Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


We scored 100% on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index for the 13th year. We are among the firms with the highest representation of Black attorneys, as noted in The America Lawyer Diversity Scorecard 2021. We have 10 active affinity networks firmwide. Since 2012, we have welcomed 244 1L Scholars from over 21 law schools. Nearly half of the 1L Scholars joined the firm full-time.

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 more than 240 law firms and 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.

Image describing our Mansfield Rule Certification. Full text description below.


  • Recognized as a 2022 Best Law Firm for Women by Seramount (formerly known as Working Mother Media)
  • For the 13th time in 14 years, named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and received a 100% score on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index.
  • In 2022, received the Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s Gold Standard Certification for the 12th consecutive year, one of six firms to meet the certification since its introduction.
  • Named as a 2021 Compass Award winner by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, recognizing our commitment to building more diverse organizations and a more inclusive legal profession.
  • 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.
  • 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.