Fitzpatrick recognizes the diversity of our firm as one of our most valuable assets. Just as individual lawyers benefit by examining issues from multiple angles, Fitzpatrick itself benefits from the presence of varied perspectives, particularly those of historically marginalized groups.
Those benefits come in many forms. We believe, initially, that diversity enhances the quality of our legal services, through the additional viewpoints and depth of insight it provides. In addition, we believe that diverse firms are more attractive to talented employment candidates, as well as to corporate clients seeking to partner with the best and most socially responsible counsel.
Most importantly, beyond the above benefits, we value diversity as the natural byproduct of adhering to our core value of non-discrimination. Experience tells us that seeking out the most talented lawyers results in a diverse workforce.
Our commitment to diversity does not end with recruiting. We recognize that true support for diversity includes actively encouraging the retention and advancement of minority attorneys. Accordingly, as a member of the firm affiliate network of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Fitzpatrick is proudly committed to the MCCA’s 10 Basic Principles, designed to promote diversity. They include, among other things, a pledge to maintain a diversity plan for the firm and to include diverse attorneys in new business opportunities. Consistent with the 10 Basic Principles, Fitzpatrick maintains an active and influential Diversity Committee. We also support a Women’s Initiative Program, focused on the development and advancement of female attorneys.
Across the firm, Fitzpatrick places a strong emphasis on mentoring and professional development, which historically has contributed to a relatively high retention rate across our entire associate corps. The culture we have created—one that values the training and promotion of associates—is, indeed, one of the most powerful and effective ways that we support diversity at Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick has twice been awarded the prestigious Thomas L. Sager Award by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) Northeast region, recognizing the firm’s success in achieving a collegial, supportive and diverse work environment.
We are also proud to be leaders in the broader effort to increase opportunity for minority lawyers in the New York City Bar Association and the profession at large. More than a decade ago, Fitzpatrick joined the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Task Force to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession and became a signatory to its Diversity Statement. Fitzpatrick was also one of the initial signatories to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s “Statement of Goals of New York Law Firms and Corporate Legal Departments for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention”.
We also seek opportunities to encourage minority youth to consider careers in law. The firm donates annually to The Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Intellectual Property Law Scholarships awarded by the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation to minority students pursuing a career in intellectual property law.