Diversity Makes Us Better: A Firm-wide Commitment to Diversity
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt believes that the diversity of
our people enriches the fabric of our culture and promotes a high
level of workplace satisfaction. We are truly a better place, and
most assuredly a better firm, because we welcome and engage individuals
of diverse races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, veteran
status, backgrounds, and viewpoints.
• Former Schwabe lawyer, Ancer Haggerty: one of the first African-American partner in a major Portland law firm, who became a highly-respected U.S. Federal District Court judge, now on senior status.We are convinced that our advancements in diversity have enhanced workplace satisfaction for all of us. Meeting the challenge of a fully diverse workplace is far from complete, but our commitment to diversity is resolute and sustained. Our firm’s diversity statement listed below was developed internally, by our attorneys, management and staff, to reflect our values, beliefs, and commitment.
Firm Diversity Statement
Firm Diversity Committee
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt created a Firm Diversity Committee
several years ago, at a time when such a concept was still relatively
new to many corporate law firms in the Pacific Northwest. It is composed
of attorneys (both associates and shareholders) and senior administrative
staff who meet regularly and make recommendations to Schwabe’s
governing Board of Directors, which are strategic in nature and intended
to make Schwabe a law firm that is more diverse and inclusive.
To examine our progress and help guide our future in increasing the diversity of the firm, the Board of Directors approved the hiring of a nationally-known diversity consultant who conducted an assessment of the firm’s diversity culture. This assessment was presented to the Board, which is committed to incorporating the recommendations firm-wide in an effort to continue to create a diverse workplace that is representative of the community in which we live and work.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt makes significant efforts to ensure
that our attorneys reflect the community in which we live through
our recruitment of summer associates. The firm has recruited at law
student job fairs, both locally and nationally, in an effort to recruit
a diverse workforce. For example, the firm has recruited at the Pacific
Northwest Minority Job Fair, the Oregon Minority Job Fair, the DuPont
Career Fair, the Black Law Students' Association’s Job Fair,
and the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Job Fair. Schwabe’s
recruitment at these job fairs is in addition to the on-campus interviews
conducted annually by the firm at various law school campuses across
In 2012, Schwabe created a $5,000 scholarship for a Hispanic law student that is awarded through the HNBA Legal Education Fund for a student who attends law school in the Pacific Northwest.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt was one of the few large law firms
in Portland that hosted an educational series intended to address
the elimination of bias that inherently exists in society. The program
was titled, “Understanding Racism,” and was a several
weeks-long program attended by Schwabe attorneys and staff. Discussions
were led by professional facilitators of the Understanding Racism
Foundation, an Oregon nonprofit dedicated to addressing the elimination
of bias in various sectors of society, including corporations and
the legal profession.
Schwabe's Diversity Committee recently organized a diversity panel discussion at the firm's office in Portland that featured presidents from three of Oregon's ethnic minority bar associations, the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association, and the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association. The panelists described their respective bar associations, different programs, how they collaborate with the other bar associations on items of mutual interest, how they interact and collaborate with their respective national bar associations, and other areas of discussion related to diversity in the legal profession.
Recently, Schwabe hosted an event in its offices for the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, an IRS Section 501(c)(3) charitable foundation based in Washington D.C. The event was organized by Schwabe's Diversity Committee, and featured an informational presentation by Ms. Zuraya Tapia-Hadley, Director of the Mexican-American Leadership Institute of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, who traveled from Washington to meet with distinguished community leaders from the State of Oregon. The event was well-attended by approximately 35 community and business leaders, members of the judiciary, and law students. Very positive feedback concerning the event was received, and for Schwabe's efforts to continue to raise the profile of various diversity initiatives and organizations that support diversity.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt’s attorneys have been leaders in diversity efforts, and have been recognized for their leadership:
Financial Investment In Diversity
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt’s commitment to diversity can also be seen through our community involvement efforts, including sponsorship of nonprofit organizations that seek to better the community and the legal profession. For example, here is a partial list of organizations that the firm has financially supported: