minority firm

Diversity Mission: Minority Legal Firm Incubator – By Mauricio Velásquez

Mauricio Velásquez

When people talk about “Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices in the legal profession” we hear a lot of the same things over and over again.  Well, I have come across a first, a truly innovative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leading best practice.  You heard it from me first, right here, right now.

Harrity is the nation’s leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To firm for the Patent 300. Harrity recently launched its first Minority Firm Incubator program to help train, develop, and launch minority-owned patent law firms. This paid program is an integral part of the firm’s ongoing diversity initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the increasing diversity of the patent field.

Harrity is on a mission to increase diversity in the patent law field.  Harrity is in search of women and minority patent attorneys who want to start their own law firms.  This is truly “ground breaking” and if you know someone with said professional goals – please direct them to Harrity & Harrity, based in Fairfax, VA.  This is a full-time paid program.  For more information go to harrityllp.com/incubator.

No other firm in the country even comes close to what Harrity & Harrity are offering.   A four-year effort on the part of Harrity, from drafting patent applications to prosecuting patent application to firm management and launch, this incubator program is truly a “soup to nuts” commitment and process. 

Now, I was not surprised when I heard about Harrity’s latest endeavor, this coming from a firm that is famous for saying – “We believe that the ‘practice of law’ is advanced by a more diverse legal team – with diversity of background, upbringing, education, and perspective comes quality legal innovation.”  – John Harrity

This firm has a very explicit Diversity Mission that can be a model for others – to promote and nurture a respectful, highly engaged, family friendly, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of our talented team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, skills/talents, and capabilities.

How does your law firm compare to their D&I infrastructure already in place.? Does your firm have these people, processes, policies and practices in place?

  • Diversity Partner, Chief Diversity Officer, and Diversity Committee
  • Publish an Annual Diversity Report
  • Flexplace – You can work from home (majority of attorneys are out of state)
  • Flextime – Our attorneys set their own work hours, objectives, work flow
  • Family First Culture – Go-to commitments, work will be here when you return
  • On and off ramps to partner track – you can go part-time if need be
  • Casual dress, casual office, very laid-back environment
  • In office – room for meditation, migraines, take a nap
  • One-of-a-kind Rooney Rule 2.0 for hiring diverse talent
  • Summer Diversity Workshop, Women’s Workshop
  • 1L Diversity Fellow Program – in third year
  • Innovation and their Diversity and Inclusion Efforts are linked – center piece of workplace culture…..

As a nationally recognized Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant and Trainer, I am always on the look out for organizations “really going the extra mile to be a ‘light house’” in the best practices space of our field.  Harrity more than qualifies, they break the expectation mold. They are setting an example for other firms and demonstrating how to shape diversity for future inclusion.

Mauricio Velasquez

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