

We strive to recruit and retain a work force that not only welcomes, but supports and promotes the interests of women, families and people of any ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. We are dedicated to maintaining a truly diverse workplace that values and celebrates differences–from the way we relate to and support each other, to the way we work together as one firm to meet the needs of our clients. It is the unique abilities and perspectives of every individual at Cooley that creates a rewarding workplace.

Diversity is represented at all levels of Cooley, beginning at the highest level with our Management Committee. This committee is comprised of 40% women and 30% minority members. Additionally, women chair both our Compensation and Partner Nominating Committees. Our CEO, Joe Conroy is passionate about driving change around diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and supports industry efforts through his involvement with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

As part of Cooley's ongoing commitment to diversity, we established a Diversity Fellowship Program in 2008. First-year law students with a diverse background, broadly defined, and/or who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity, are invited to apply for fellowships consisting of awards up to $30,000 to assist with law school tuition and an invitation to join Cooley’s Summer Associate Program.

The firm’s Diversity Committee was created to help us reflect the diversity of our communities and to promote communication and understanding among all of those who comprise the firm. The Diversity Committee has been a springboard for a number of programs and initiatives within the firm focused on diversity concerns. One of these initiatives is the Cooley Women’s Initiative, which provides the tools needed to achieve professional and personal fulfillment, including counseling, professional development and networking opportunities for women attorneys across the firm. Another is our Minority Associates Affinity Group, which provides a forum and resource for support, guidance and mentoring of minority associates, as well as opportunities for professional and business development through participation in networking events.

Trainings related to diversity and inclusion continue to be offered to partners, associates and all employees throughout the year. Several of our partner conferences have featured keynote presentations that focused on diversity and inclusion. Keynotes have included Professor Jerry Kang presenting on unconscious bias in law firms, author Lauren Stiller Rikleen addressed generational diversity within the workplace, and renowned diversity professional Verna Myers led an interactive workshop on Inclusive Leadership. Additionally, in 2019, our Director of Diversity and Inclusion partnered with Of Counsel Michelle Galloway to visit every US and UK office to deliver a series of trainings focusing on bystander and ally intervention. The sessions also provided overviews of current equity initiatives and firmwide internal diversity benchmarks. These trainings were customized and open to both attorneys and staff to effectively promote a culture of inclusion. In 2020, Cooley welcomed Dr. Robin DiAngelo for a firmwide keynote presentation to discuss the topic of white fragility and why it is so difficult to have open, candid conversations about race. 

Cooley attorneys frequently serve in leadership roles for organizations that focus on the advancement and mentorship of minorities. The firm also regularly attends minority job fairs, sponsors and attends receptions for minority law students, supports and contributes to minority law school association symposiums and conferences, and participates in pipeline programs through the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Law Program and the American Bar Association’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP).

Non-discrimination policy

Cooley believes in respecting the dignity of each individual at the firm, and all others working with us and in our offices. Each of these persons in turn is expected to show respect for each other, as well as for clients, and for others doing business with the firm. The firm’s vision and values states: “We treat each other with civility and respect, and rely on each other's humor, friendship and support to make the firm an enjoyable place to work.” Respectful, professional conduct furthers the firm’s mission, promotes productivity, minimizes disputes, and enhances our reputation. Accordingly, this policy forbids any unwelcome conduct that is based on an individual's race, color, religious creed, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics, pregnancy, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, citizenship status or any other protected status of an individual or that individual's associates or relatives. The firm is thus committed to providing a work environment that is free of prohibited discrimination, which includes harassment that is based on any legally protected status.

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

As part of Cooley's ongoing commitment to diversity, we are proud to offer Diversity Fellowships to outstanding first year law school students. Award recipients will receive a paid 1L Summer Associate position and an award of up to $30,000 to assist with law school tuition. The award will be paid in three installments: $10,000 upon completion of the 1L summer with the firm; $10,000 upon completion of the 2L summer with the firm; and the remaining $10,000 upon joining the firm as a full-time associate. Students who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity are encouraged to apply. For more information regarding Cooley’s Diversity Fellowship Program, please visit

Affinity group information

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

Cooley’s Women’s Initiative was created in 2010 as part of the firm’s core diversity principles. It was formed to attract, retain and mentor a strong network of women attorney’s firm-wide. The Initiative provides the tools needed to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment, including counseling, professional and networking opportunities for women associates across the firm. For more information regarding Cooley’s Women’s Initiative, please visit

Our LGBTQ+ Affinity Group is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lawyers and professional staff, in addition to straight allies. Throughout the year, the group hosts teleconferences, represents Cooley at national and local LGBTQ legal fundraisers and events, and drives recruiting by interviewing candidates at the annual Lavender Law Career Fair.

Our Minority Associates Group (MAG) is an affinity group comprised of non-partner lawyers and patent personnel with a shared goal of promoting the interests of minority lawyers both within Cooley and within the legal profession. Founded in Palo Alto by a litigation partner when she was an associate, the group is now co-chaired by two associates and has grown to include chapters in the Boston, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Reston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC offices. The group sponsors a variety of activities in each office/region throughout the year, including opportunities for socializing and networking, along with specific programming of interest to the group.

In 2015, the Black Attorney Affinity Group was developed as a forum and resource for support, guidance and mentoring of Black attorneys across all offices. The group meets on a monthly basis. In addition to providing a forum and resource for support, the group identifies sponsorship opportunities for the firm and supports recruiting activities geared towards under-represented minority populations. Every February, the Black Attorney Affinity Group sponsors initiatives to celebrate Black History Month at Cooley. 

Our Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group’s mission is to create space for open dialogue to recognize the unique challenges Asian Pacific Islander lawyers face within the legal profession; to provide a forum for the voices, narratives and experiences of Asian Pacific Islander communities; to cultivate understanding, support and mentorship so members can feel more empowered, find strength in their own voices and become a better advocate for themselves and for those around them.

In 2018, we launched the Caregivers Affinity Group as a gender-inclusive network of attorney parents and caregivers across the firm. Discussions promote sharing knowledge for best practices and designing and supporting policies that empower parents and caregivers at Cooley. In addition to the firmwide group, offices including Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and San Francisco have local chapters committed to supporting parents in law. 

In 2020, we launched a Veterans Affinity Group with the mission to ensure the inclusion of US and international military veterans, members of the Reserve and National Guard, military family members and other allies at Cooley. The group serves as a unifying platform for veterans, service members and supporters to engage in camaraderie bound by a strong esprit de corps. The group promotes firm-wide strategies to recruit and retain veterans, veteran-related pro bono work, business development initiatives with veteran-affiliated clients, and internal events in support and in celebration of service members past and present.

In addition to the affinity groups outlined above, Cooley has developed communities of diverse CXOs, investors, board members and prominent influencers across a wide range of industries, companies and government. The networks gather through private dinners with the aim of building/strengthening community and harnessing the power of diversity to yield high-impact relationships, collaboration and knowledge-sharing.