Akin Gump Receives Thomas L. Sager Award

(Washington, D.C.) - The Minority Corporate Counsel Association has selected the Washington office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. to receive its Thomas L. Sager Award.

The Sager Award was created as a tribute to DuPont Associate General Counsel Thomas L. Sager, who has demonstrated a relentless commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession. Given to inspire others to lead by example and create meaningful solutions, the Sager Award recognizes leaders who have shown a sustained effort to improve the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys.

Lloyd M. Johnson Jr., executive director of MCCA, characterized the award as “an opportunity to recognize those [law firms] who make diversity a priority by increasing awareness and promoting change for the new millennium.”

R. Bruce McLean, Akin Gump’s chairman, commented, “Minority recruitment and retention are two of our firm’s highest priorities. We are honored that MCCA has recognized our ongoing commitment to develop and maintain a diverse work force of talented attorneys.”

Akin Gump’s senior executive partners, including founding partner Robert S. Strauss and Vernon E. Jordan Jr., are strong advocates for diversity in the legal profession. As part of its commitment to enhance the status of minorities within the legal profession, Akin Gump actively recruits minority students from a broad cross-section of law schools throughout the country. The firm also participates in recruiting events, including minority road shows, mock interview programs and BLSA job fairs.

While many of the firm’s minority lawyers come from its diverse summer programs, minority lateral associates and partners have been recruited from other sources as well, including non-profit organizations, the corporate sector and the government.

Akin Gump has also implemented an innovative promotion plan, which formally recognizes and rewards associates who are on the partnership track. The firm devotes significant resources to formal and informal mentoring programs, as well as to attorney development opportunities. Firm lawyers serve on a variety of boards and committees whose mission is to promote opportunities for minority lawyers.

The results of these efforts are evident in the diversity of the firm’s professional work force. The number of minority lawyers in the Washington office at the partner, counsel and associate levels has steadily increased over the last few years, from 15 lawyers in 1995 to 34 today, including ten partners. In addition, 11 of this year’s summer associate class in Washington are minorities.

Founded in 1945, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., a leading international law firm, numbers 850 lawyers with offices in Austin, Brussels, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, Riyadh (affiliate), San Antonio and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; banking and financial institutions; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; capital markets; communications; corporate and securities; employee benefits; energy; entertainment; environmental; estate planning and probate; food and drug; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international; investment management; labor and employment; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; privatization; project finance; public law and policy; real estate and finance; taxation; and technology. For additional information, please visit our Web site at http://www.akingump.com.