O’Melveny Worldwide

Legal Management: The Magazine of ALA: Silence Is Not an Option

July 19, 2021

A recent article published by Legal Management highlights the escalating number of racialized events we have witnessed during the pandemic and the importance of meaningful change and the roles individuals can play in the workplace to confront racial disparities. O’Melveny director of diversity & engagement, Mary Ellen Connerty shared some of the new strategies the firm is implementing to help cultivate that change.

O’Melveny took key steps to address racial injustice the publication reported, forming a Racial Justice Committee that “advises firm leadership on issues of racial justice and equity, promotes open dialogue, and seeks out a range of viewpoints regarding race issues inside the firm and in the community,” Connerty shared. O’Melveny determined specific organizations they could support, including the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance and provided the opportunity for implicit bias training alongside mandatory training for partners.

Additionally, the article highlighted that Asian American and Pacific Islander personnel were provided the opportunity to talk openly in a safe space, both privately and with US colleagues to address the rise of racial attacks. “Our Employee Assistance Program has created an AAPI mental health and self-care resources guide that we’ve shared with all US colleagues,” added Connerty, as well as hosting an inclusive program for the firm and alumni, led by Russell Jeung, Chair and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and Cofounder of Stop AAPI Hate, to provide a detailed history of anti-Asian discrimination within the United States.

“Our U.S. colleagues also will be invited to read the award-winning book Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, followed by an opportunity to join a video chat with the author,” to encourage an open dialogue. Connerty added, “AAPI colleagues have also suggested other topics for training — like empowerment and dealing with microaggressions — which we plan to pursue.”

You can read the full article here.