In 2008, we launched the Attorneys of Color Affinity Group, the first group under our new Affinity Groups initiative. Our attorneys of color have used this group as a forum for identifying issues of importance to them and for facilitating discussions of those issues within our firm. They have also been a driving force in our effort to increase the hiring and retention of attorneys from diverse backgrounds.
The group also fosters networking opportunities and informal mentor/peer relationships through their regular events which are dedicated to assisting members in advancing their careers. Discussions have included advice for developing business, ways to increase minority representation in the partnership ranks, alternative career paths and how to identify opportunities to network through community activism. Programs are typically open to the entire firm, and are regularly attended by a broad range of lawyers from senior management to first-year associates. The group also invites summer associates and students of color from various local law school groups to attend some of their events.