Commitment – Foster Pepper PLLC believes in the importance of hiring a diverse work force and creating a nondiscriminatory, supportive environment that fosters mutual respect. Traditionally, the firm attracts strong attorneys with unique backgrounds who expect that the firm will make a meaningful investment in retaining and developing its diverse attorneys. Upholding that tradition means seeking qualified women and diverse candidates for employment and promoting them to leadership positions within the firm. Of the attorneys hired in 2012, 43% have diverse backgrounds while 24% of associates are diverse. Through our recruiting efforts and inclusion programs Foster Pepper is working to increase that number in the coming years.
Women – Retention and promotion of women attorneys is very important to the firm. Currently 28% of Foster Pepper’s attorneys are women, with 18% being members and 40%associates. These attorneys have highly visible positions of responsibility throughout the firm. For example, 16 women currently serve in firm leadership positions and two of the firm’s practice groups are headed by women attorneys. The firm’s Executive Committee, made up of ten people, has three women members and one women administrator. The firm has always had a special focus on women attorneys and established a Women Attorneys Group. This group includes every women attorney in the firm, is co-chaired by one of Foster Pepper’s most senior women attorneys and a junior member, and meets every month in an open forum for discussion regarding various topics that impact and affect women attorneys on a daily basis.
Leadership – Foster Pepper’s diverse attorneys are very active in firm management and serve on various firm management committees. The co-chairs of Foster Pepper’s Diversity and Inclusion and Charitable Contributions Committees are diverse attorneys. Currently, there are four diverse attorneys on the firm’s Executive Committee.
Recruiting – In an effort to deepen our commitment to diversity, we established the Foster Pepper 1L Diversity Fellowship. This Fellowship provides the recipient with a paid summer associate position in our Seattle office and a $7,500 academic scholarship. For information on the most recent recipient, click here. For application details click here. Foster Pepper participates in the Northwest Minority Job Fair and participates in fall recruiting at Howard University School of Law. We are founders of the Puget Sound Minority Clerkship program and participate in various diversity receptions throughout the year including an annual local 1L Diversity Reception.
Community Outreach – Foster Pepper believes strongly in supporting efforts to enhance diversity beyond its own workplace. The firm is proud to be one of several corporate sponsors of the Annual Northwest Diversity Learning Series, a comprehensive program on intercultural skills in the workplace. It also is a corporate sponsor supporting the Seattle Chapter of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, a non-profit trade association which fosters, supports and promotes women entrepreneurs in the areas of high technology and life sciences. Most recently Foster Pepper was a platinum-level sponsor of the statewide Diversity Conference and the UW Minority Law Student Association. Many Foster Pepper attorneys and staff also volunteer time and serve on boards for local organizations that focus on diversity, as well as for local minority bar associations.
The firm’s attorneys also generously donate their time and talent to pro bono legal services by providing legal advocacy to low-income communities and diverse constituencies. Foster Pepper represents many diverse groups including Native American children, Holocaust survivors, victims of domestic violence, microentrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and low-income families. To learn more about our pro bono work and the communities we work for and with, please see our most recent Pro Bono Annual Report click here.