Perkins Coie – Corporate Partner Spotlight

What is Perkins Coie’s approach to diversity?

Diversity has been a long-standing core value of the firm.  We also made it one of our strategic goals.  We strive to create a diverse and inclusive community where opportunities to succeed are transparent and accessible to all.

Perkins Coie embraces diversity as part of our commitment to excellence and community.  Embracing diversity allows us to draw from varied perspectives and communities in order to deliver excellence to our clients and attract the very best talent to our ranks.  Diversity is integral to our collegial environment because it allows us to learn from one another, appreciate differences and collaborate more effectively.  Perkins Coie is committed to being a diverse and inclusive firm.  We are also committed to supporting, participating and partnering with others in efforts to make the legal profession diverse and inclusive.

What sets your recruiting, career development, and work-life programs apart?

Every person is a valued member of the team, and our firm culture is built on collaboration and mutual respect.  The diverse perspectives and experiences of our attorneys and staff ensure that we deliver the best solutions to our clients.  With that philosophy in mind, we ensure that we recruit from the broadest and most diverse sources possible.  For the past two years, we have participated in the 1L Diversity Fellowship sponsored by the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers of the New York City Bar Association.  The program provides first-year law students from underrepresented populations the opportunity to spend a summer at one of New York's leading law firms or corporate/government law departments.  With regard to hiring lateral attorneys, we ensure that job listings are forwarded directly to the numerous diverse bar associations for distribution to their constituents and posting on their websites.  We feel that these measures provide us with a broad, talented pool of candidates from which to hire.

Once an attorney becomes part of our community, we want him or her to feel welcome and prepared to participate at every level of engagement necessary for success.  The firm supports affinity groups for women, parents, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender attorneys, lawyers with disabilities, and lawyers of color (African American, Latina/o, Asian Pacific Islander and South Asian).  These affinity groups offer opportunities for fellowship, support and networking.  Firm diversity committees offer programs and events that respond to the specific and unique needs of our attorneys.  The firm also hosts national programs and retreats aimed at providing diverse attorneys at the firm with the information and tools they need to succeed.  In addition, in the past year we have initiated measures to work with military veteran law students to assist them with preparing to enter the civilian legal field.

What is the greatest value diverse teams bring to your firm?

Diverse teams provide rich, unique approaches to strategizing and problem solving and provide robust, outside-of-the-box solutions.  We strive to maintain a diverse, inclusive environment that provides opportunities for growth, development and leadership.  This is how we are able to provide our clients with the best possible service.

How long has Perkins Coie been a corporate partner of CUP’s and why does your organization value this relationship?

The New York Office of Perkins Coie opened less than 4 years ago.  Over those four years, we have become more and more involved with CUP and events sponsored by CUP.  Perkins Coie became a corporate partner of CUP's in 2014.  We view that partnership as much more than just a formality.  Our intention is to support and assist CUP in achieving its goals by lending CUP our skills, talents and resources.  We value our partnership with CUP because we share the same goals with respect to diversity, inclusion and promotion.

How do you think CUP will have the greatest impact?

In the time that CUP has been in existence, it has already shown that it is making a huge impact.  CUP's presence became substantial in a relatively short period of time.  By partnering with companies and firms like ours which share CUP's goals and objectives, CUP will continue to have a large impact in business and civic communities.  We are glad to be a part of CUP's efforts.