Even in a forward-thinking workplace, women, people of color and LGBTQ lawyers face barriers such as unconscious bias and lack of mentorship. In addition, clients/prospects are increasingly inquiring about, and even requiring, law firm sponsorship opportunities.
Dentons' US Sponsorship Program is designed to advance members of these groups to leadership levels throughout the Firm and serves as a tool for retention, recruitment and recognition. The program pairs new lawyers with targeted training and coaching from senior lawyers who have faced and overcome similar challenges in their careers. Identifying specific milestones and measurements for success, participants strive to increase business development opportunities and generate revenue.
The program promotes a diverse and inclusive environment for lawyers to thrive in pursuit of maximizing their potential in the legal profession. Successful lawyers become Firm leaders as a result of other influential lawyers who advocate and campaign for them. We invite those exemplary lawyers who are willing to help propel an associate along and serve as a support system. Ultimately, the program's goal is to ensure every ambitious, hard-working lawyer has a fair and clear path to success.
The program will welcome a third class of associates in 2018 and thus far, the results have been extremely positive. With eight pairs participating to date, three have achieved partner, three have been promoted to counsel and the remaining two are on track for leadership. The true measure of success for the Sponsorship Program is a more diverse leadership that properly represents women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals and other members of traditionally marginalized groups.
Dentons prides itself on fostering and promoting an inclusive culture where everyone is recognized and valued. With offices in more than 150 countries, including 22 locations in the United States, diversity is not merely an aspiration but an emphatic foundation of our business model, our internal constitution and our relationships with the communities in which we live in and work. As lawyers and professionals in the legal profession, we hold positions of great responsibility—not only to advance the rule of law, but to continually strive to make our societies stronger, fairer and more just.
I am proud that Dentons becomes one of the first law firms to sign the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge. We believe our core values and business objectives must enmesh a commitment to capitalize on and maximize the unique status, gifts and talents of our lawyers and professionals. By actively fostering diversity through programs, partnerships and alliances—both here in the United States and globally—we can establish the inclusive society we desire today, so tomorrow's generation can confidently advance beyond our own.