As a Firm that serves the world’s greatest visionaries, we know that creativity and innovation almost inevitably are the result of seeing the world from multiple different perspectives. Having a diverse team enhances the quality of legal services we provide to our clients, sustains our standing as a premier IP law firm, and strengthens the fabric of our firm. Our mission is to promote a creative, respectful, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of people, experiences, perspectives, talents, and capabilities, thereby allowing Fish & Richardson to thrive.
1L Diversity Fellowship Program
Launched in 2005, Fish & Richardson’s 1L Diversity Fellowship Program provides annual 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; mentoring throughout the academic year by members of the firm; participation in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity 1L Scholars Program; and a scholarship reward of up to $30,000. Fish will award $5,000 to all 1L Diversity Fellowship recipients upon completion of their 1L summer clerkship with the firm; $10,000 to those returning as a 2L summer associate at Fish for the full 10 weeks of the summer program; and $15,000 to those who join the firm as an associate after law school graduation. Information for the 2020 1L Diversity Fellowship Program will be available late 2019.
To contact a member of the Diversity Committee, please email [email protected].
Diversity & Inclusion Awards
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 named to the list of “Best Law Firms for Women” in 2018 by Working Mother. As one of only 60 law firms in the U.S. to earn a spot on this prestigious list, Fish shares a long-term commitment to retaining and promoting women lawyers.
- In 2018 Yale Law Women recognized Fish as a “Top Ten Firm for Gender Equity” and for the second year in a row as one of the “Top Ten Family Friendly Firms.” Fish also received a special Category Honor in recognition of “Highest Percentage of Attorneys Who Have Worked Part-Time Schedules in the Last 5 Years Promoted to Equity Partner in 2018.”
- Fish received a “Best Place to Work” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 2019, which assessed 1,028 U.S. companies on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality.
- In 2018, Fish ranked fourth out of 115 firms in the 300-599 lawyer category for “Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys” by Law360 based on a survey of more than 300 U.S. firms who meet representation of minority attorneys across roles.
- Fish received the “Gold Standard Certification” by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) in 2018, which grants Gold Standard status to a select group of law firms that meet stringent objective criteria demonstrating commitment to retaining and advancing women attorneys.
- In 2018 Fish was one of 26 elite trailblazing U.S. firms to have earned the highest designation of Mansfield 1.0 “Certified Plus” from Diversity Lab. The Mansfield Rule Certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30% women and attorneys of color in leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and senior leadership positions.
- Fish ranked in the “Top 10 Percent” of law firms for diversity on the 2019 American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard.
- Fish was ranked #1 in “Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property” in 2019 from Vault, which bases rankings on assessments from lawyers at peer firms.
- Named a “Top Performer” in 2016 and 2017 for being one of the most active and supportive members of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and its mission, Fish subsequently received the 2018 “Compass Award” from LCLD in recognition of its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Fish received the 2018 “Leadership Award” from Minnesota Women Lawyers, which is presented each year to only one law firm that excels at enhancing the status, influence and effectiveness of women lawyers.
- Dr. Teresa Lavoie was awarded the “2019 Diversity Leader Award” from Profiles in Diversity Journal for her strong commitment to expanding and improving diversity, inclusion, and equity at Fish and beyond. She is both the Chair of the EMPOWER women’s initiative at Fish and Co-Chair of the Equity Committee for Minnesota Women Lawyers.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Fish & Richardson is devoted to encouraging diversity among the firm and across the legal profession. We promote meritocracy, and we base employment decisions on personal capabilities and qualifications without discriminating because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, or any other protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. We prohibit and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any applicable legally-protected status.
This standard applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, reduction-in-force, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, assignments, training, and separation.
EMPOWER 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 women in law and provide expanded professional and business development opportunities, mentoring, training, and support.
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 women. 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.
In 2018, Fish debuted the 5 for 5: EMPOWER Series with Women Who Lead. The video series features five inspiring, talented, and leading female legal staff at Fish, and is designed to give us more of a personal perspective into Fish women, by posing to each five, fairly broad ranging and open questions – from leadership lessons they have learned (sometimes with difficulty) to books on their bedside tables.
Affinity Group Campaigns
Fish is proud of the growing work members of our minority groups put into Affinity Group Campaigns. In 2019, Fish has celebrated Black History Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by highlighting influential inventors in IP.
Diversity in the Workplace
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:
- AIPLA Diversity in IP Law
- American Bar Association Minority Counsel Program
- American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF)
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (APABA - SV)
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Washington, DC (APABA - DC)
- Attorneys Serving the Community
- Austin Asian American Bar Association
- Boston Lawyer’s Group (BLG)
- Boston Seaport Women's Forum
- Boston Urban Debate League
- California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP)
- California Women Lawyers (CWL)
- Center for Women in Law
- ChIPs (Women in IP)
- Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC)
- Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation
- Delaware Barristers Association
- Delaware Bio Inspiring Women in STEM
- Delaware State Bar Association Multicultural Judges and Lawyers
- Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association (EBGBA)
- Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
- Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
- Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
- Lawyers Club of San Diego
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)
- Leading Women in Technology
- Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA)
- Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA)
- Metropolitan Urban League
- Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL)
- Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA)
- Minnesota Lavendar Bar Association
- Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL)
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)
- Ms. JD
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
- National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
- National Bar Association (NBA)
- National Black Lawyers
- National Hispanic Life Sciences Society
- National LGBT Bar Association
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
- New York Debate League
- New York Minority Attorney Networking Series (NYMANS)
- Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego
- Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS)
- Professionals for Transgender Rights
- San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
- South Asian Bar Association of Delaware
- South Asian Bar Association of Georgia
- South Asian Bar Association of North American (SABA North America)
- South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
- Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP)
- Tom Homman Law Association
- Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP)
- Veteran’s Bar Association
- Women in Bio
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)
- Women in Technology International (WITI)
- Women of Color in Law
- Women’s Bar Association