Personal perspectives: an introduction

Behind DEI data lie real people with real-life experience. In this section, we hear first-hand from those working in and with the IP industry to improve opportunities offered to diverse talent. Elizabeth Rimmer, chief executive at mental wellbeing charity LawCare, urges law firms to invest in manager training to better support employees’ mental health.

For legal assistant Sophia Karim, a relatively new hire herself at D Young & Co, it is critical to debunk the myths that have traditionally stifled legal talent. She discusses her experiences as an ADHD lawyer and emphasises the need for workplace cultures that foster creative thinking.

It is just this creativity that clients value so highly; we revisit a piece from the WTR archive in which senior attorney Herb Williams explains the thought process behind the Intel Rule – a formal initiative that saw Intel hit the headlines when it started turning away outside counsel that failed to meet its ambitious diversity representation requirements.

Clients are also increasingly partnering with law firms to offer diverse students greater learning opportunities and improve the IP talent pipeline, explain DEI officers from global players Dentons, Mayer Brown and White & Case, in an exclusive roundtable. However, DEI means different things in different regions. International firms face the unique challenge of having to consider local, regional, cultural and legal differences across their offices. For this reason, firms with a footprint in Asia should not hesitate to hire local DEI officers with a detailed understanding of cultural and social nuances in their region. That way, firms can better ensure that their approach to DEI is reflective of the values and expectations of employees around the world.

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