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Diversity

The philosophy of diversity has a strong foundation at Fish & Richardson. It is an integral part of our practice and communicated as a core value of the firm. 

Our mission is to promote a creative, respectful, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of people, experiences, perspectives, talents, and capabilities, and allows ingenuity to thrive.

As a firm that serves the world's greatest visionaries, Fish knows that innovation often results from seeing the world in a different way. Fish recognizes that diverse backgrounds provide unique perspectives that result in new and better solutions. Having a diverse team that reflects the diversity of the public arena enhances the quality of legal services we provide to our clients and helps strengthen our standing as a premier IP law firm.

Click here to read more about the Fish & Richardson's Diversity Initiative.

To contact the Fish & Richardson Diversity Committee, please email .

 

Diversity Initiative

For Fish & Richardson, diversity is a long-term commitment, adding value to both the law firm and the legal profession as a whole. It is an integral part of who we are as a firm.

As proud as we are of the diverse team we have been able to build at the firm, we understand that the job of promoting diversity is never complete.

Fish's commitment to diversity has been evidenced through the creation of our Diversity Initiative which links together a variety of programs and offerings related to recruitment, professional development, retention, and outreach in the legal and business communities. This Initiative helps us attract, retain and advance diverse attorneys, foster a creative, respectful, and inclusive work environment, and to build new bridges to community and professional groups and to strengthen our existing connections.

Fish & Richardson is involved in a broad range of diversity efforts nationwide to further the diversity of our firm and the legal community, and we are gratified about the recent recognition we have received as one of the country's top firms for diversity.

  • Fish was awarded the top rating of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2015 Corporate Equality Index which rates businesses for the treatment of LGBT employees in the workplace.
  • The 2014 American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard, comprised of survey results of the AmLaw 200 and NLJ 250 law firms about the number of minorities in their offices, ranked Fish #33 out of 223 law firms, placing us in the top 15%.
  • Fish was named to Vault, Inc.'s 2014 Best Law Firms for Diversity:  Top 25 List for Disability Diversity.
  • The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) named Fish to its 2013 Do Good, Do Well List for excellence in both diversity and profitability.
  • Fish was named to the Best Law Firms for Diversity: Diversity for Minorities Top 25 list in Vault, Inc.'s 2013 Law Firm Rankings.
  • Fish was recognized in 2012 for our commitment and support of diversity by the National Society of Black Engineers. 
  • In 2012, Fish & Richardson was named one of the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity by MultiCultural Law magazine. We have been named to this prestigious list annually since 2005.

 

Diversity Committee

A firm-wide Diversity Committee, working closely with the National Chair of the Diversity Initiative and the Manager of Diversity, is responsible for the purposeful development, implementation, and oversight of the firm's diversity initiative and activities.

The Diversity Committee also oversees Diversity Workgroups, which focus on several strategic areas, including Best Practices; Recruitment and Pipeline Initiatives; Retention, Internal Advancement, and Mentoring; Internal Communications; and External Communications.

To contact the Fish & Richardson Diversity Committee, please email

 

The members of the Diversity Committee are:

Ahmed J. Davis
National Chair of Diversity Initiative and Principal, Washington D.C. Office

Natalie L. Arbaugh
EMPOWER Lead and Principal, Dallas Office

Michael F. Autuoro
Principal, New York City Office

Daniel Chan
Associate, Southern California Office

Susan Coletti
Principal, Delaware Office

Peter J. Devlin
President and Principal, Boston Office

Michael E. Florey
Principal, Twin Cities Office

Timothy A. French
Principal, Boston Office


Manager of Diversity, Southern California Office

Michael Headley
Principal, Silicon Valley Office

David M. Hoffman
Principal, Austin Office

Mukta Jhalani
Associate, Silicon Valley Office

Aamir A. Kazi
Associate, Atlanta Office

Kelly Kiernan Largey
Chief Marketing Officer, Boston Office

Cherylyn Mizzo
Principal, Washington D.C. Office

Kelly Mixon Morgan
Director of Attorney Hiring, Dallas Office

Wasif Qureshi
Principal, Houston Office

Russell N. Rippamonti
Principal, Dallas Office

 

Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Staff

Fish & Richardson is committed to building and sustaining diversity in the workplace. We work hard to attract, retain, and advance the most talented and capable legal staff regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, or any othered protect status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Fish & Richardson encourages and supports an internal network of affinity groups such as the Asian Legal Staff Affinity Group, Black Legal Staff Affinity Group, GLBT Affinity Group, the Hispanic/Latino Affinity Group, and the EMPOWER Women's Initiative. These groups build diversity awareness and are influential in fostering a sense of community and inclusion among professionals who share common interests or backgrounds.  The affinity groups assist in furthering the firm's commitment to provide equal opportunities, providing additional networking, mentoring, career and business development opportunities for our legal staff and building upon a firm fabric of intentional inclusion. The firm hosts an intranet site that features affinity group information, a firm-wide diversity calendar, and other diversity resources.

We have also focused attention on the recruitment, retention, and professional development of our legal staff with family-care responsibilities. Our family-friendly benefits include backup child-care benefits for all employees and our maternity and parental leave policies are amongst the most generous in the legal marketplace. In 2007, Fish & Richardson formalized its flexible billable hours practices with a written Reduced Hours Policy. Our law firm was also one of the first nationwide to offer benefits to domestic partners.

 

1L Diversity Fellowship Program 

Launched in 2005, Fish & Richardson's 1L Diversity Fellowship Program annually provides fellowships to diverse first-year law students throughout the country. The Program represents a key component of the firm's ongoing initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of our practice and of the legal profession.

The 1L Diversity Fellowship Program is comprised of four components:  Each selected Fellow receives a paid summer associate position in one of Fish & Richardson’s domestic offices during the summer of 2015; mentoring throughout the academic year by members of the firm; participation in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity 1L Scholars Program; and a $10,000 scholarship*. 

 

*Fish will award $5,000 to all 1L Diversity Fellowship Recipients upon completion of their 1L summer clerkship with the firm, and offer an additional $5,000 to those who receive and accept an associate offer with the firm after the completion of their 2L summer clerkship with us.

Application for the 2015 1L Diversity Fellowship will be accepted from December 1, 2014, through January 9, 2015. The 1L Diversity Fellowship Application Form can be found here.  Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the 1L Diversity Fellowship Program can be found here.
 
 

To apply for the fellowship, please submit 1) a completed application form; 2) a directed, personal statement; 3) your resume; 4) undergraduate transcript (unofficial accepted); 5) legal writing sample; and 6) a contact list of three references - one must be a law school, graduate school or college professor and you must include the name, title and contact information for each. You must also rank your preferred offices for the summer clerkship. Finalists will be asked to submit their first semester law school grades.

 

Women's Initiative

Fish & Richardson's Women's Initiative was formalized under the name EMPOWER in 2009 to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of the firm's female legal staff and provide expanded professional and business development opportunities, mentoring, training, and support. 

EMPOWER - which stands for Enrichment, Mentorship, Partnering, Opportunities, Wisdom, Excellence, and Responsibility - seeks to address issues of unique importance to women in the legal profession; increase opportunities for networking and mentoring relationships; and provide tools and resources that enhance the personal and professional development of our women and position them for success.

Over the years, this initiative has aided in creating and enhancing policies and programs at the firm by helping to facilitate dialogue between our legal staff and firm management and helping to ensure that our practices have their intended effect.  Resulting from some of these discussions was the formalization of the firm's flexible billable hours practices with a written Reduced Hours Policy and revisions that enhanced our maternity and parental leave policies, making them among the most generous in the legal marketplace.

Through EMPOWER, we provide educational and substantive programming on various topics, facilitate one-to-one mentoring relationships, and have developed women's forums and mentoring circles in our local offices. We regularly host innovative programs with specific emphasis on building the leadership and business development skills of our female legal staff. One of our signature programs, "Meet the Principal" is a series of firmwide videoconferences in which our women principals are interviewed throughout the year. Fish annually hosts Leadership Through Enrichment, Action, and Diversity (L.E.A.D.) Retreats for our women attorneys and their clients. These retreats, which rotate throughout the firm's offices, feature CLE panels, career development and networking opportunities.

