SUGHRUE MION, PLLC, an IP specialty law firm headquartered in Washington, DC, has encouraged and embodied diversity for more than 50 years. Under the leadership of Managing Partner Cindy Weber, the firm has been successful in promoting and encouraging distinctiveness among its attorneys through recruiting, mentoring, promotion and community interaction. The National Law Journal has ranked Sughrue fifth among the top 50 Washington D.C. law firms with the highest racial diversity and fourth among the top 50 D.C. firms with the most diverse partnerships. Sughrue was the only law firm to rank in the top five on both lists.
With a belief that diversity begins with recruiting, Sughrue participates in job fairs geared towards minority groups. The firm’s mentoring program to train associates changes the partner/associate pairings annually in order to ensure that its associates receive the broadest spectrum of experience once they have been hired. The result has been an unqualified success.
In addition to racial and gender diversity, Sughrue’s attorneys represent more than a dozen nationalities and speak at least 12 languages in addition to English. The firm has had a successful bilingual office in Tokyo for many years. Since the firm’s clients are as internationally diverse as we are, this international mix helps us relate to our clients as well as enrich our internal culture.
The firm’s long standing initiatives to promote minorities and women are reflected in the election of Cindy Weber, a trademark litigator, as its Managing Partner more than a decade ago. These initiatives continue with regular firm-sponsored Women’s events and the establishment of a Diversity Committee that is dedicated to ensuring that Sughrue upholds its commitment to diversity through its recruiting efforts, firm leadership and culture, and its community activities.
Sughrue supports diversity outside the office as a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), where the firm is currently a member of MCCA's Firm Affiliate Network (FAN) and has been a Silver level and Patron level sponsor of several MCCA events. The firm is also a member of the District of Columbia Women’s Bar Association and its attorneys are members of Women’s committees of various professional organizations. One of its partners, Diallo Crenshaw, was the former chair of the Diversity in IP Law Committee of the AIPLA and presently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation, a scholarship and mentoring program for minorities who wish to pursue a career in IP Law. Sughrue is a regular sponsor of the Howard University School of Law Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ) annual seminar and partner Jennifer M. Hayes is a member of the Executive Board of the IIPSJ. Partner Leigh Ann Lindquist is the Co-Chair for an annual IIPSJ program. These and other similar efforts will continue.
Sughrue is proud of its success and recognition as one of the most diverse law firms today. Our current diversity statistics are as follows:
• 37% of our total attorneys are of color
o 3% African American
o 33% Asian American/Pacific Islander
o 1% Hispanic
• 28% of our partners are of color
• 50% of our associates are of color
• 30% of our partners are women
• 26% of our attorneys are women