Holland & Knight - Hispanic Heritage Month Newsletter 2020 - Week 4

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Hispanic Heritage Newsletter: Issue 4, October 7, 2020 Each year, Holland & Knight and people across the United States observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of people living in the U.S. who came from or whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The firm is proud to continue to join in this celebration on its 52nd anniversary. In the fourth and final installment of our 2020 Hispanic Heritage Newsletter, we focus on Holland & Knight's commitment to the Latinx and minority communities through our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Isabel C. Diaz Affinity Group Co-Chair Miami

DID YOU KNOW?

Jorge Hernandez-ToraĂąo Affinity Group Co-Chair Miami

Similar to Holland & Knight, many of our clients are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion through their workforce and their legal representation. Below are some questions prospective clients frequently ask before retaining counsel. Q. What are your efforts to recruit more diverse talent? A. The firm invests in developing and supporting diverse talent at law schools across the country by engaging with minority law student organizations, working with law school career services to educate students about diversity in the legal profession and hosting "Demystifying the Large Firm Practice" events in multiple locations across the country to help first-year law students become better acquainted with the legal profession. The firm is committed to hiring a diverse pool of talent and participates in a number of initiatives to support this goal. This includes the firm's national participation in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars Program, through which the firm annually hires several diverse first-year law students. The firm also has targeted regional initiatives, works with external attorney recruiters who specialize in identifying diverse lawyers and recruits at several diversity-focused job fairs.

More than half of Latinos in the U.S. live in just three states – 26 percent in California, 19 percent in Texas and 9 percent in Florida.

The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic (and third female) U.S. Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history. She was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009, and has served since August 8, 2009.


Q. What initiatives have you undertaken to promote diversity and inclusion within your firm?

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A. Holland & Knight's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are supported by various structures, initiatives and programs. Our Diversity Council leads efforts across the firm, and our seven Affinity Groups provide a platform for our lawyers to share advice, exchange ideas, and foster personal and professional success. Almost all of our offices have inclusion initiatives responsible for devising and implementing local programming and are led by members of the Diversity Council. Additionally, each Holland & Knight associate may request an affinity mentor, in addition to the primary mentor, to provide coaching and guidance on how best to succeed at the firm. The firm also 1) employs two fulltime career development managers who provide guidance and support for our associates' goals and professional growth, 2) provides consistent and robust training to create a more inclusive organization and 3) helps develop and support the progression of talent, through its leadership development programs, including the Rising Stars and HK Emerging Leaders programs. Q. How is leadership involved in diversity and inclusion efforts? A. Holland & Knight's commitment to diversity and inclusion starts from the top. Managing Partner Steven Sonberg and Directors Committee (the firm's highest policymaking body) Chair Kelly-Ann Cartwright are both members of the firm's Diversity Council. Mr. Sonberg is also a member of the LCLD, an organization of chief legal officers of major corporations and managing partners of major law firms dedicated to improving diversity in the legal profession. Diversity Partner Tiffani Lee participates in our Practice and Operations Committee (the firm's governing body) and firmwide Partner Compensation Committee. Their involvement helps to facilitate additional information sharing and accountability with respect to the firm's inclusion efforts and our treatment of minority attorneys and staff. Q. How does Holland & Knight measure its success regarding its diversity and inclusion efforts? A. The firm measures its success in a number of ways. One such way is through involvement in Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule Certification Program, which encourages law firms to consider a diverse slate of candidates for leadership roles, committees and leadership activities. In 2020, the firm earned "Mansfield Certified Plus" status for the third consecutive year, which recognizes that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the pipeline consideration requirements for certification, racial/ethnic minority, female and LGBTQ lawyers represent at least 30 percent of a significant number of firm leadership roles and committee positions. Additionally, the firm considers partners' contributions to the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts as part of the annual partner compensation process. The Holland & Knight Hispanic Affinity Group's goal is to recruit, retain, promote, support, encourage and empower the firm's Hispanic attorneys. The firm is a leader in recruiting and retaining Hispanic lawyers, and is ranked No. 1 for most Hispanic partners on The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard. The firm, through its Hispanic Affinity Group, seeks to create and sustain an environment that is inclusive, challenging and supportive to maximize both personal and career success for its Hispanic attorneys.

Newsletter Contributors

Alessandria San Roman Associate Miami

Melissa Estrada Associate Chicago

Danielle I. Moore Associate Miami

New Mexico is where the Latinx community is the highest share of a state's population (49 percent). It is followed by Texas and California, where 39 percent of their respective populations are Latinx.

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