Partner, Co-Chair of Life Sciences and Product Liability Practice Groups, and Co-Chair of Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Headquarters: New York, NY
Business: Legal Services
At Hughes Hubbard & Reed, diversity starts at the top. Senior partner and member of the firm’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Candace K. Beinecke, broke through the glass ceiling in 1999, becoming the first woman to chair a major New York law firm. Today, nearly 40 percent of Hughes Hubbard attorneys are women.
A strategic plan launched ten years ago has resulted in the placement of diverse people in positions of influence. Going forward, a renewed strategic plan continues to focus on ensuring diversity throughout the firm, including at the highest levels of management. Hughes Hubbard recognizes that the ability to attract and retain diverse attorneys is vital to providing the best service to clients, and becoming a better law firm and work environment.
In 2018, Hughes Hubbard focused on recruiting, training, and promoting attorneys of diverse backgrounds. Some of the firm’s significant achievements included the following:
- Increasing the number of diverse attorneys in leadership roles
- Expanding its mentoring program
- Hiring college interns, as well as law school students and graduates, from its pipeline initiatives
- Increasing affinity group activity
- Expanding implicit bias training
- Including diverse attorneys in developing new client relationships
In 2019, Hughes Hubbard will continue to increase the number of diverse attorneys in partnership and leadership roles; expand the firm’s mentoring program to include sponsorship opportunities, and formal incorporation of goal-setting activities; increase the number of opportunities for diverse attorneys to connect with existing clients and establish new client relationships; and identify additional external opportunities for leadership training for diverse attorneys.
Diane Lifton, co-chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, employs a multifaceted strategy for achieving gender parity in law firm partnerships and management, which includes sponsoring women for career advancing opportunities by helping them develop key skills, acquire relevant experience, and forge client relationships.
Under Lifton’s leadership, the firm continues to pursue diversity initiatives and has seen an increase in activity in the various diverse affinity groups. She has been critical in implementing and executing these initiatives, and is actively involved in promoting women in the law firm setting through her participation in NeXXus and as a leader of the Hughes Hubbard Women’s Roundtable group.