As a recognized leader in fostering diversity in our profession and within our communities, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has forged exceptional relationships with local institutions, organizations and associations, harnessing our collective strength to focus on issues of inclusiveness, opportunity and access. Across our offices, Akin Gump lawyers have devoted their time, knowledge and experience to programs and projects that benefit diverse groups and organizations.
Building on a long-standing relationship with the John Tyler Elementary School in southeast Washington, the firm established the not-for-profit Akin Gump School Partnership Project. Anchoring the Partnership is a tutoring program that pairs firm attorneys and staff members with Tyler students in need of academic assistance. This support has played a role in boosting standardized test scores at the school.
With Akin Gump’s help, Tyler also completed a new state-of-the-art library that provides a full-time librarian for students, teachers and neighborhood literacy programs. The Partnership is collaborating with parents and community volunteers to construct an outdoor classroom, complete with wetlands and other natural habitats to encourage hands-on ecological and environmental education. As part of its mission to raise academic achievement, the Partnership backs summer enrichment scholarships, parent-teacher conferences, transportation for cultural and educational field trips and numerous special events for students.
Akin Gump partners with the Cristo Rey high schools by providing internships for Cristo Rey students. The Cristo Rey high schools were established in several major cities to serve students, 98% of whom are Hispanic or African-American, who have demonstrated the potential to achieve success but do not have the financial means to attend a private, college-preparatory school. Cristo Rey’s corporate work-study program enables students to pay their tuition to the school and receive hands-on experience.
Each year, two students from Cristo Rey work as interns in the New York office. Akin Gump’s Washington office hires four students annually from the Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Washington, D.C. and has participated in the program since 2007.
In the past year the firm has sponsored and firm lawyers have attended events in connection with the following community based organizations, among others: the Center for Urban Professionals (Leadership Gala and hosting the CUP Fellows Graduation); the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance (law firm member); Human Rights Campaign (National Dinner); the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (Awards Gala); the National Bar Association (attendance at the Annual Conference and sponsorship of the Corporate Leadership Forum); and Street Law (Annual Awards Dinner).
In addition to sponsorship and attendance at events with these organizations, in the past year the firm continued our participation with a number of our community partners including the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (“LCLD”), Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc. (“PALS”) and the New York City Bar Association Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee (the “City Bar Committee’).