ALFA International is deeply committed to diversity. Diversity includes a wide range of differences, including those based on ethnicity, race, gender, language, religion and sexual orientation. Former ALFA International Board Chair, Gary Bague identified the need to create a Diversity & Inclusion Committee to identify and undertake initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion throughout the ALFAI organization and its member firms. The Committee was appointed by the Board of Directors and John Tarpley of Lewis Thomason has led the committee since its inception. Over the course of the last two years, the committee has made substantial progress on the following initiatives:
- DAPP Pipeline Program: ALFA International is proud to be partnering with the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP). DAPP is a non-profit corporation that addresses the need to create more opportunities for women of color lawyers to attain positions in law firms and across other coveted positions in the legal profession. Every summer since 2018, ALFA International member firms have participated by hosting DAPP summer interns. ALFA International plans to continue and hopefully expand on this partnership. If you would like more information on DAPP, please visit their website at https://dapprogram.org/.
- Practice Group Seminar Scholarship/Incentive Program: A scholarship program was developed by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee which covers the registration fees for diverse attorneys to attend Practice Group Seminars. The practice groups help subsidize this program which is available for racially and ethnically diverse candidates, members of the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented groups. The Selection Committee considers both the applicant’s credentials as well as the likelihood the applicant’s firm will continue to support the applicant in future ALFAI endeavors. The Committee tracks the success of the program and communicates with participants to share opportunities for involvement in practice groups and leadership of ALFA International.
In addition to initiating these programs, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee has identified the following initiatives:
- Creation of Diversity & Inclusion Committee Liaisons for each Practice Group
- Preparation and adoption of ALFA International Diversity & Inclusion Policy
- Preparation of ALFA International Law Firm Best Practices for Diversity and Inclusion in our member firms
- Recognition of Diversity & Inclusion in our member firms through the ALFA International Diversity & Inclusion Award
- Creation of Diversity & Inclusion Client Advisory Board