Unique programs and initiatives
The Pool is coordinated by our Professional Development team in both our New York and Washington, DC offices. Not only is the team responsible for allocating assignments to transactional associates and balancing overall workloads to keep everyone busy, but they also get to know each colleague's professional interests and, as those interests are refined over time, make sure that their work assignments align with their long-term career objectives.
Led by partner Thais Garcia, our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee manages the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts. The committee is comprised of six affinity groups which work alongside Firm management to ensure support for the advancement of lawyers and business professionals. They are: (1) the Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders; (2) Black and Latino (3) Veterans and Affiliates, known as CliffVets; (4) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ+) Subcommittee, known as Arcus; (5) the Women's Subcomitteeand (6) Working Parents. These affinity groups s focus on the recruitment, retention and development of diverse professionals, and help the firm increase awareness of the issues affecting their respective groups and communities.
Best Delivery is the marriage of our substantive expertise with the smartest tools and resources to deliver an outstanding client experience and improve outcomes for our clients. The cross-functional Best Delivery team, located in both of our US offices, consists of specialized professionals in Continuous Improvement, Legal Project Management and Legal Technology. The team supports lawyers in the delivery of legal services by creating efficiencies and ensuring the process is tailored to each client. Matters are streamlined through process-improvement strategies, cutting-edge technology and expert legal project management resources. The cross-functional design is a differentiator for Clifford Chance in the US and provides a first-in-market advantage consistent with our focus on growth and innovation.
Clifford Chance commits to the highest standards of what we call "Responsible Business," and we are privileged to drive positive social change from a position of industry leadership across the globe. From the way we hire and develop people to the work we do and the partners we work with – these standards are embedded within our culture of teamwork and putting clients first.
This isn't just a question of ethics and culture; diversity is also a business imperative. We act for the world’s leading businesses on their most important and challenging matters, which tend to be complex, multifaceted and, very often, international. Having a truly diverse workplace means more than just hiring members of an underrepresented group; it means valuing their contributions and recognizing how these differences help to build a better and stronger team.
Led by partner Thais Garcia, our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee manages the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts. The committee is comprised of six affinity groups which work alongside Firm management to ensure support for the advancement lawyers and business professionals. They are: (1) the Asian, Asian-Americanand Pacific Islanders ; (2) Black and Latino (3) Veterans and Affiliates, known as CliffVets; (4) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ+) Subcommittee, known as Arcus; (5) the Women and Working Parents. These affinity groups s focus on the recruitment, retention and development of diverse professionals, and help the firm increase awareness of the issues affecting their respective groups and communities.
Selected Diversity Programs
In 2022, Clifford Chance achieved Mansfield re-certification 5.0, four years after agreeing to be a pioneering US firm for the Mansfield Rule. We are currently qualifying for Mansfield 6.0 certification, and we were one of 12 UK firms to participate in the Mansfield UK 1.0 pilot program. To be Mansfield certified, a law firm must, among other things, consider a minimum of 30% women, LGBT+ and minority lawyers for significant leadership roles.
Global Arcus (LGBTQ+) Allies: Nearly a decade ago, our LGBT+ employees network, Arcus, launched a firmwide LGBT+ allies initiative with a kick-off program in London, which highlighted the importance of allies in fostering LGBT inclusion and acceptance. The Firm's Global Managing Partner, Global Chief Operating Officer and several clients were involved. Since then, the program has been expanded to Clifford Chance offices around the world and across our wider diversity committee to include all diversity groups.
Selected Diversity Events
Arcus Global Pride Art Exhibitions: Arcus hosts its annual art event every June in connection with Pride Month. The 2023 exhibition, United in Pride, showcased the works of photographers focusing on LGBTQIA+ imagery and stories from across the globe. The exhibitions are opened each year with a reception welcoming the artists, clients and law school students, as well as Clifford Chance employees and business partners.
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In 2022, our AAPI Affinity Group launched a campaign focused on allyship, encouraging colleagues to pledge as an AAPI ally, which included volunteering to deliver meals to AAPI senior citizens, attending bystander intervention training or investing hours on a pro bono matter that benefits the AAPI community. We furthered our commitment to this pledge by hosting an allyship workshop in July 2023 with Professor Kenji Yoshino who currently serves as the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law and faculty director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. His discussion, guided us through the principles in his latest book, Say the Right Thing, while providing practical applications for the corporate world.
