Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

 Diversity & Inclusion Info Graphic
Diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to our success as a global law firm, giving us a wealth of different perspectives from which to address our clients’ most pressing issues across a wide spectrum of industries, geographies and cultures. We strive to develop initiatives at Skadden to specifically address diversity, equity and inclusion goals — including for recruiting, professional development, attorney retention and advancement, and cross-cultural awareness — while also continually inculcating inclusion principles into the fabric of the firm.

This infrastructure includes our global and local Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committees and women’s initiative; the unwavering, visible imprimatur of firm leadership; full-time administrative staff; and mechanisms for input and feedback from our personnel. Most importantly, our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts help foster a community at Skadden built on the idea that similarities and differences are a source of our strength.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leadership

Skadden’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are far-reaching both within the firm and in the legal profession. Internally, our global DEI initiative and women’s initiative are chaired by partners who work closely with our executive partner, local office committees and administrative professionals to develop and sustain recruitment, development and retention strategies intended to increase diversity and equity at all levels of the firm and foster an inclusive workplace culture. We have adopted the Mansfield Rule, which requires that proposed slates for promotions, lateral partner and senior associate hiring, and certain committee appointments, as well as participation in formal new business pitches, include at least 30% people of color, women, LGBTQ+ attorneys or attorneys with disabilities.

Regionally, we have DEI Committees in our Asia Pacific (Hong Kong and Tokyo), Europe (Brussels, Frankfurt, London and Paris) and U.S. (all) offices.

We also seek and forge opportunities to advance DEI in the law and in our communities. In 2020, we spearheaded the launch of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a partnership of nearly 300 law firms working collaboratively with legal services organizations to address and dismantle systemic racism in the law. Our firm is a member of The Alliance for Asian American Justice, which aims to help victims of hate crimes access the legal system and overcome other barriers that often have hindered them from obtaining legal assistance.


  • Recognized as a 2021 Best Law Firm for Women by Seramount (formerly known as Working Mother Media)
  • For the 12th time in 13 years, named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and received a 100% score on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index.
  • In 2021, received the Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s Gold Standard Certification for the 11th consecutive year, awarded to “law firms that have integrated women into the highest leadership positions in the firm.”
  • Recognized among the firms with the highest representation of Black attorneys by The American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard in 2021.
  • Recipient of the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s 2020 Law Firm Diversity Award.
  • Recipient of the Ministry of Defence Silver Award under the U.K. Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, demonstrating our commitment and support of the armed forces in our London office.
  • Recognized as both a 2019 Top Performer and a 2019 Compass Award winner at the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Earning both recognitions signals our commitment to building a more diverse organization and a more inclusive legal profession.
  • Executive Partner Eric Friedman received the Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award from the New York City Bar Association in 2012. He is the only law firm managing partner to receive the award.
  • The first recipient of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Law Firm of the Year Award when it was inaugurated in 2011. The LDF cited the leadership of Joe Flom and the Skadden Fellows Program.