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Hogan & Hartson and Arnold & Porter have the largest — and arguably the most prestigious — offices in the D.C. area. They also are among the most diverse. With 70 minority lawyers, eight of whom are partners, A&P employs the greatest number of minority attorneys among the city’s 25 largest law offices. Minorities at A&P make up 16 percent of the attorney work force. Only Holland & Knight fares better when it comes to percentages, with minorities forming 17 percent of the firm’s 177 attorneys in D.C. Hogan is a leader when it comes to creating opportunities for women, with 53 female partners forming 26 percent of the partnership ranks in the hometown office — a percentage matched only by Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Overall, Hogan reports that 174 of its 455 lawyers in the District are women, nearly 50 more than any other firm in the city. But the numbers are less encouraging at other firms. At Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, only 10 percent of the D.C. partners are women — the lowest percentage for the top 25 law offices in the metro area — and 8 percent of the attorneys are minorities. “The firm makes partners on a firmwide basis, not by office,” says Mary Ellen Powers, Jones, Day’s D.C.-based firm administrative partner. “Our partnership numbers [for women] across the board are higher, around 14 or 15 percent.” At many firms across the city — even those posting relatively low numbers of women and minorities — there is an effort to diversify the work force. Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky, with only 22 minority associates and two minority partners among its nearly 300 lawyers, started a diversity committee this year. Jones, Day has a 14-year-old diversity task force, chaired by D.C. partner Alison Marshall. But the office’s female partner numbers have seen a slight slip in the last few years. This year, the firm reports having seven female partners and 69 female associates in D.C. In 2001, 67 of the attorneys in the office were women, and nine of those were partners. Jones, Day’s Powers cautions that the statistics don’t tell the whole story. “I actually think we have a very good record of promoting women,” she says. The decline, she contends, is due to female attorneys leaving for in-house and government positions. Indeed, in the past couple of years, Barbara McDowell joined the Solicitor General’s Office, Patricia Dunn left for The Washington Post, and Deborah Majoras became deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust at the Justice Department. “We’re hopeful that some of them will come back,” adds Powers. Meanwhile, she says, the firm is looking to its associate ranks for female partners. “We’re going to see more and more women partners,” says Powers. At Dickstein, the new diversity committee arose from a retreat held earlier this year. Now, says managing partner Angelo Arcadipane, “It is part of our written strategic plan to increase our diversity among the attorneys.” Already, the number of minority partners is increasing, though slowly. Dickstein recently added African-American partner Milton Marquis from Jenner & Block’s D.C. office. Marquis joins the complex dispute resolution group, where he’ll focus on antitrust law. The firms with the best records for bringing on and promoting minorities have their own methods for diversifying their ranks. Like many other firms, Holland & Knight participates in minority recruiting fairs, interviews at historically black law schools such as Howard University, and staffs a minority recruiting committee, says D.C. managing partner LaFonte Nesbitt. But “one of the best sources of new associates is existing associates,” points out Nesbitt. A number of the firm’s minority attorneys are referred by Holland & Knight employees. Arnold & Porter, which has repeatedly received the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award for “demonstrated sustained commitment to improve the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys,” sends outreach letters to minority organizations, among other efforts. When the firm is interested in minority law students, it flies them in — at the firm’s expense — for a reception. The firm also holds a “panel discussion hosted by minority lawyers of the firm,” says managing partner James Sandman. Explains Sandman: “It shows you’re serious and you’re willing to spend the money on this.”

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