NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2022

Fenwick & West LLP - Santa Monica, California

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Ms.
Diversity Chair First Name Catherine
Diversity Chair Last Name Kevane

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Ms.
Diversity Contact First Name Mira
Diversity Contact Last Name Dewji
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)

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion both within the firm and throughout the legal profession. We believe that a diverse workforce improves our client service and that an inclusive culture fosters cooperation, respect, creativity and mutual understanding.  

Fenwick’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion runs far deeper than our numbers, it is about building a culture of authenticity and embracing one another’s differences and values. From recruitment to development and support, our end goal is to ensure our employees can thrive as their authentic selves at Fenwick.  

In 2021, Fenwick refined its strategic approach to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The firm hired its first firmwide Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Mira Dewji, a former practicing attorney and professor of ethical culture, to work closely with firm leadership to coordinate and expand our DEI impact. She plays an integral role in helping align the firm's DEI goals with its overall business objectives and the strategic priorities of practices, offices, and administrative teams across the firm. 

The firm’s DEI Steering Board provides firmwide strategic direction on DEI initiatives and programs throughout the year. It includes the Firm's Chair, Managing Partner, Chief Talent Officer, Director of DEI and two newly appointed DEI Steering Board Co-Chairs. The Steering Board oversees the DEI Action Committee, which consists of three separate working groups that bring together attorneys and professional staff to implement high-impact annual projects.  

Here are a few ways we put our words into action: 

  • Fenwick offers 1L Diversity Scholarships to law students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in the legal sector to participate in our summer programs. In 2022, we further expanded this program and are in the process of launching a brand new 2L Diversity Scholarship Program that will significantly improve our ability to attract diverse talent at the law school level.

  • Fenwick actively recruits diverse attorneys through numerous channels, including on-campus initiatives, minority bar associations and job fairs. In 2021, 50% of all lateral partners and 70% of all lateral associates hired belong to an underrepresented group based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability or veteran status. Additionally, 43% of all attorneys hired are racially or ethnically diverse and 50% of all attorneys hired are women or gender non-conforming. Going beyond the traditional law school pipeline, our patent agents lead a cutting-edge initiative to promote patent law as a career path for engineers from underrepresented communities, including at UCLA’s National Society of Black Engineers and Harvey Mudd College’s Society of Professional Latinxs in STEM.

  • We offer a variety of professional development opportunities including mentorship programs, executive coaching, business development workshops, and more.  In 2021, the firm focused its attention on channeling the energy and momentum from the prior year’s racial justice initiatives to develop more granular and systemic processes to identify and mitigate against bias, including introducing new 1:1 coaching sessions for diverse attorneys and staff and investing in additional support for our existing programs. We launched the firm’s Black Attorney Sponsorship Program which offers a 2:1 partner-to-associate ratio of individualized and strategic career development guidance to every Black attorney across the firm. A quarter of Fenwick’s partners serve as sponsors in the program. Additionally, Fenwick’s Women’s Caucus also launched a new "Lead, Inspire, Innovate" Speaker Series showcasing women in leadership both inside and outside of the legal industry.

  • Fenwick’s Parental Reintegration Program supports parents both pre- and post-leave, including the option of working a reduced hours schedule or receiving creditable hours before and after leave, as well as childcare and tutor stipends. In 2021, we continued to see more fathers take advantage of parental leave benefits and take longer leaves than they have taken previously. We have seen attitudes toward parental leave become accepted as status quo as they have become more routine across genders, supported by men and women partners who have young families.

  • Embedding DEI starting at the leadership level, partners are asked to provide an individual assessment of their DEI contributions throughout the year as part of the annual partner compensation review process.

  • Fenwick’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team works closely with human resources, legal personnel and recruiting, on tracking and analyzing the firm’s demographic metrics including our pipelines, retention rates, career trajectories, and year over year progress. This information is shared and reviewed by firm leadership including the Executive Committee, practice group leaders, and the senior management team.

  • In addition to the firm’s metrics, as part of our continuing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Fenwick achieved Mansfield Certification Plus from Diversity Lab after completing the one-year Mansfield Rule Certification 4.0 program. The Mansfield Rule Certification 4.0 Plus measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys and attorneys with disabilities—at least 30% of the candidate pool—for recruitment, governance roles, equity partner promotions and inclusion in formal pitches to clients. We are now committed to the Mansfield 5.0 process.

Through these efforts and many more, we are proud of all that we have accomplish on advancing DEI, while recognizing that there is a lot more work to be done. 

Non-discrimination policy

It is the policy of Fenwick & West LLP (“Fenwick”) to maintain a professional and respectful work environment that is free of bias, prejudice, and harassment, where all personnel and employment applicants are respected, and where all employees and applicants have an equal employment opportunity. Fenwick is committed to promoting equal employment opportunity for all qualified individuals in accordance with applicable law, including by reasonably accommodating the known disabilities or medical conditions of qualified applicants and employees.

Fenwick will not tolerate unlawful discrimination and harassment in any form, including verbal, physical and visual conduct, threats, demands and retaliation. This policy applies to all Fenwick personnel and prohibits unlawful discrimination or harassment by any partner or employee of Fenwick, including attorneys, members of management, supervisors and co-workers, and also by any person doing business with or for Fenwick. This includes harassment and discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex (including sexual harassment, gender harassment, and harassment due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state, federal or local laws (each a “Protected Characteristic”).

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

Fenwick’s Diversity Scholarships support law students who identify with historically underrepresented groups in the legal profession with the aim of promoting diversity and providing financial support to aspiring lawyers. It is our belief that in order to create a more diverse pipeline of associates we need to start early at the law school level. Fenwick offers diversity scholarships of up to $40,000 each (paid in three installments) for first-year law students from underrepresented backgrounds. We offered 7 new Fenwick Diversity Scholarships in 2022.

We proudly partner with clients to provide an enriching summer experience for diverse 1L law students. The student selected to participate in our client's 1L Diversity Internship Program will participate in a 10-week paid program internship split between our client and Fenwick.

Affinity group information

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

Fenwick & West supports 12 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for lawyers and professional staff.

  • Black Employee Network
  • Fenwick Asian Network
  • Fenwick Latin Alliance Network
  • LGBTQ Affinity Group
  • Parents Affinity Group
  • Veterans Interest Group
  • Asian American Affinity Group
  • Black Attorney Network
  • Fenwick Latinx Affinity Group
  • New York Attorneys of Color Affinity Group
  • Women’s Caucus
  • M&A Women’s Group

The ERGs are designed to foster inclusion and belonging through shared interests and life experiences. Throughout the year, members connect through regular gatherings, engage in community service, support and mentor one another, and host a variety of creative internal and external events.