In Honor of Juneteenth: Bob Bodian’s Address to Colleagues
On Juneteenth, 2020, we pledged to increase our number of Black attorneys by 50% in two years. In a few short months, we will exceed that goal when our first-year associates join us in September. But as of June 19, 2022, we are just short of the goal we had set ourselves. This Juneteenth, I want to reflect on what that means.
While we’ve made progress on diversity and inclusion generally, we still have a long way to go. The Juneteenth goal was empirical, measurable, and attainable. Having a concrete goal helped us envision what our firm would look like in two years and inspired us to action. During these past two years, we have been striving towards that goal together as an institution and a community, and the experience has been powerful and rewarding. After I made the pledge in 2020, all of you — from Legal Recruiting and the DEI team to the Division Heads, Section Managers, Members, and Associates — embraced it as your own and helped the firm try to achieve it. You also kept the firm accountable. Many of you checked in to see how we were doing vis-à-vis our goal and what more we could be doing to get there. Thank you all, and good job!
Even after we hit the 50% increase in September, we have to continue working on diversifying the firm at every level. We need to diversify our Member ranks, and even more so, our Capital Member ranks. We are building a strong and very diverse pipeline of future firm leaders, starting with our summer associates. We have to continue to recruit associates of color and women laterally. And we all have to roll up our sleeves and do the work of being an inclusive firm where everyone feels like they belong and have a voice.
Thank you all for your recruiting efforts, your retention efforts, and your help in achieving this goal.