The IADC is pleased to announce that it has launched the IADC Diversity and Inclusion Award and has presented its first award to the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP).
DAPP, a non-profit organization founded to advance opportunities for women of color and the creator of DAPP Direct, the first and only national job placement fair for women of color law students, will be formally recognized as the award’s recipient at the IADC’s 2019 Annual Meeting in July in Asheville, North Carolina.
“We are thrilled to launch the IADC Diversity and Inclusion Award to help raise awareness of the value of and need for a diverse and inclusive legal profession,” said IADC President and Venable LLP partner Craig A. Thompson. “We congratulate the Diversity Attorney Pipeline Program as the inaugural recipient of the award as an organization that has helped talented and highly qualified women of color get hired, retained, and promoted at large law firms across the country.”
The IADC Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes an individual, group, organization, company or country that has championed diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. The recipient also has taken purposeful, tangible actions that have yielded positive outcomes in helping to achieve diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and/or has significantly advanced understanding of the need for diversity and inclusion in the profession.
“The IADC recognizes that diversity and inclusion is a core tenet and central to our organization,” said Bonnie Mayfield, Chair of the IADC’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Chair of the organization’s Employment Law Committee. “This award is designed to identify and honor those persons or entities who have championed diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through meaningful and tangible actions. We believe what gets recognized gets repeated.”
Mayfield, who is a product liability and labor and employment defense lawyer at Dykema Gossett PLLC, stressed that the legal profession is not where it needs to be in terms of increasing diversity and inclusion, and that recent studies on diversity in the profession confirm that that African American/Black equity partners are rare and may even be declining.
“DAPP is precisely the type of organization that the IADC wants to recognize and celebrate through this award for its tangible contributions to helping diverse individuals succeed in the legal profession,” Mayfield added.
Founded in 2014, DAPP is a non-profit corporation that addresses the continued and systemic decline of women of color lawyers in law firms and across other coveted positions in the legal profession. Through its scholars program and national job placement program, DAPP Direct, DAPP works to expand opportunities for women of color law students to succeed in law school and secure paid summer positions at law firms and corporations following their first year of law school. DAPP Direct pairs law firms with women of color in-house counsel who interview on their behalves and place talented, first-year women of color law students in paid law firm internships across the nation. The DAPP Scholars Program, run in Chicago, Illinois, provides scholars with placement assistance, academic support, coaching, counseling, book stipends, tutoring, seminars and workshops, tailored professional development, mentorship, and more.
DAPP was started by two African-American female attorneys who graduated from law school during the height of the recession, and through their leadership positions in minority bar associations and diversity organizations, witnessed the barricades to, and rapid decline of, women of color in big law.