In furtherance of its commitment to fostering an inclusive environment, Robinson + Cole’s Managing Committee and Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Committee recently announced several initiatives including providing billable-hour credit for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) activities, instituting the use of personal pronouns in email signatures and online bios and providing as an employee benefit access to a breast milk storage and delivery service for use when nursing mothers are traveling. In addition, the firm is hosting a second annual Town Hall program for Juneteenth to commemorate the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. The firm highlights inclusion as one of its core values, an outcome of its recent Strategic Plan that called for a continued commitment to DE&I activities.
“Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our community is integral to Robinson+Cole’s core values of collaboration, civility and inclusion,” said Rhonda J. Tobin, Managing Partner, Robinson+Cole. “We are pleased to launch these initiatives and to host this important Juneteenth program in an effort to enhance our culture, promote meaningful engagement in DE&I efforts, and to continue to create an environment of inclusion for all employees.”
Effective January 1, 2021, up to 50 hours per calendar year devoted to approved DE&I activities will count towards the annual billable-hours requirement for all of the firm’s timekeepers. The approved DE&I activities include participation in a diverse affinity bar association or diversity-oriented professional organization; mentoring underrepresented lawyers and law students; and attending programs, events and trainings focused on DE&I, among other activities.
Additionally, with a focus on its core value of inclusion, Robinson+Cole has facilitated and encouraged attorneys and staff to use personal pronouns in their email signatures, web bios and LinkedIn profiles, which will help provide awareness and education of the importance of the use of preferred pronouns.
On June 16, 2021, Robinson+Cole will host a Town Hall program for Juneteenth featuring Shawn Rochester, author of The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America, which will be moderated by Joelle Murchinson, Founder & Principal, ExecMommyGroup, LLC and Executive Director of Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity.
The DE&I billable-hour credit, the encouragement of the use of personal pronouns, the breast milk storage and delivery employee benefit and the upcoming Juneteenth program are just the most recent in a number of steps Robinson+Cole has taken in its ongoing efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and challenge racial and social inequities. Last September, the firm achieved Mansfield Rule 3.0 Diversity and Inclusion Certification after completing a year-long process, agreeing to consider at least 30 percent “historically underrepresented lawyers” among its candidates for significant leadership roles and activities in the firm. Robinson+Cole has recommitted to Mansfield Rule 4.0. This participation will continue to enhance the firm’s ability to cultivate a culture in which an increasingly diverse group of lawyers and other professionals can bring unique ideas and perspectives to the practice of law. Early in 2020, the firm hired its first Chief Talent Officer who is a member of the firm’s DE&I Committee and is responsible for lawyer training, mentoring, career progression, and overall talent management. The firm also recently completed mandatory DE&I training for all lawyers and staff.
In addition, Robinson+Cole joined the newly-established Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), which works with its member firms to best enable them – and the LFAA – to create large-scale, coordinated pro bono projects that address systemic racism. In Fall 2020, Robinson+Cole committed to the Culture of CARE (Commit, Attract, Retain, Empower), an initiative created to advance the construction industry as the industry of choice for diverse and talented workers by building inclusive work environments in construction firms nationwide.
Robinson+Cole is an AmLaw 200 law firm established over 175 years ago, with a deeply-rooted culture of collaboration, civility, and inclusion. The Mansfield Rule Certified-firm has more than 220 lawyers in ten offices throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Florida, and California, serving regional, national, and international clients, from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Robinson+Cole is a service mark of Robinson & Cole LLP. For more information, please visit www.rc.com.