We’re proud of our industry-leading efforts to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive firm culture. Advancing DEI goals is not a one-dimensional pursuit, but an active effort that’s embedded in everything we do for our people, our clients, and our communities.
Nixon Peabody is taking meaningful steps not only to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our firm, but to elevate DEI in our clients’ industries and across the broader marketplace. By building and supporting diverse teams, guiding clients through their own DEI journeys, and engaging our communities in productive conversations, we’re acting on the values that have long defined NP.
As 2022 comes to a close, we wanted to share some of the progress we’ve made and the positive impact we’ve created along the way.
For Our People
By the Numbers
Once again, NP made measurable progress toward its DEI goals in 2022. Our partnership includes 26% women attorneys, 11% racially and ethnically diverse attorneys, and 3% LGBTQ+ attorneys, and we continue to diversify our attorney and staff teams at all levels of the firm. Our 2022 income partner class includes 50% attorneys from historically underrepresented groups in the legal profession. Of the attorneys who joined the firm in 2022, 64% identify as members of underrepresented groups in the legal profession.
Our efforts have earned us Mansfield Certification Plus for a fifth consecutive year. This recognition from Diversity Lab affirms our commitment to a series of progressive DEI milestones, including ensuring that historically underrepresented attorneys comprise at least 30% of our leadership roles and committees.
Move the Needle
As founding members of the Move the Needle Fund (MTN), we continue to advance this important initiative—focusing on hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse talent while supporting our people and communities.
As part of our MTN participation, we’ve publicly committed to increasing representation of diverse attorneys in our equity partnership ranks by 2025—setting ambitious goals that far surpass national averages and position us as one of the most diverse and inclusive BigLaw firms in the country. As we near the mid-point of our initial five-year MTN collaboration, we are well on our way to realizing this promise: Nixon Peabody’s equity partnership now consists of 23% women attorneys, 8% racially and ethnically diverse attorneys, and 3% LGBTQ+ attorneys.
Through MTN, we pair our DEI efforts with innovative programs that thread DEI throughout our organizational culture. After piloting the program last year, all our practice groups now routinely use the Mansfield Rule for Workflow app, designed to reduce, interrupt, and ultimately eliminate the unconscious bias that can influence how work is assigned and teams are built at BigLaw firms. We also support the professional growth of our diverse lawyers through MTN’s OnTrack Sponsorship, Focused Five, and the Black Affinity Network, which foster business development and connection opportunities for participating attorneys.
For Our Clients
Companies across the country are recognizing DEI as foundational to their business success, and committing to build more inclusive organizations. But many need advice on how to take their visions from conceptual to concrete. That’s why we launched our industry-leading DEI Strategic Services group: to help companies act on their DEI principles and live out their values in the public square. Leveraging our cross-industry knowledge and legal insight, we go beyond compliance to guide clients through every step of their DEI journey—building programs that facilitate open dialogue among employees, addressing systemic challenges and immediate needs, and embedding DEI in their relationships with customers, employees, and the community. Our goal is to position the companies we serve as DEI models in their respective industries and marketplace.
Since launching our group earlier this year, we’ve already seen a significant and increasing need for our services. Notably, we assisted a publicly traded major food company in diversifying its franchisee candidate pool and auditing its racial equity practices. We’ve also implemented measurement metrics to help organizations understand their current DEI climate, and developed programs tailored to their specific needs. Through thought leadership on DEI issues, we deliver timely, accessible insights to the broader public. And through direct work with clients, we offer actionable strategies to help them reach their DEI milestones.
For Our Firm
Delivering benefits to our clients, our people, and our communities strengthens our firm, now and for the future. And we are proud that we have earned recognition for our efforts from leaders in the DEI sphere. In 2022, we were one of eight firms—out of 240 participants—to be selected as an Inclusion Champion by Diversity Lab. NP earned this status by rating highly on the Inclusion Blueprint, which measures our work to ensure that underrepresented lawyers have fair and equitable access to quality work, influential sponsors, and other opportunities.
We also earned recognition for Excellence in Inclusion by ChIPs, a global nonprofit for women in law, tech, and policy. NP is ranked on the 2022 Honor Roll for its DEI commitment, and is one of only two firms highlighted for their Excellence in Inclusion for All. And, for the 15th consecutive year, we earned a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
For Our Communities
This year we teamed with key external and internal advocates who share our DEI commitments to create signature events and virtual content centering issues important to underrepresented groups in our communities.
We teamed with the ACLU of Iowa—our partner in groundbreaking litigation to safeguard the rights of transgender people to access affirming medical care—for a discussion on how all of us can be allies and advocates for the LGBTQ+ population. We also celebrated Pride by highlighting our community partners.
We hosted a conversation with Lourdes M. Rosado, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, one of our longstanding community partners. LatinoJustice and NP have teamed up on a variety of high-impact matters focused on fighting discrimination, protecting immigrant rights, and increasing economic opportunity for Latinos, including a pair of important civil rights cases in Maryland.
And, we hosted our first ever NP Impact Week of Service, which brought together more than 500 of our colleagues to give back and strengthen our communities. Across the firm, we participated in service projects that empowered communities and people in need, with a particular focus on underrepresented groups.
Notably, we partnered with JustCause to provide legal assistance to low-income entrepreneurs in economically distressed communities, and Legal Counsel in Washington, DC, to assist veterans in submitting applications for benefits. Week of Service encapsulates how we leverage our internal pro bono and social impact resources to support diverse populations.
In addition, we continued to foster community and client connections through our “Let’s Talk” series, which showcases dynamic women leaders across industries as they discuss their career journeys and paths to leadership. This year’s speakers included Bumble executive Payton Iheme and NPR Chief Legal Officer Elizabeth Allen. We also debuted our “Let’s Talk More” program, welcoming Connecticut Attorney General William Tong as our first speaker.