At HCMP, we firmly believe that our commitment to teamwork on behalf of our clients is intricately connected with our dedication to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We recognize the immense value in fostering a team that includes not only individuals from different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, sexual orientations, cultures, and abilities, but also those with many diverse backgrounds and experiences. A successful team thrives on the unique perspectives, skills, and insights of its members. When we bring together our distinct talents and diverse backgrounds to collaborate in service of our clients, we achieve remarkable results.
While we acknowledge that we have more work to do, we are making significant progress. Here’s a snapshot of some of our efforts and achievements toward advancing diversity and inclusion within the firm and our community:
- Midsize Mansfield Certification. We earned initial Midsize Mansfield Certification in 2023, demonstrating our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in legal leadership.
- Diversity Fellowship: For more than 15 years, our Diversity Fellowship for first-year law students has provided students of diverse backgrounds and life experiences with exposure to and opportunities in the legal field. We are expanding this program in 2024 to include LL.M. and part-time J.D. candidates, who bring a rich diversity of experiences with them.
- Promoting Leadership: Our firm has a history of promoting women to key leadership roles. Ryan Durkan, managing principal (2019-2023), is one such example. Read here for her testimonial on building a culture that supports women lawyers. In addition to these internal commitments, we are proud to support our team members from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds who serve in leadership roles in the broader community.
- Active Diversity Committee: We maintain an active diversity committee, open to all employees, that fosters and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our firm.
- Educational Opportunities: We have hosted firmwide educational opportunities and facilitated discussions to explore and understand topics relating to systemic racism, bias, microaggressions, intersectionality, and more, and will continue to coordinate programming and discussion surrounding these and other important topics.
- Prioritizing Diversity in Business Partnerships: We prioritize working with women- and minority-owned businesses and vendors whenever possible, including catering for events, firm promotional products, and venues for client events.
- Charitable Giving: We support a variety of important community causes through sponsorships and charitable giving campaigns each year. Also, we recently created a program to match the financial and time donations made by our employees to qualifying 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.
- Pro Bono Work and Community Involvement: We are deeply committed to pro bono work and serving our community on a variety of fronts, many of which reflect our values of promoting equity and inclusion.
Diversity Fellow Testimonials
2006 Diversity Fellow
It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’m a partner at HCMP because of its 1L Diversity Fellowship program. Before that summer, I’d never worked in a law firm. Although the first year of law school had armed me with a rudimentary knowledge of a few areas of law, I didn’t know much of anything about most everything else. I also didn’t know anything about the fundamental concepts of client service and counseling. The program gave me the opportunity to work in areas of law I didn’t know existed, and provided firsthand experience solving real client problems. I learned more that summer than I did during the entire first year of law school. When the summer was over, I then used the firm’s diversity scholarship to pay for school and additional training in brief writing and courtroom skills.
The knowledge and experience I received from that first summer in HCMP’s diversity program helped me succeed in my second summer at the firm. I knew exactly what was expected of me, and it was incredibly empowering to know what I needed to do to succeed. It gave me confidence I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Throughout both summers, HCMP attorneys tutored me about the law, helped me improve my analysis and communication skills, and showed me what it would be like to work as an associate at the firm. Those attorneys became my professional mentors. Ultimately, my second summer culminated in an offer to join HCMP after graduation, which I happily accepted and have never regretted.
The knowledge and skills I learned from the diversity program served me well as an associate. I built on the professional relationships formed during the program and learned how to be an attorney. In hindsight, it felt like I was on the partnership track from the beginning. I feel deeply grateful to the firm for the investment it made in me, starting with my first days in its diversity program as a mostly clueless 1L, and leading to my position as a (significantly less clueless) partner today.
2009 Diversity Fellow
I’m an out gay attorney at one of Seattle’s premier law firms. Not too long ago, that would have been an uncommon statement—and certainly not one you’d make on the firm’s website. But out LGBTQ attorneys have become increasingly visible in private practice in the past 20 years. Between 2004 and 2016, the percentage of out LGBTQ attorneys in private practice more than doubled. When HCMP hired me as a diversity fellow in 2009, I was part of that trend.
But at HCMP, I am more than a number. As a summer associate, I partnered with the ACLU on an important case affecting the LGBTQ community. We were asking a school district to protect a student from bullying based on his race and perceived sexual orientation. After graduating from law school and becoming an associate at HCMP, I helped our litigation team represent a same-sex couple in Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll. The plaintiffs in that case were discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. HCMP has worked on that case for nearly my entire career—filing the case in superior court, arguing the case successfully twice at the Washington State Supreme Court, and responding to petitions before the United States Supreme Court. When I became a partner with HCMP, the firm hosted a dinner to celebrate. At that dinner, I thanked the firm for its commitment to the Arlene’s Flowers case. I continue to be grateful for the countless hours of pro bono time and firm resources HCMP has dedicated to protecting families like mine.
HCMP has been “walking the walk” on LGBTQ representation since 1983, when the firm hired a young, gay attorney—and my mentor—Steve Rovig. I owe so much of my success to Steve, and would not have become a partner or a member of the firm’s management committee without his guidance. This experience shows that it takes more than merely hiring diverse voices to create a diverse and inclusive generation of lawyers to stay in private practice. It takes continued support and mentorship—the kind that HCMP provides.
We’ve still got work to do, both inside the firm and out. I’m excited that HCMP has given me the opportunity to continue that work and be a voice for change.