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Diversity

At Finnegan, we don’t just value diversity, we live it every day in thought, approach, and solutions. In fact, it’s so much a part of our culture, we are consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top law firms for minority and overall diversity. In the Vault Guide’s 2015 survey of the leading law firms for women, minorities, and overall diversity, Finnegan was ranked in the top 10 in each of these categories. American Lawyer similarly ranked the firm in the top 25 in its 2012 survey of the top 100 U.S. law firms for overall diversity. We are particularly pleased to be identified by Working Mother magazine as a top 100 company for working mothers. Only five law firms in 2012 received this distinguished recognition. Additionally, for the last two years, Working Mother magazine and the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) ranked Finnegan as one of the top law firms in the United States for women. Both organizations cited the significant role women serve in Finnegan’s management and leadership.

Recruiting

It takes a special kind of lawyer to work at Finnegan. Not only do our lawyers have law degrees, but all of our patent lawyers have scientific or technical degrees. The firm’s success and growth are proof of the benefits of a collaborative culture that supports a range of initiatives to attract diverse talent.

  • The Finnegan Diversity Scholarship, established in 2003, awards $15,000 per year for tuition and law school fees, as well as an offer to join the firm’s summer associate program. Over $250,000 has been awarded to student applicants since inception of the scholarship.
  • Finnegan is a significant contributor to the American Intellectual Property Law Education Minority Scholarship Endowment, which assists under-represented minority law school students entering intellectual property law.
  • We actively recruit minority, women, and LGBT attorneys through on-campus interviews at law schools across the country and at various diversity-focused job fairs, such as Lavender Law Career Fair & Conference and Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Student Association (BLSA) Job Fair, the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, and Howard University On-Campus Recruitment Program.
  • Our recruiting efforts include direct outreach to women, LGBT, Latino, African American, and Asian student organizations on law school campuses. This interaction provides students with an interest in IP to learn more about Finnegan and, more broadly, about careers in IP law.
  • Typically more than half of our summer associate programs are comprised of women or minority students.
Mentoring

A truly diverse environment is one in which everyone is a teacher—and also a learner. This philosophy is the basis of the mentorship program at Finnegan. All of our new lawyers are paired with a senior associate and partner advisor who share similar interests and backgrounds. Our collegial nature ensures that doors are always open, and questions—no matter the nature—are always answered. In addition to our long-established partner advisor-associate mentee program, the firm established a diversity mentor program in 2010 to address more closely the specific needs of diverse attorneys. 

Collaborating

Finnegan has formed relationships with many law schools and associations committed to developing minority and women lawyers. Our attorneys actively participate in and support these organizations by teaching, serving leadership roles, and co-sponsoring IP-related events focused on diverse audiences. 

  • Howard University Law School has honored Finnegan for its contributions to the University’s Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice. The firm has proudly supported the Institute since its beginning. Our attorneys have taught an advanced patent law and social engineering course since 2004. In 2003, the firm began its collaboration with Howard University Law School to present a one day Intellectual Property Law Seminar that continues to expand each year in number of attendees and lecturers.
  • Our relationship with the Asian American bar is a strong one. The firm has been a regular sponsor or supporter of a wide range of Asian bar and community events. Finnegan is a long-standing sponsor of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Annual Convention including a major sponsor of the 2012 convention. Finnegan attorneys have held high-level positions, including president of NAPABA; member of the Board of NAPABA; and president of APABA-DC, the local affiliate of NAPABA. In addition, we are a regular sponsor of the APABA Education Fund (AEF) annual scholarship dinner.
  • Finnegan has a strong history of supporting women in the legal and IP profession. The firm is active in the AIPLA Diversity Committee and the Women in IP Law group. We have been a major sponsor of the annual Women in IP Law dinner since 2008. Under the leadership of one of our partners, Finnegan has promoted various initiatives sponsored by the Women’s Rainmaker section of the ABA. Several Finnegan attorneys have attended the Women’s Mid-Career Rainmaker’s workshop.

Organizations that the firm supports, sponsors, and participates in include:  

  • Minority Judicial Clerkship Conference - founding partner
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) - Firm Affiliate Network member
  • Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (formerly the Project for Attorney Retention)
  • Women’s Bar Association of DC (WBA)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) - sponsor of women-focused programs; yearly sponsor of Diversity/LGBT committee reception at annual meeting
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, DC Area (APABA-DC)
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (APABA-SV)
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
  • South Asian Bar Association (SABA)
  • National Bar Association (NBA)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC)
  • Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN)
  • George Washington University Law School Lambda Networking Reception
  • Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
  • National LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law Career Fair & Conference
  • Asian American Leadership & Development for Youth & Families (AALEAD)
  • Just the Beginning Foundation (JTBF)
  • The ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career workshop
  • U.S.-China Education Trust (USCET)
  • MCCA Pathways conference
  • The Women’s Bar Association of DC (WBA) “Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women”
  • ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career workshop
  • Charting Your Own Course (CYOC) conference
  • Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) seminars
  • ChIPs Women in IP Summit
Innovative Policies and Procedures

On an ongoing basis Finnegan looks for opportunities to improve policies, procedures, and support systems that help all of our employees be successful in their professional lives. 

  • Finnegan is committed to promoting and strengthening a diverse workplace where all feel welcome and included. We proactively encourage engagement of female attorneys through a comprehensive series of programs, policies, and strategic initiatives offering opportunities to learn, interact, and be thought leaders. Since its formation in 2006, the Finnegan Women’s Forum has provided internal mentoring, networking, and educational support to the firm’s female attorneys.
  • Several years ago the firm established two part-time options (80 percent and 60 percent time), which provide attorneys (regardless of gender or parenthood status) with a continued path to partnership at the firm while working a reduced schedule.
  • We encourage support of diversity efforts by all attorneys. Those who contribute to the diversity and inclusion-related goals through mentoring, training, or other diversity initiatives receive non-billable credit for such activities.
  • For more than 25 years, Finnegan has hosted an International Guest Program that has welcomed more than 225 professionals from around the world to work at the firm on a temporary basis. A significant number of our international guests are from Asia. We also offer Chinese language classes for attorneys who want to learn Mandarin.
  • After a review of the firm’s benefits coverage in 2009, Finnegan expanded the coverage to include full domestic partner benefits to all of our employees. LGBT employees can add domestic partners to their health insurance in the same way that heterosexual employees can add a spouse or domestic partner to their insurance.