NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2023

Dentons US LLP - Firmwide US

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Co-Chairs
Diversity Chair First Name Ms. Kristen Rodriguez
Diversity Chair Last Name Mr. Nick Pujji

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Ms.
Diversity Contact First Name Ada
Diversity Contact Last Name Ejikeme
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
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Diversity at Dentons
Dentons is committed to fostering an inclusive and dynamic culture that welcomes, values and respects the contributions of our diverse talent, and we leverage the diverse perspectives and experiences of our lawyers and professionals to provide exceptional service to our diverse clients. 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.

We adopted a Five-Year Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan in 2020, which is aligned with the Firm’s strategic plan and establishes our approach to the recruitment, development, advancement and retention of our women and diverse lawyers. The focus of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee and WomenLEAD Committee is to ensure that best practices are observed in the implementation of our Strategic Plan. The committees are supported by our diversity and inclusion team, and together they are charged with increasing our diverse talent representation, expanding our developmental programs and providing client engagement opportunities.

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 diverse, LGBTQ+ and women lawyers into partnership and leadership, this 18-month program pairs sponsors and protégés who work together in pursuing opportunities for business development and professional growth. Two-thirds of the 2018-20 Emerge Sponsorship Program protégés were promoted to partner.

• Preparing for Rain: Dedicated to helping women lawyers hone their rainmaking skills, this program consists of monthly events throughout the year to help women lawyers navigate their “five-year moment”—the years immediately preceding and following their promotion to partner—by addressing systemic and individual barriers to business development success often faced during this time. Over 80 women have participated in the program since its inception in 2017.

• Executive Mentoring Program: Dentons’ US Board members are paired with our Black and LGBTQ+ associates. This 360 mentoring program is designed to increase awareness of differences and foster the exchange of ideas to support the career development of our associates.

• Practice Group Diversity Partners: Establishes a framework for embedding and advancing the Firm’s diversity and inclusion goals within each Practice Group. Practice Group Diversity Partners work closely with Firm Leadership and Practice Group Leaders to help ensure our diversity and inclusion priorities are part of each practice’s day-to-day activities including work allocation, recruiting, pitching client and professional development and mentoring.

Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Lawyers
• 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 has achieved Mansfield Certification for five consecutive years. Dentons US also achieved Mansfield Rule Certification Plus in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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.

• Participation in diversity and inclusion events, such as the MCCA’s Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference and Diversity Gala, the NAPABA Convention, the National Bar Association Convention, and the National LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law Career Fair.

• 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.

• Participation in the 1L Scholars Program through the LCLD and the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Group’s 1L Summer Clerkship program.

• Collaboration with diverse law student organizations to increase awareness of Dentons’ brand and career opportunities, such as our annual “Navigating to Big Law” and “Introduction to Big Law” events, which are designed to introduce diverse students to a large law firm environment. 

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
• The Diversity Creditable Hour Policy: Ensures our lawyers receive up to 150 hours of credit per year for specified diversity and inclusion activities.

• Allyship Initiative: Following Dentons Global “2020 Year of the Ally” Campaign, the Firm launched the Allyship Initiative to connect, educate and create a safe space for all partners and employees to help build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Through this initiative, all colleagues, including lawyers, professionals and staff are invited to participate in monthly educational discussions to activate Allyship and further diversity and inclusion within our Firm and beyond.

• Unconscious bias awareness trainings: Designed to help Dentons’ colleagues become more thoughtful about how they interact with others. In 2021, Dentons partnered with Steps, a behavior
change consultancy, to launch “A Fresh Start,” which included a customized program of sessions focused on Inclusive Leadership. The Firm launched Fresh Start 2.0 in 2022, which builds on the inclusive leadership lessons from the 2021 program and focuses on building a personal plan of real world activities to drive inclusion at Dentons. In-person sessions are being delivered in offices across the region to take inclusion at the Firm from thought to action, helping colleagues to identify contributions to inclusion that align with their role, responsibilities, and resources.

• Inclusive Leadership: Firm leadership receives training on cultural diversity, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and inclusion, designed to help educate and empower them with regard to the prevention and early identification of workplace conduct that is contrary to our policies and values. Firm leadership also receives training on unconscious bias in evaluating performance in advance of the review process.

• Affinity Groups: Dentons’ Asian, Black, Disability, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBT+, Native American, working parents and caregivers,  and Veterans affinity groups help foster an inclusive culture by supporting the professional advancement of its diverse members through networking, training and business development initiatives.

• WomenLEAD: Dentons’ WomenLEAD Committee empowers and supports women through networking opportunities, training initiatives and business and client development events.

• 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.

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 US LLP participates in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 1L Scholars Program. The LCLD 1L Scholars Program is designed to strengthen the legal pipeline by expanding the number of opportunities for diverse first-year law students. In addition to receiving a paid position in our Summer Associate Program, Dentons LCLD Scholars attend the annual LCLD 1L Scholars retreat and participate in the LCLD’s Law School Mentor Program, in which students are paired with a LCLD Fellow who will mentor them through bar passage. Additionally, at the completion of a successful first summer, including receipt and acceptance of an offer to return to the firm for a second summer, Dentons LCLD 1L Diversity Scholars will receive $5,000. Scholars who return for a second summer will receive an additional $5,000 at the completion of a successful second summer, including receipt and acceptance of an offer to join the firm as an entry-level associate.

Dentons also participates bi-annually 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. All affinity groups are open to lawyers, and business services professionals in an effort to create a truly inclusive environment,

Affinity Groups include:

• Asian, South Asian, Pacific-American Professionals (ASAPP)
• Black Professional Alliance
• Disability / Accessibility Affinity Group
• Hispanic/Latinx Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA)
• Native American Affinity Group
• Parents & Carers
• Veterans Affinity Group

Dentons WomenLEAD
WomenLEAD (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advancement and Development) provides tools and opportunities to help women succeed and advance. Our WomenLEAD Committee, as well as local committees in each of our US offices, organize a variety of programs every year. Our annual WomenLEAD Excellence Awards recognize lawyers and professionals who go the extra mile to aid and advance women in the workplace.