Fish sponsors numerous women's organizations and events targeted at increasing representation of women in law. The firm has also committed to participate in the newly created OnRamp Fellowship Program, a unique re-entry program that matches experienced women lawyers returning to the legal profession with law firms for a one-year paid position.

 

Diversity in the Legal Community

Improving the representation of diverse lawyers within the firm and the legal community is a priority for Fish & Richardson.

Fish & Richardson is a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the California Minority Counsel Program, who each have a mission to promote diversity and maximize opportunities for minority attorneys.

We are a supporter of the "Call to Action" pledge circulated among Fortune 500 companies, and a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).

Fish & Richardson is a member of the Boston Lawyers Group, which focuses on increasing diversity in the Boston legal community.

Fish & Richardson is a member of the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, which focuses on attracting, recruiting, advancing, and retaining attorneys of color in the Twin Cities legal community.

We are a sponsoring member of the New York Minority Attorney Networking Series (NYMANS) which provides networking and professional development opportunities for minority attorneys.

We are longtime supporters of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal in support of the gay and lesbian legal community.

Fish & Richardson was the first law firm Platinum Sponsor of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF), an organization promoting diversity in the IP field through scholarships, mentoring, and job opportunities for minority law students pursuing careers in IP law. We have pledged $20,000 annually over three years.

Fish participates in numerous minority job fairs throughout the country, from Massachusetts and Delaware to Texas and California, and many of our attorneys actively serve as mentors for minority law students. The firm hosts receptions and presentations on careers in intellectual property for minority law students, and we are expanding this program to multiple venues in the coming year. We also support programs that encourage young minority students to pursue the study of science and engineering.



We support several local, regional, and national organizations devoted to increasing diversity in the legal community, and we support our professionals in their outreach activities. We are proud to participate in and support organizations and activities such as:


NATIONAL

 

§   American Bar Association Minority Counsel Program

§   American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF) 

§   Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) 

§   Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

§   Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)

§   Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

§   Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)

§   National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

§   National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)

§   National Bar Association (NBA)

§   National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Bar Association

§   National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

§   South Asian Bar Association of North American (SABA North America)

§   Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) 

 

§ Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) 

§   Women in Technology International (WITI)

§   Women's Bar Association (WBA)

 

NORTHEAST

 

§   Asian Pacific American Bar Association of D.C. (APABA-DC)

§   Boston Lawyer's Group (BLG)

§   Boston Seaport Women's Forum

§   Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA)

§   New York Minority Attorney Networking Series (NYMANS)

§   Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS)

 

MIDWEST

 

§   Just the Beginning Foundation (JTBF)

§   Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL)

§   Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA)

§   Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL)

§   Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP)

 

SOUTH

 

§   Delaware State Bar Association Multicultural Judges and Lawyers

§   Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ)

§   Metropolitan Urban League

§   South Asian Bar Association of Georgia

§   Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP)

 

WEST

 

§   Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (APABA-SV)

§   ATHENA

§   Bay Area WiLPower

§   California Women Lawyers (CWL)

§   California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP)

§   Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association (EBGBA)

§   Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego

§   Tom Homman Law Association

§   Veteran's Bar Association

§   Women of Color in Law

 
Fish & Richardson Announces Participation in 2014 OnRamp Fellowship Program

Fish & Richardson Receives “Best Place to Work” Designation from the Human Rights Campaign 





“Beyond simply a cultural imperative today, diversity in the legal profession just makes good business sense. That is, it is not merely the right thing to do, it is the prudent thing to do. Diversity at our firm enriches our experience together; it allows us to draw upon our collective experiences and wisdom to be better lawyers and, quite frankly, better people. “


Ahmed Davis, Principal
and National Chair of
the Diversity Initiative at
Fish & Richardson




"At Fish & Richardson, we are gratified about the recognition the firm has received as one of the country's top firms for diversity. We're pursuing new ideas and procedures that will help us broaden the inclusive environment we've fostered for all our attorneys and staff. While we've come a good way down this important road, we still have further to go."

 
Peter Devlin, President of
Fish & Richardson