We devote substantial time, energy and resources to ensuring that our diversity efforts are integrated into every facet of Firm life.
We develop and support internal employee affinity groups, including African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, LGBT and women networks within the Firm. Our affinity groups provide associates with an additional network where they can seek advice and informal mentoring, as well as forge and strengthen both professional relationships and friendships.
African American/Black Associate Affinity Group
Rowan Wilson (Litigation partner) serves as the partner liaison to our African American/Black affinity group.
Asian/Pacific Islander Associate Affinity Group
Tim Cameron (Litigation partner), Teena Sankoorikal (Litigation partner), Alyssa Caples (Corporate partner) and Minh Van Ngo (Corporate partner) serve as the partner liaisons to our Asian/Pacific Islander affinity group.
Hispanic/Latino Associate Affinity Group
Richard Hall (Corporate partner) and Darin McAtee (Litigation partner) serve as the partner liaisons to our Hispanic/Latino affinity group.
LGBT Associate Affinity Group
Gary Bornstein (Litigation partner) serves as the partner liaison to our LGBT affinity group.
Co-chaired by two partners on our Diversity Committee, Susan Webster (Corporate partner) and Julie North (Litigation partner), our Women’s Initiative aims to implement best practices for hiring, training, retention and advancement of women attorneys at Cravath. Programming includes monthly women’s lunches, events for women by seniority level and an annual summer women lawyers’ event.
As part of our commitment to ensuring that we retain a diverse workforce, we have increased our focus on assisting all attorneys in addressing work/life balance concerns—particularly attorneys with children—within a firm that is committed to the pursuit of excellence in the law for the benefit of our clients.
Our Working Parents Group (WPG) provides a supportive network for attorneys who are parents and attorneys who are considering becoming parents. Started in 2007, the WPG meets on a monthly basis and discusses issues such as balancing career and family, childcare arrangements and working part time. The WPG has hosted speakers from the Parents League of New York, as well as the Director of our Children’s Center. More recently, our WPG hosted a presentation where David Finkelstein (Trusts and Estates partner) led a discussion about tax-related issues that are of particular relevance to parents. Karin DeMasi (Litigation partner) serves as the partner liaison to the WPG.
In 2008, we increased the amount of paid leave received by both lawyers and staff following a birth or adoption. For example, female associates who give birth and are the primary caregiver now receive a minimum of 18 weeks paid leave from the date of birth. Additionally, we have significantly increased the amount of paid leave available to both lawyers and staff in connection with an adoption.
In August of 2011, we held our sixth annual “family-friendly program/policy panel” that focused on the Firm’s policies and benefits that are offered to parents. The panel was open to all associates and summer associates and included discussion of the Firm’s part-time policy, our Children’s Center and our family-related health benefits.
The Firm strives to maintain an environment that allows our attorneys to engage in religious observance and practice. For example, to help an associate practice his faith during business hours, we created a quiet space for reflection and prayer and made it available to all employees. Additionally, each lawyer is entitled to use personal time, not charged to vacation time, for religious observance.