At Covington, we recognize the differences among us are true assets and a source of strength. We believe that excellence in the practice of law knows no racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, or other boundaries. Covington lawyers bring a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences to our practice. By recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting a diverse group of lawyers, we advance the interests of our clients, our practice, and our entire profession.
The commitment from our leadership team
Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee provides strategic leadership on diversity and inclusion related to the identification and recruitment of a diverse attorney population. They also lead on mentoring and professional development, community building, and internal and external promotion of the firm's achievements.
Our management team are made up of a diverse group of lawyers and we support their efforts to become leading practitioners in their fields. The Management Committee, which consists of eight members elected by the full partnership, is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the firm and overseeing the firm's major business and policy decisions.
We are led by diverse and vibrant lawyers from a range of backgrounds who hold senior roles in our practice and industry groups within the firm and senior roles on firm committees, including our associate advisory, business, diversity, evaluation, hiring, and legal personnel committees.
Diversity in the Legal Profession
Covington is among the many firms participating in the Mansfield Rule, a program requiring participating firms to consider a diverse slate of candidates for the leadership roles, committees, and other high-profile firm positions. The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies and doubled the number of minorities hired into those roles. The Mansfield Rule 3.0 measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, LGBT+, lawyers of color, LGBT+ lawyers, differently-abled lawyers for equity partner promotions and senior lateral positions. Covington was certified “Mansfield Rule Certification Plus” by Diversity Lab in 2018, 2019, and 2020. To achieve the “Plus” certification, firms also had to reach at least 30 percent women, LGBT+, lawyers of color, LGBT+ lawyers, differently-abled lawyer representation in current leadership roles and committees.
The centerpiece of an effective professional development program that promotes diversity and inclusion is a diversity and inclusion education or training program. To that end, we launched a firm-wide training program with a general session aimed at identifying bias and strategies for minimizing and interrupting bias.
Women’s Forum & Affinity Groups
The Women's Forum is a firm wide initiative designed to foster greater interaction among women lawyers at all levels of the firm. Through regularly scheduled programs and initiatives, the Women's Forum provides more opportunity for our women lawyers to network with each other and address issues of common interest, such as career growth, mentoring, and business and professional development.
Reflecting the diverse backgrounds of our lawyers, Covington has established five Affinity Groups: African American/Black, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, LGBT, and Veterans. Affinity Groups contribute to our firm culture and provide additional opportunities for mentoring, community building, and professional development
Diversity, inclusion and racial justice
In light of recent events, Covington has responded to the needs of our internal and external communities in a number of ways.
Internally, our Chair, Doug Gibson, has reaffirmed our fundamental commitment to confronting ongoing racism and injustice in our society and has pledged to redouble our efforts to foster all forms of diversity, inclusion, and justice and put these values into action. Management Committee member Catherine Dargan and Covington partner and former Attorney General Eric Holder held a firm-wide town hall discussion on the struggle for racial equality and answered questions from lawyers and staff. From this year and going forward, we have marked Juneteenth as a holiday firmwide and has provided everyone with a library of links to articles, books, and videos that provide opportunities to learn and reflect during the holiday about racial and social justice.
Externally, Covington has a long tradition of combatting racism and promoting social justice through our pro bono efforts. For example, in just the last year and a half, the firm has devoted nearly 120,000 pro bono hours to racial justice issues, worth more than $75 million. We expect to handle even more of these matters moving forward and are currently representing clients across the country in a wide range of cases including:
- First Amendment
- Racial Profiling
- Police & Prosecutor Accountability
- Fair Housing
- Mass Incarceration & Prisoners' Rights
- Criminalization of Poverty
- Economic Opportunity
- Voting & Equal Representation
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