Ropes & Gray is a charter member of the new Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, announced on June 24, and profiled in The American Lawyer. The group of more than 215 law firms is committed to working together, in partnership with legal services organizations, to identify and dismantle structural and systemic racism in the law. Read the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance charter here.
“Ropes & Gray is committed to true equality. Racist structures and systems stand in the way of that and are perpetuating inequities in our society. We are proud to be a leader in this alliance, identifying and deconstructing areas of the law that create a cycle of inequality and injustice. Working in a coordinated, deliberate way, this group’s aim is to create a deep, lasting change,” said chair Julie Jones.
The firm is already undertaking important initiatives to dismantle racism in society, building upon decades of work:
- The firm launched a Racial Justice Pro Bono Opportunities Network within the firm, strengthening our ongoing pro bono efforts. This new network will focus even further on addressing both near-term racial injustice and longer-term systemic change.
- Ropes & Gray joined a consortium of more than 30 law firms to endorse the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law, a law that has served as a barrier to police accountability. Its repeal was approved by both houses of the New York State legislature and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
- Our partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier, with the support of the firm, signed a statement condemning the actions taken by the U.S. federal government against peaceful protesters seeking racial justice near Lafayette Square, outside the White House.
- In addition to pledging our legal skills and time to public service work, the firm has made donations to three organizations that share our principles: Equal Justice Initiative, Equal Justice Works and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. This builds on previous partnerships, including creating and funding a novel 10-year fellowship with Equal Justice Works focused on criminal justice system reform and racial justice.
- Ropes & Gray is also taking steps internally to ensure that we stay true to our core values and address the needs of our own community.
Pro bono legal service is a hallmark of the firm, dating to its founding. In 2019, attorneys and support team members committed 172,000 hours to pro bono legal service, and Chambers & Partners named the firm “Pro Bono Program of the Year.”
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