SEATTLE (July 9, 2020) - Perkins Coie announced today that it will donate $500,000 annually over the next five years to groups that promote racial equality through legal representation, policy advocacy, and community-based activities.
The firm’s financial commitment will also support groups that do not have ready access to other funding sources and organizations that are invested in the next generation of Black business and community leaders.
“In recent weeks, our nation has begun a reckoning with the racial inequality that has existed throughout our history and continues to impact the daily lives of Black people,” said Bill Malley, Perkins Coie’s firmwide managing partner. “This reckoning began with the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. It continues now with a broad social movement that extends across our country. As a firm, we are committed to doing our part to end racism and to help create a more just and equal society. Our actions will build on the substantial work we are already doing to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our firm and in our society.”
The additional series of actions also announced by the firm today to further improve racial equality and justice include:
- New Pro Bono Initiatives Focused on Racial Equality
Building on the existing pro bono program to establish new firmwide initiatives that address racial inequality in policing, the criminal justice system, and economic justice. Work with other law firms to address issues of systemic racism through the newly formed Law Firm Antiracism Alliance.
- Civil Rights Legal Fellowships
Establish a fellowship program for Perkins Coie associates, typically in their first year, to spend one year working in a civil rights organization or other organization that promotes racial equality.
- Entrepreneurship Program
Establish a program to support Black and Latinx founders and entrepreneurs to achieve greater access to capital through networking opportunities, educational resources, seminars, and alternative fee arrangements.
- Supplier Diversity Program
Accelerate and expand the ongoing development of our Supplier Diversity Program, which was established in 2019.
Continuing the practice that we began this year, we will make Juneteenth an annual firmwide holiday to provide an opportunity for reflection, education, and service to promote racial equality.
In addition, the firm will continue the implementation of its Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Plan. The plan, which was adopted in 2019, includes a comprehensive three-year program of action to increase prospects and reduce barriers for all diverse attorneys, with an emphasis on addressing the historic exclusion and significant underrepresentation of Black and Latinx attorneys in the legal industry. These efforts include continuing to:
- Increase diversity in leadership positions and in our equity partner ranks.
- Ensure that our compensation and evaluation systems, at every level, properly recognize and reward contributions to diversity and inclusion.
- Ensure that diverse lawyers are included in opportunities to originate new work and serve on and lead client teams.
- Maintain and grow our 1L Diversity Fellows Program.
- Hold ourselves accountable through regular benchmarking of our progress and reporting on that progress.
- Exceed the minimum requirements for participation in the Mansfield Certification Program.
- Develop a diversity and inclusion program focused on the recruitment, professional development, and advancement of our staff members.
Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high value, strategic solutions and extraordinary client service on matters vital to our clients’ success. With more than 1,100 lawyers in offices across the United States and Asia, we provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property and regulatory legal advice to a broad range of clients, including many of the world’s most innovative companies and industry leaders as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.
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