NEW YORK – Global law firm Reed Smith announced that it has formalized its Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP) by creating specific benchmarks for hiring, retaining and promoting Black lawyers and for advancing pro bono initiatives impacting the Black community – all designed to deconstruct barriers to equity in the legal industry and in our communities.

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In August, the firm announced the formation of its 36-person Racial Equity Task Force. This group was tasked with marshaling the firm’s resources to carry out the REAP, Reed Smith’s response to recent events in the United States that have highlighted generations of systemic racial injustice against Black Americans.

The REAP is centered on three priorities:

  • Internal well-being and learning, through which the firm commits to advancing recruitment, retention, and leadership opportunities for Black lawyers and staff.
  • Pro bono and community engagement, including work for justice system reform, economic opportunity and defense against discrimination – with local and national organizations
  • Client engagement, to invest in attracting and retaining Black lawyer talent, starting from law school recruiting efforts, to secondment engagements, to creating high-level relationship development opportunities.

“When we announced the formation of our Racial Equity Task Force and subsequent Racial Equity Action Plan two months ago, we knew our efforts required measureable results that would prove to our people and our communities that our commitment was real,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “We have taken a deliberate approach toward ensuring everything we do in the name of racial equity makes a meaningful and sustainable impact.

“In putting together the framework for the REAP, we’ve had to critically assess all aspects of our firm, from how we attract and retain talent, to an examination of our pro bono efforts, to the scope of our client relationships. This process has brought new energy and focus throughout the firm, and we look forward to sharing progress in due course.”