Reed Smith’s latest ranking in the Diversity Scorecard can be attributed in part to changes to the methodology applied by AmLaw. Rather than evaluating firms just on headcount figures, AmLaw pursued a deeper analysis of “how firms are creating pathways for the long-term success of their diverse attorney talent,” according to the publisher. Over the past several years, Reed Smith has invested heavily in advancing policies that prioritize tracking the firm’s performance in every aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), from recruiting and retention to promotion and advancement to leadership. The firm’s greater array of diversity-related data aligns with AmLaw’s broader analytical approach to the Diversity Scorecard.
This year’s Diversity Scorecard also took into consideration the composition of firms’ executive committee, office leaders and practice heads. Reed Smith has made great strides in ensuring that the firm’s leadership is racially and ethnically diverse and representative, including the recent appointments of Peter Ellis to chair of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department, Janet Kwuon to co-chair of the Global Corporate Disputes practice, Tyree Jones to chair of the Labor & Employment practice, Jennifer Cheng and Siddesh Bale to vice chairs of the Global Corporate Group, Amber Finch to Los Angeles office managing partner, and Jason Hazlewood to Pittsburgh office managing partner.
Reed Smith has centered its DE&I program on confronting the traditional chokepoints that often confound law firms and legal departments, working towards specific goals and benchmarks that hold the firm and its leadership accountable. These goals include visible leadership and following, groundbreaking innovation, equity, representative diversity, and inclusion and belonging.
“Determining law firm performance on diversity, equity and inclusion requires more than just a quantitative accounting of diverse lawyers’ retention and attrition year over year,” said John Iino, Reed Smith’s global chair of diversity and inclusion. “We applaud AmLaw for placing value on the qualitative and substantive steps being taken by leading firms to ensure that their commitment to DE&I is sustainable in the long term. We are especially proud of the strides we have taken over the past five years to be a considered a leading light on DE&I within the profession.”