Our commitment to racial justice
At Hausfeld, achieving racial justice, inclusivity, and equity is core to our values. We list some examples of how we live out our values, both through our legal work and within the firm internally.
Advancing causes through casework
Hausfeld attorneys have represented victims of apartheid in South Africa, black Americans persecuted in the Tulsa race riots and their survivors, as well as plaintiffs in a racial-bias discrimination case against Texaco, Inc., among other civil rights and pro bono cases. Today, the firm continues to fight for victims of deeply-ingrained inequities, including taking on intersectional challenges like climate change litigation and advocacy.
For over a decade, we have supported the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate innocent convicted individuals, who are disproportionately persons of color. In addition we ran a significant donation and employee matching program for the Equal Justice Initiative, the National Urban League, and the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, with ultimate donations over $50,000. The firm has also joined the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance (LFAA), a group with the strategic goal of changing the way institutions deal with racial inequality.
In collaboration with the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, we have worked with students of underprivileged backgrounds in London with the aim of increasing social mobility in the profession.
Change comes from within
In the US, Hausfeld has again achieved Mansfield Rule Certification Plus status in Diversity Lab’s Midsize Certification cohort for 2022-2023. Mansfield Certification Plus measures the structural changes made to ensure the firm is considering a broad pool of talent, including those historically underrepresented: women lawyers, underrepresented racial and ethnic lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities – for leadership roles and career advancement opportunities, including lateral hiring, client pitch teams, promotions and more. The “Plus” designation indicates that in addition to the steps taken to increase inclusivity in leadership, the firm made measured progress in doing so. Only half of the certified firms achieved this honor this year.
We also have a 1L Diversity Fellowship Program that provides a unique summer employment opportunity for exceptional first-year law students who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) including a spot in the firm’s summer associate program in Washington D.C. and a $10,000 scholarship towards their 2L academic year.
Hausfeld proudly partners with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) to establish sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, allowing us to thoughtfully recruit, retain and promote diverse attorneys. This work is critical to sustainability and creating positive impacts for our clients.
Named one the “most comprehensive legal talent development programs in the country”, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder program provides selected associates development resources to build foundational leadership and relationship-building skills. Our collaboration with this leading organization also grants participants virtual and in-person class meetings, opportunities to interact with key legal and business leaders, and invitations to attend leadership lunches hosted by LCLD Member organizations.
In the UK, we work with one of the leaders in diverse recruitment RARE whose pioneering Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) provides real time contextual information allowing us to identify exceptional candidates we might otherwise miss. Research shows that 61% more disadvantaged candidates are hired by organisations which adopt the CRS.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committees have facilitated:
- a series of mandatory trainings, including anti-bias and diversity, equity & inclusion training for all management, attorneys, and staff.
- a global “Unconscious Bias” training for employees across all Hausfeld’s offices, conducted by diversity expert Michelle Silverthorn, the author of “Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace for Good” and the CEO of Inclusion Nation.
- education initiatives on racial justice issues and anti-racism in connection with the firm’s recognition of Juneteenth and the UK’s Black History Month.
- a firm-wide talk by Tracy O'Brien from the Race Equality Group in the UK who discussed the silences and shortcomings in the way that Black British History has been portrayed, and what can be done to change this for the better.
- local book club initiatives to discuss books purchased for employees around themes of black lives matter, racial justice, feminism, bias against women and what we can do to constantly improve our environment.
Our work is far from done, and there is a long way to go. But with our collective commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we will continue to strive for improvement and work towards a more just world.