– John Harrity, Managing Partner
The legal community needs to recognize the importance of creating an unbiased, equal, and harmonious working environment for all legal professionals. Unfortunately, the lack of diversity is widespread in the legal field, and the numbers show the industry is moving at a slow pace to address the issue.
In 2018, 85% of lawyers in the U.S. were Caucasian, according to the American Bar Association. Another report on diversity in U.S. law firms found that racially diverse women are the most underrepresented group in the legal profession. Other underrepresented groups include the LGBTQ2+ community, lawyers with disabilities, veterans, Hispanic/Latinx, Alaskan Native/American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Asian, and Multiracial lawyers. Harrity is committed to addressing this issue through our Diversity Mission and numerous diversity-focused initiatives.
Our Diversity Mission is 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. Our Diversity Programs are focused on serving our communities by helping to increase the number of diverse legal practitioners and enhancing their quality of practice in patent law.
At Harrity & Harrity, we are committed to The Rooney Rule 2.0, a hiring policy that shows that our firm’s commitment to our Diversity Mission is not just lip service.
The Rooney Rule is a National Football League policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. The Rooney Rule 2.0 means that we are committed to interviewing a female or minority candidate for every male, non-minority candidate we interview for any position at our firm.
At Harrity, 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. The Diversity Channel is a collection of resources aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in our field by sharing ideas and sparking conversations.
THE HARRITY ACADEMY
The Harrity Academy is a free program made up of three virtual courses which introduce diverse participants to the field of patent law, provide exclusive training, practice materials, and mentorship, and teach how to effectively and efficiently draft and prosecute high-quality patent applications. The goal of this program is to help increase the number of diverse candidates entering the patent field while enhancing the quality of their overall practice.
MINORITY FIRM INCUBATOR
Harrity & Harrity launched its first Minority Firm Incubator program in 2020 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 diversity of the patent field.
HARRITY FOR PARITY: A WOMEN’S PATENT WORKSHOP
The Harrity for Parity is a four-day long program for women geared towards an introduction to the practice of patent law. Law school students from across the country will join us for skills training in patent preparation and prosecution, and to learn first-hand from partners at major law firms, leaders in university tech transfer, and in-house corporate counsel about their experiences as women in the legal field.
We are proud to be involved with a number of organizations that promote Diversity within the legal community, including: