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Diversity & Inclusion

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Ahmed Davis, National Chair
Diversity & Inclusion Initiative

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.

Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan 2.0

Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan 2.0

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 summer program; and $15,000 to those who join the firm as an associate after law school graduation.

Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Fellowship can be found here. To contact a member of the Diversity Committee, please email [email protected].

Irene Hwang, Diversity Fellow TestimonialDFP Testomonial, Mohammad Reza Kameli


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.

  • 2021, 2020 Mansfield 3.0 & 4.0 “Certified” and 2018, 2019 Mansfield 1.0 & 2.0 “Certified Plus,” by Diversity Lab.
  • 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 Included in the Top 10 (among firms with 300-599 lawyers) of Law 360’s Diversity Snapshot.
  • 2020, 2019, 2018, “Best Place to Work,” Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
  • 2020, 2019, 2018, “Best Law Firms for Women,” Working Mother.
  • 2019, “2019 Diversity Leader Award,” Dr. Teresa Lavoie, Profiles in Diversity Journal.
  • 2019, “Top 10 Percent” of law firms for diversity, American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard.
  • 2019, “Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion,” The Recorder’s California Leaders in Tech Law and Innovations Awards.
  • 2019, ranked #1 in “Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property,” Vault.
  • 2020, 2019, 2018 “Compass Award,” and 2020, 2017, 2016, “Top Performer,” Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).
  • 2019, 2018, 2017, “Top Ten Firm for Gender Equity,” “Top Ten Family Friendly Firms,” and “Highest Percentage of Attorneys Who Have Worked Part-Time Schedules in the Last 5 Years Promoted to Equity Partner in 2018,” by Yale Law Women.
  • 2019, 2018, 2017, “Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys,” Law360.
  • 2018, “Gold Standard Certification,” Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF).
  • 2018, “Leadership Award,” Minnesota Women Lawyers.
  • 2018, “Top 10 Innovations in Diversity Award,” Profiles in Diversity Journal.

Read more about Fish & Richardson’s Diversity Initiative.

Affinity Groups

Black & African American – BlackFISH

The Black Staff Affinity Group (BlackFISH) formally organized in 2006, was created to increase the retention, advancement, and professional development of Black/African American members of the staff. The mission of the group includes; creating a sense of community and camaraderie with others that identify with the BlackFISH affinity group, creating a safe-space for members of the group; and focusing on the recruitment and retention of people with diverse backgrounds. BlackFISH also provides feedback and input to the Diversity Committee as well as the Marketing and Recruiting departments regarding innovative ways to improve the firm’s diversity efforts related to recruiting, retaining, advancing, and developing diverse staff.

Chair: Karina Calliste                     

Hispanic & Latinx – Lawtinos

The mission of Lawtinos, Fish’s Hispanic/Latinx Affinity Group, is to promote the recruitment, retention, and advancement of the firm’s Hispanic and Latinx employees. Lawtinos seeks to provide tools and resources that enhance the personal and professional development of our members and position them for success through enrichment opportunities, mentorship, programs, events, and activities.

Chairs: Todd Garcia, Ricardo Bonilla
Ricardo Bonilla | IP & Patent Attorney - Dallas, TX

Asian Affinity Group

Fish recognizes the importance of fostering an inclusive work environment which recognizes and values the diverse perspectives and contributions of each member of the Firm. The Asian Affinity Group exists to further the firm’s commitment to provide equal opportunities which support the recruitment, retention, professional development, and advancement of its Asian staff. The Asian Affinity Group provides its members with an open forum to network and discuss topics of common interest across all offices and facilitates ongoing dialogue on issues concerning the Asian community.

Chairs: Jenny Huang, Chong Lee, Jacqueline Tio

LGBTQ+ – RainbowFish

RainbowFish provides a safe and inclusive place for LGBTQI+ members of the Fish community to connect and discuss matters such as workplace representation, diversity in hiring and retention, and issues unique to LGBTQI+ people in the legal field.  Fish has a long history of supporting our community, and RainbowFish allows LGBTQI+ employees at Fish to become involved and network with people and resources both internal at Fish as well as external in the legal field, such as LGBT Bar Associations, LGBT-focused conferences and events, and Fish’s pro bono contributions to the LGBTQI+ community.  RainbowFish strives to provide a comfortable place for its members to share experiences and support the advancement of LGBTQI+ employees in all roles at Fish.

Chair: Jeremy Saks

Allies – Allyship Group

The Allyship Group’s mission is to uphold firm values of diversity and inclusion, increase cultural competence, and work to remove the barriers that impede our diverse employees from contributing their talents to our community. The group coordinates development opportunities to provide members with the tools necessary to engage in meaningful and empathetic cross-cultural dialogue, and identifies ways they can appropriately use their privilege to bring about positive change.

Chairs: Amber Asmus, Crystal Culhane, Mia Friedman, Karan Jhurani, Jennifer Hess
patent prosecution attorney

South Asian & Middle Eastern – SAME

The mission of the South Asian and Middle Eastern (SAME) Affinity Group is to foster a sense of inclusion and community for colleagues identifying with the SAME Affinity group.  Our programs focus on enhancing personal and professional development within the firm and with other organizations.  The SAME Affinity group supports the firm’s diversity efforts related to recruiting, mentoring, and retention of legal and non-legal staff.

Chair: Usman Khan

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.

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 women in the firm, in STEM, and in the law, and to expand professional and business development opportunities, mentorships, training, and support for our women employees and clients.

Through EMPOWER, we provide educational and substantive programming on various topics, facilitate one-to-one and group mentoring relationships, and run women’s forums and firmwide practice-centered mentoring circles to help women build personal and working relationships across the firm. We regularly host innovative programs with specific emphasis on building the leadership and business development skills of women. Fish hosts biannual in-person retreats for our women attorneys and legal staff, and on alternating years we host events for our women clients. These retreats feature presentations and discussion panels  and provide career development and networking opportunities for the attendees.


Jay DeYoung - Fish Affinity Group Campaigns Chair

Equal Employment Opportunity

Fish & Richardson is devoted to encouraging diversity among the firm and across the legal profession. 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.

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