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Diversity and inclusion efforts count towards billable targets, Hogan Lovells tells lawyers

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Credit system applies to activities including organising D&I events and mentoring underrepresented colleagues

Lawyers at Hogan Lovells have been told that time spent on diversity and inclusion (D&I) activities can count towards their billing targets.

The new initiative means associates can set aside up to 50 billable hours for activities including organising D&I events or diversity network initiatives, mentoring and sponsoring underrepresented colleagues, and preparing for and participating in client-related D&I activities. Additional efforts will be approved on a case-by-case basis, the firm said in a statement.

The credit system is being implemented across the firm’s global offices, including London, after it was first introduced in the US in November.

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Global managing partner for diversity & inclusion and responsible business, Susan Bright, commented:

“The introduction of D&I billable hour credit is part of our global strategy to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive working environment throughout our firm, and at the highest ranks. It also enables us to achieve our global minority and LGBT+ goals, and measure engagement at a substantive level. We recognise that diversity of all kinds creates better teams, and better serves our clients.”

News of the credit system follows Hogan Lovells’ announcement in October that it had set two new targets to increase D&I among its UK and US partnership. The firm aims to have 15% ethnic minority and 4% LGBTQ+ partners by 2025. These figures currently sit at 11% and 2.5%, respectively.

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6 Comments

Elliott

Lawyers from minority backgrounds are almost always expected to do their own work plus diversity initiatives and everything else on top of that for free.

It’s about time they get paid for it.

(12)(16)

Anon

They’re not “expected” to do diversity initiatives, the initiatives are an option that anyone can choose to do. I have no idea what you mean by “everything else on top of that”, but minority lawyers get paid for their work, much in the manner all lawyers do.

If a firm feels that diversity initiatives add value to the firm, by all means pay people for it (like getting paid for pro bono), but tying bonuses to fee earning work alone (i.e. how the firm itself gets paid) doesn’t seem especially egregious.

(11)(17)

Harry J

Clearly you’re not from a minority background.

If you were you would know that these initiatives are expected from minority lawyers even when they don’t ask to do them. They get asked to be involved but they can’t really say no because it looks reflects badly on that individual.

It starts as soon as they get offered a TC, the law firm conveniently asks the ethnic minority trainees to take photos for the firms website and booklets etc. Then they ask for those particular trainees to do talks and attend events.

Do you really think as a Trainee and junior associate you’re in a position of power to turn down these offers when grad rec and your departments sort of expect you to be involved in it??

Even when you make it to senior associate and partner, they expect you to take part in these initiatives to showcase how ~diverse~ and ~inclusive~ the firm is.

Right from the very start of the TC offer these minority lawyers are sort of made out to be show dummies for the rest of their careers.

I think it’s great that they’re finally being paid for it!

(30)(5)

Jarry H

I have sympathy but as long as you allow it, it will continue. Lots of firms are more interested in tokenism and PR photoshoots than actual diversity, but if you accept it and benefit from it without pushing back, can you really complain?

(9)(4)

Anonymous

“Credit system”… where have I heard that one before….

(6)(0)

Ronald

Diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War period.

(18)(0)

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