A Firm of Inclusion
Fried Frank’s Diversity & Inclusion team works closely with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee to ensure that Fried Frank is a place of inclusion and belonging, where attorneys and business services professionals have equal access to opportunities and can thrive and reach their full potential.
The comprehensive, multiyear diversity and inclusion strategy focuses on the following:
1) Partner engagement and accountability.
2) Inclusion skills.
3) Embedding diversity and inclusion into policies, processes and everyday behaviors.
4) Elevating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as catalyst groups at the firm.
To this end, Fried Frank has robust policies for inclusive hiring, alternative work arrangements, adoption, parental leave and gender transition. The firm has recently implemented implicit bias training and associate success programs.
The firm has four ERGs for women, people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, members of the LGBTQ+ community and working parents. The ERGs meet regularly to create community among their members, develop mentorship opportunities, offer professional development through workshops, generate awareness on important topics through discussions and events and affect change inside and outside the firm. The ERG leaders regularly engage with the firm’s leadership to foster a place of inclusion for all.
Women’s Forum: The primary mission of the Women's Forum is to foster and develop the talents and abilities of women across the firm and ensure that those talents are best utilized to maintain Fried Frank's excellence in service to our clients and our communities. The Women’s Forum is also committed to helping women at Fried Frank achieve their greatest potential in their professional lives while maintaining a balance with their personal lives and addressing the challenges they may encounter. To this end, the Women’s Forum has hosted article discussions and presentations with outside experts, including negotiation topics.
EDGE (Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees): EDGE provides a forum to recognize the valuable contributions of and address any distinct challenges faced by attorneys and business services professionals from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. It also serves as a resource to enrich the professional experiences of people of color at Fried Frank and advocates for recognizing and including of culturally diverse perspectives throughout the firm. In addition, the EDGE ERG regularly hosts professional development workshops for its members.
Pride Alliance: Fried Frank's LGBTQ+ ERG, Pride Alliance, seeks to build upon the firm's longstanding commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and increasing understanding of and involvement in the unique issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. The Pride Alliance has worked with Fried Frank’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and Human Resources Department to introduce new firm policies related to gender transition, global non-discrimination and adoption benefits. Many Pride Alliance members participate in pro bono opportunities sponsored by the firm, including impact litigation relating to LGBTQ+ and political asylum, voting rights, women’s access to healthcare and transgender rights. In addition, Pride Alliance hosts the annual Michael Diehl Civil Rights Forum, where outside speakers are invited to a panel to discuss current topics related to LGBTQ+ and civil rights issues.
Working Families: The firm recognizes that balancing work demands with personal responsibilities can be challenging, especially for caregivers. The Working Families ERG is a resource for parents and other family members with caregiving responsibilities, serving as a place for support. The group also offers professional and targeted skills development with outside trainers and speakers. The Working Families ERG fosters an ongoing dialogue around important issues relevant to group members and enriches the professional and personal lives of individuals at Fried Frank.
Fried Frank is known for its steadfast dedication to pro bono work and advocating for the legal needs of those in its communities. For decades, the firm has partnered with legal services providers, including the Legal Aid Society of New York City and Tzedek DC, dedicating its people, knowledge and time to helping individuals and companies in need. The firm’s pro bono projects span a range of practice areas and populations, including reproductive and LGBTQI+ rights, indigent criminal defense, immigration, tax assistance, housing, and small business services. Fried Frank maintains a unique and unwavering approach to furthering access to justice in its local communities and has earned the trust of legal services partners and clients, resulting in regular collaborations to reach more people. For example, the firm participates in a monthly clinic with CUNY Citizenship Now! to help prepare naturalization applications for low-income immigrants in NYC. Additionally, the firm is a significant contributor to Start Small Think Big and Lawyers Alliance for NY, supporting the growth and stability of small businesses and nonprofits as they recover from the pandemic. The firm also provides a wealth of pro bono legal services across regions and practice areas and in partnership with a long and ever-growing list of legal aid partners. Fried Frank’s pro bono program is designed to execute the vision of its founding partners, whose notable efforts include work on behalf of the civil rights movement and with major institutions like the Peace Corps (which former partners Sargent Shriver and William Josephson had a significant role in creating) and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.