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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 sustains our standing as a premier IP law firm.

To contact a member of the 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 while strengthening 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 ranked in the top 15 percent of law firms for diversity on the 2016 American Lawyer (Am Law) Diversity Scorecard.
  • The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index named Fish a “Best Place to work for LGBT Equality” in 2016.
  • The Profiles in Diversity Journal awarded Fish with the “Diversity Leader Award” in 2016.
  • Fish was named to Vault, Inc.’s 2016 Best Law Firms for Diversity:  Top 25 List for Minorities, Top 25 List for Individuals with Disabilities, Top 25 List for Military Veterans.
  • Fish ranked in the top 20 percent of law firms for diversity on the 2015 American Lawyer (Am Law) Diversity Scorecard.
  • In 2015, Fish was named a “Top Firm” for Minority Attorneys by Law360, ranked #26 on the list of “Top 100 Law Firms for Minority Attorneys” and #19 on the list of “Top 25 Firms for Asian-American Attorneys.”
  • 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 2014 Do Good, Do Well List for excellence in both diversity and profitability.

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

Diversity News

Fish’s Michael Florey Wins Second Place at Women in Law Hackathon

Florey-Michael-borderThe inaugural Women in Law Hackathon, an event designed to advance women in the legal profession, wrapped up on June 24 at Stanford Law School. Principal Michael Florey and his team, Team 4, won second place with their pitch that took on the challenge of helping women attain the critical “client relationship manager” role that drives power and success within law firms. They recognized the lack of economic power and influence currently held by women, examined the service partner role and feeling of futility it engenders, and concluded there is a clear need for women to gain more billing and relationship credit within their firms. Team 4’s pitch for more strategic client relationship-building and succession-planning for women at law firms earned them a second place win.  Team 4 chose to donate its $7,500 winnings to the UT Center for Women in Law.

Created by the Diversity Lab in partnership with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law, the “Shark Tank style” pitch competition brought together nine teams of six partners from AmLaw 200 firms. These teams worked together for six months to propose a plan on nurturing the advancement and retention of women lawyers in law firms. On June 24, the teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges, including top in-house counsel of major companies, at Stanford Law School, competing for prize money to donate to a charity of their choice.

Diversity Committee

A firm-wide Diversity Committee, working closely with the National Chair of the Diversity Initiative and the Chief Professional Development Officer, 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 a member of the Diversity Committee, please email

The members of the Diversity Committee are:

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 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 of 2017; 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.

Applications for the 2017 1L Diversity Fellowship will be accepted from December 1, 2016 through January 13, 2017. 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.

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 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.

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 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender 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

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