In an effort to inform and inspire our members and friends, we often share diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact an organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction.
BRIGHT SPOT – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Billable Hours
Recent Bright Spots in the legal community are new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Hours Policies implemented by several law firms in which employees can accrue billable hours towards their annual target by participating in efforts that advance DE&I.
Some examples of projects that may qualify for DE&I billable hours include:
- Serving in leadership positions on committees or subcommittees related to diversity;
- Managing diversity projects;
- Presenting materials for use in diversity training or programming;
- Attending internal or external diversity trainings;
- Participating in affinity group activities; and
- Representing the firm at diversity-based job fairs and recruiting events.
We are happy to report that we’ve seen a very positive Ripple Effect to these new policies and many firms are now jumping on the DE&I billable hours bandwagon. Examples of firms that have instituted a DE&I billable hours policy include (but are not limited to): Ogletree Deakins, Davis Wright Tremaine, Cooley and Hogan Lovells, as well as one of the early pioneers of this trend Dorsey & Whitney who implemented their policy in 2019.
It’s important to note that Reed Smith seems to be one of the first firms to extend their policy to its business professionals. Further, in April of this year, Foley Hoag announced that there would be no hours cap on its DE&I billable hours allowing all timekeepers limitless billable credit for their DE&I projects and recruiting efforts.
Hopefully this trend signifies a true commitment to change for the legal industry and we will begin to see more gender and racial equity across the board.
Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and filling out THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at firstname.lastname@example.org.