Diversity & Inclusion
A commitment to public service has always been ingrained in our firm culture. From the early days, when Les Arps served as counsel to the Waterfront Commission and Joe Flom assisted the House Ways and Means Committee, and for more than six decades of our existence, our commitment to public interest work has stood side by side with our commitment to provide the highest quality legal services to our clients.
In the mid-'80s, we were one of the first firms to have a senior lawyer devote a substantial portion of his time to coordinating the firm's pro bono efforts. We have always been staunch supporters of The Legal Aid Society in New York and similar organizations in other cities, providing both legal services and financial support. Our New York and Washington, D.C. offices "lend" attorneys on a rotating basis to work full time for groups providing free legal services to individuals of limited means and small non-profits. Our lawyers have been instrumental in the start-up of organizations created to provide legal services to those in need.
In addition to actual pro bono legal work, our lawyers have been active in a wide variety of charitable endeavors, working with, sitting on boards of, and even running, many types of civic, community, cultural, governmental, educational and medical organizations, a number of which seek to improve the lives of the less fortunate.
A vital indication of the firm's commitment to public interest work is the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, which annually provides two-year fellowships to at least 25 very talented young lawyers so that they may pursue the practice of public interest law on a full-time basis. The foundation has been lauded in both the legal and business press from The New York Times to The Los Angeles Times and the New York Law Journal to the Daily Journal. In its 2010 "U.S. Innovative Lawyers" report, the Financial Times ranked the firm in the top tier in the Responsible Business category in connection with the foundation.
In April 2008, the firm and The City College of New York created a program to increase diversity in law schools and the legal profession. The Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Honors Program in Legal Studies at The City College of New York provides talented students of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds with the education, groundwork and experience necessary to gain admission to competitive law schools and to succeed as students.
Skadden initially committed approximately $10 million over 10 years to the Honors Program, which welcomed its sixth cohort in the summer of 2014. The program begins with a pre-honors sequence for City College freshmen and sophomores to cultivate their interest in the law and to help recruit interested and talented students as junior- and senior-level program scholars. As of the summer of 2014, more than 150 students, selected through a competitive process, had been admitted to the two-year program, and been accepted at law schools including Yale, UC Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Fordham and Brooklyn Law School, among others.
In addition to financial assistance, the students receive mentoring from Skadden attorneys and other leading legal employers, paid summer internships and an honors curriculum of special courses. The program also includes an endowed professorship.
The Honors Program was featured in the New York Law Journal and The New York Sun, and Senior Partner Joe Flom was profiled in the New York Law Journal.
Read this press release for more information.