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How Goodwin promotes diversity and inclusion within their firm - Ray's story

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?

My ethnic background is Chinese, Japanese and Russian. I was born in Australia after my parents immigrated from their hometown in Harbin, China. I studied in Sydney and commenced my first role as a lawyer in the Sydney office of Clayton Utz, before moving to BCLP and then Goodwin. 

What is your role and how long have you been at Goodwin?

I joined Goodwin in 2018 and am part of the Real Estate Industry group, which includes specialist lawyers across all real estate related disciplines, including fund formation, joint ventures, asset management, acquisitions and disposals, disputes, tax, regulatory and finance. 

Within the Real Estate Industry group, I work in corporate real estate, focusing on real estate M&A and joint ventures.

I am also one of the London CRED leaders (“CRED” stands for “Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity”).

I'm now a partner in the Real Estate Industry group.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Law?

Before university, I participated in mock trials that were organised by our local Law Society.  I really enjoyed taking part in advocacy and the law in practice, and it was the first time I was exposed to legal reasoning, evidence based arguments, strategic judgment, and rules governed by legislation, precedent and professional responsibility.  This triggered my desire to study and then pursuing a career in law. 

Tell me a little bit about the CRED Affinity Group at Goodwin.

The CRED affinity group at Goodwin is a firm-wide initiative focused on identifying and implementing opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion within the firm. 

The goals of CRED are to: (1) attract and retain highly talented lawyers from diverse backgrounds; (2) support diverse lawyers throughout their careers at the firm; (3) advance diverse lawyers to leadership positions; and (4) create a firm community that is sensitive to and aware of diversity, and appreciative that diversity can enrich the Goodwin community.

Partners, associates and key administrators work together across the firm and at a local level to advance CRED’s goals.  Our recent initiatives have included internal panel discussions on topics like racism, external speaker events and expert training sessions on diversity matters, regular social events for members, member forums around recruitment strategies, internal mentoring programs, and sponsorship of community programs and organisations which support diversity.

What inspired you to get involved with this Affinity Group?

Being a member of CRED makes me feel like a part of a community within my broader Goodwin community – it is a nice feeling to be part of a group with common goals, and a shared vision to drive positive change.  

Goodwin’s other affinity groups: Pride (consisting of LGBTQ+ and allies), Women (supporting women at Goodwin) and BOLD (serving as a collective voice for Goodwin’s black community), also exist to raise awareness and support diversity, equity and inclusion.

What is the company culture like at Goodwin?

A key reason for Goodwin’s success is that it has managed to maintain a real growth culture – everyone has a safe space to learn, participate, challenge oneself, receive and give feedback, and grow individually and collectively as a group.  Participation and having an entrepreneurial spirit are rewarded.  Goodwin associates are encouraged to input on all aspects of firm life, including shaping the firm’s diversity and inclusion activities. 

Although we now have 13 offices globally and over 1,600 lawyers, there is a genuine “one firm” set of values, with cross-office knowledge sharing, collaboration and gatherings common amongst business units and affinity groups.  The firm’s annual global CRED retreat is a good example of this.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Goodwin?

Take the time to understand Goodwin’s strengths and the types of clients we serve – innovators in the real estate, private equity, tech, life sciences, and financial services industries, as well as any overlaps between these industries. 

The law is important, but it is also important to show you can think commercially.  Maintain a curious mind.  Keep in touch with what is happening in the business world and the economy. 

And be yourself.  Goodwin is a firm that embraces personality and uniqueness.