Cadwalader’s Sponsorship Program, which helps put minority and women senior associates and special counsel on a path to securing firm leadership positions, was highlighted in a NYC Bar Association diversity survey and featured in stories in the New York Law Journal and Law360.
The NYCBA’s 2016 Diversity Benchmarking Report noted that nine participating Cadwalader lawyers have been promoted to partner and nine have been promoted to special counsel since the program launched in 2013. In addition, in the firm's most recent partner promotions class, 40 percent were members of the sponsorship initiative and 50 percent were women, minorities, and/or LGBT attorneys from throughout the firm.
“We were very pleased to see the wonderful acknowledgement of our very successful Sponsorship Program in the New York City Bar Association report,” said Cadwalader Managing Partner Pat Quinn. “Ensuring a diverse workforce is very important to us and to our clients, and we are highly committed to creating pathways to the partnership and firm leadership for our diverse lawyers.”
As noted in the NYCBA survey, Cadwalader was one of the first law firms to formally prepare women and diverse senior associates and special counsel for future leadership roles through a firmwide Sponsorship Program. The firm’s Taskforce for the Advancement of Women launched this initiative as a pilot program for high-performing women associates and special counsel in October 2013, with the goal of ensuring that talented women attorneys with six or more years’ experience would have the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to move up the ranks and have long-term success at the firm. In 2015, the Sponsorship Program was expanded to racially diverse attorneys and LGBT attorneys in the firm’s domestic offices.
As part of the program, the firm provides each protégé with one or more influential partners to act as sponsors for at least one year, providing guidance, assignments, marketing and leadership opportunities, and more exposure throughout the firm. Sponsors are selected based on their significant leadership and influence within and outside the firm to ensure that the program has a positive impact on the protégés’ careers. Quinn, the firm’s Managing Partner, is one of the program’s sponsors and is fully invested in the firm’s diversity initiatives, acting as Chair of the firm’s global diversity committee.
In addition to being paired with sponsors, a detailed and vigorous curriculum is created each year for the protégés. Program participants receive individual coaching and attend sessions on business development, communication skills, and firm operations.
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