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.  The American Bar Association (ABA) stresses that, “A diverse legal profession is more just, productive, and intelligent because diversity, both cognitive and cultural, often leads to better questions, analyses, solutions, and processes.”

To ensure steady progress, our diversity strategic plan outlines goals, methods to achieve them, and ways to measure success. Our initiatives are designed to increase the diversity of our talent and build on our inclusive culture to gain new insights, develop better decision-making, and create positive outcomes for our clients.  Helping develop an inclusive community inside and outside of the firm enables people to show up as their whole selves and hold space for others doing the same.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2.0

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan continues to evolve.  We recently adopted 2.0, a new set of goals and tactics designed to maximize the contributions of our talent and affirm our place as a leader in DEI in today’s legal landscape. Ahmed J. Davis, a principal and member of our management committee, serves as national chair of the firm’s diversity initiative. Whitney Smallwood serves as our director of diversity & inclusion.

We developed the plan with three truisms in mind:

  • Fostering DEI leads to new insights, better decision-making, and greater business performance.
  • None of these concepts — diversity, equity, inclusion — stand alone; success requires a melding of initiatives geared to all and at every level of the firm.
  • What gets measured gets done.

Our efforts have focused on increasing the number of individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences at all levels of the firm (diversity), identifying and minimizing barriers that prevent success (equity), and fostering connections and a sense of belonging for all employees (inclusion). Two of our initiatives, the Fish fellowship and Fish affinity groups, are described below.

In addition to the efforts at the firm, we are committed to building and maintaining strategic DEI partnerships with clients, diversity organizations, the community, and our suppliers.

To hold ourselves accountable for achieving progress, we track key performance indicators and provide periodic progress updates to firm leadership and the entire Fish community. 

We have received much recognition for these efforts and know this work makes us a stronger firm. But we are just beginning. Our firm and the legal profession must continue this work to ensure that our workplace and our profession achieve and maintain a level of representation that accurately reflects the incredible array of perspectives and lived experiences that the world has to offer.

Learn more about DEI at Fish.

Sampling of DEI Initiatives

School of Fish: STEM Careers in IP Law 

The School of Fish program helps to expose students from underrepresented communities to career paths in the legal profession. Designed for students pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees in science or engineering, this free educational series helps participants gain a basic understanding of intellectual property law, evaluate various career paths, and learn what steps they need to take to achieve their career goals.  

The School of Fish program is a series of five virtual workshops, held in the fall, followed by an in-person seminar held at the firm’s Washington, D.C., office in January. Participants at this in-person event have the opportunity to discuss their plans with university career services professionals and network with experienced practitioners in the industry. 

Participants receive a $1,000 scholarship, reimbursement for the LSAT or Patent Office Exam fee, and a discount on an LSAT or Patent Office Exam prep course. Fish also pays travel and lodging expenses for program participants. Learn more or apply to School of Fish.

1L Diversity Fellowship Program

Launched in 2005, Fish’s 1L Diversity Fellowship Program provides annual fellowships to 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'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.
  • A scholarship award 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.

For more information, read FAQs on the Fellowship Program and “In Their Words,” an article by Fish attorney and former fellow Karan Jhurani; watch the following video; or email the Diversity Committee.

Affinity Groups

A diverse culture starts with recruiting but is maintained by a robust and supportive network of peers, allies, and champions. Our affinity groups foster networking and community among attorneys and staff who share common backgrounds and interests, promote development and retention through enrichment opportunities and mentorships.

Attorney Testimonials

"I chose Fish for its preeminent legal practice but also because of its people. The team is extremely talented and hardworking and yet they also felt like family. The diversity program and its mentorship opportunities helped me feel even more welcome and supported. If you are looking for rewarding work with top-notch people, Fish is the place for you."

Irene Hwang, ’19 Diversity Fellow, ’20 Summer Associate, ’21 Associate

"In virtually all my interactions with Fish attorneys before, during, and after my 1L summer experience, I saw first-hand the priority they place as a law firm on promoting diversity and inclusion and ensuring that all voices are heard. If you seek a professional career at a top law firm that cares about these issues, you will not be disappointed at Fish."

Mohammad Reza Kameli, ’20 Diversity Fellow, ’21 Returning Summer Associate

DEI Recognition

Fish is involved in a broad range of DEI efforts, leading to recent recognition as one of the country’s top firms for diversity.

Have questions or want to learn more?

Contact our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team at [email protected]

Equal Employment Opportunity

Fish is devoted to encouraging diversity at the firm and across the legal profession. We base employment decisions on personal capabilities and qualifications without discriminating on the basis 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.