Culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and bodily ability have never been irrelevant to us. We’ve always embraced the idea that a wide spectrum of diversity only make us better. We don’t want to all look or think the same. When we share our differences — our own experiences, perspectives and ideas — we learn more, grow more, go farther and find solutions for client problems that we may not have discovered otherwise.
Our goal of recruiting and retaining the best people for Skadden requires commitment. We know you’ve worked hard to get to this stage of your career. We continue to focus our energy on making the firm a place where you will flourish because of your unique imprint — not in spite of it.
Our Diversity & Inclusion Objectives
Our people. We strive to achieve and maintain a globally diverse firm of professionals through hiring, retention and professional development programs.
Our workplace. We endeavor to foster a work environment of respect and inclusion so that our attorneys and staff are able to perform at the peak of their abilities.
Our community. We promote a culture of shared responsibility for our continued progress and engage as a leader among firms in advancing diversity in the legal profession and the broader community.
Law Student Outreach
We recruit at numerous schools to attract talented law students of all backgrounds. The firm regularly partners with and sponsors law student organizations such as the Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Latina/o Law Student Association, OUTLaws and veterans' and women's law student associations on campuses across the United States.
Skadden 1L Scholars Program
The Skadden 1L Scholars Program has provided an 11-week ultimate summer experience comprised of law firm, corporate in-house and public interest experiences for 1L students with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion. The program seeks to offer the ultimate first summer experience with broad exposure, even beyond big law. To ensure this, we've expanded the 1L Scholar Pro Bono Impact Project which matches our 1L Scholars with public interest organizations focused on addressing critical legal issues in our communities, domestically and abroad, that spark a personal interest, such as immigration and asylum, equal justice, voting rights, natural disaster relief or police accountability.
The program attracts the best and the brightest legal talent, including candidates whose life experiences, demonstrated interests and achievements can help enhance the firm's commitment to diversity and client service. Many of our 1L Scholars return to the firm after 2L year as Summer Associates. More than half returned to the firm as associates.
Our Affinity Networks
The firm sponsors affinity networks that are open to all attorneys who are interested. These networks facilitate relationship-building among attorneys and provide a forum in which valuable mentoring opportunities may develop and flourish. Our affinity networks play a key role in the firm's ongoing efforts regarding law student recruitment, associate mentoring and peer networking, career development, workplace inclusion, retention and community involvement. The networks meet regularly and discuss topics relevant to their communities, practice areas, professional experiences and personal interests. Meetings vary from casual conversations to structured programs featuring guest speakers, movie screening and book readings.
Our affinity networks receive enthusiastic support at every level of the firm, beginning with senior management, which is crucial to our ongoing progress. Our Straight-LGBT Alliance, which launched in 2014 in our New York office, offers additional opportunities for straight colleagues to be open allies to our LGBT attorneys and staff. The alliance forms a framework that highlights our straight colleagues' valuable contributions to the firm's LGBT diversity and inclusion efforts and emphasizes that they are a necessary — and welcome — part of the efforts to broaden and sustain Skadden's culture of inclusion and equal opportunity.
Skadden is dedicated to promoting diversity within the greater legal profession, beginning with the pipeline of students entering law school. The firm is a proud supporter of a number of organizations dedicated to increasing the pipeline of diverse law students, including Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), Legal Outreach, the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Widener Law Jurist Academy Pipeline Program.
Skadden is consistently recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Some examples are:
- For the ninth time in 10 years, named one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and received a 100 percent on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index.
- Visa selected Skadden as a 2017 "All Star Firm" for exemplifying the company's values of "high-quality work, responsiveness and commitment to diversity.
- Named to the ALB 2016 Diversity List, Asian Legal Business' list of 10 law firms in Asia that are promoting a more inclusive workplace.
- In 2017, Skadden received the Women in Law Empowerment Forum's Gold Standard Certification for the seventh consecutive year, awarded to "law firms that have integrated women into the highest leadership positions in the firm."
- Named one of the top 25 firms for overall diversity by Vault 2016 Law Firm Diversity Rankings.
- American Lawyer’s “Diversity Scorecard” cited us for having the highest number of Hispanic attorneys and the second-highest number of African American and Asian American attorneys of 220 major U.S. law firms, as of June 2017.
- Executive Partner Eric Friedman received the “Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award” from the New York City Bar Association in 2012. He was the only law firm managing partner to receive the award.
- First law firm to receive the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's "Equal Justice Award" for our work and partnership over the years with LDF, particularly under the leadership of Joe Flom and with the Skadden Fellows Program (2011).