BigLaw Backstage: In March 2023, we hosted a panel discussion that explored what it is really like being diverse in Big Law. The panel, comprised of attorneys and business professional colleagues, was live from New York with an MC and video stream connecting our Washington, DC office audience and other virtual attendees. We closed the evening with a networking reception in both offices.
Black History Month: Our Black and Latino Affinity Group annually presents art exhibitions of works by Black artists. In 2023, we hosted parallel exhibitions in the firm’s Washington, DC and New York offices. The presentation brought together artwork by six international, multigenerational artists, as well as an artist collective, with wide-ranging practices—including painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, creative writing, performance, public art, and activism—and equally diverse backgrounds, whether self-taught or trained. The Washington, DC office also hosted a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the New York team attended a jazz music concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Hispanic Heritage Month: In 2022, in addition to installing art exhibitions featuring Hispanic artists in our US offices, we invited employees to share Hispanic legal influences as part of a social media campaign and hosted a salsa dance class in the Washington, DC office.
Juneteenth: Celebrating and Commemorating Freedom Days. In 2023, the firm hosted presentations in New York and Washington, DC with guest ethnomusicologist, Fredara M. Hadley, Ph.D. Professor Hadley shared her personal history of Juneteenth and took participants on a fascinating musical journey of what joy, celebration, and freedom mean in African American communities past and present.
Women's Affinity Group: In 2023, our three regional offices in the Americas celebrated International Women's Day and Women's History Month celebrating our theme, #EmbraceEquity, with special programs and luncheons.
CliffVets: To celebrate Veterans Day in 2022, we invited General Joseph L. Votel, retired US Army Four-Star officer and most recently the Commander of US Central Command, to speak. He is currently the President & CEO of Business Executives for National Security. General Votel discussed what Veterans Day means to him, his transition from military to civilian life, and how to thrive in difficult and ever-changing times. In 2023, our CliffVets Affinity Group hosted resume and networking workshops with veteran law students in the New York and Washington, DC areas.
Pro Bono and Educational Seminars
My Sisters' Place: My Sisters' Place is a non-profit organization based in Westchester County that provides services to survivors of domestic abuse and also focuses on advocacy and community education. Clifford Chance funds a full-time legal Fellow who, in addition to providing direct client services, provides pro bono training and supervision to lawyers at the Firm and facilitates collaborative projects with our clients.
The Vera Institute of Justice: The Clifford Chance Foundation has partnered with this non-profit organization to support a one-year Fellow working on
Vera’s Unlocking Potential Initiative . The Fellowship is open to students in their third year of law school. The Fellow's placement is part of a comprehensive relationship between Clifford Chance and Vera, encompassing work from the General Counsel's office, as well as from Vera projects.
Human Rights Watch: Experts from global pro bono client Human Rights Watch recently held a discussion on "Universal Jurisdiction." US federal courts have jurisdiction over certain serious international crimes—like torture, genocide, and war crimes--even where they occur outside of the United States. The use of national courts to try these crimes under what is broadly known as "universal jurisdiction" has become an increasingly important avenue to provide justice to victims who have nowhere else to turn.
The International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination, known as ICAAD is one of the firm's strategic pro bono clients. Clifford Chance lawyers have assisted ICAAD with tracking gender-based violence in Pacific Island nations and helping to develop sentencing guidelines for judges to use in imposing just punishments on offenders. We have explored potential remedies under international law and treaties for environmental damages and other injustices suffered from nuclear testing by Pacific Island nations who are renegotiating their compacts of free association with the United States. And we have examined potential pathways for relief for workers in India's tea gardens who suffer substandard working conditions and low wages. These projects have allowed us to do meaningful work for underprivileged people while learning about their cultures and histories.
Programs, firm cultural aspects or practices that set CC apart
Please see general statement and diversity section, above, for comments on culture. Programs and practices are covered in other sections.