ATLANTA – June 18, 2020 – Ogletree Deakins is united in our rejection of hate, bigotry, and violence. These are difficult times, that create painful emotional and mental turmoil, particularly for Ogletree Deakins’ attorneys and staff of color. Our Board of Directors has recognized this Friday, Juneteenth, as a paid holiday to allow all the members of our firm to reflect on the significance of the day, the contributions of Black Americans, and the civil unrest we face today in light of social injustice and deplorable racism.
But real and sustained change requires more than words – leaders in the legal field need to act as well. At Ogletree Deakins we have adopted multiple steps to advance the cause of racial equality and justice.
First, the firm is proud to announce the creation of a firm-wide Equal Justice Taskforce for staff and attorneys to work together toward eradicating racial inequities in America. Ogletree Deakins ACT (Act, Change, and Transform) will take concrete actions aimed at improving racial justice in the legal profession and beyond. The leadership group is comprised of members from all sectors of the firm, including our Board of Directors, the C-Suite, our administrative support team, and our attorneys.
Second, the firm will be raising funds for the Equal Justice Initiative in honor of the contributions of David Jones, the firm’s first Black Shareholder. Each year, as part of our attorney retreat in the fall (which will be virtual this year), the firm selects a worthy cause to support through healthy activities over the summer – culminating in the David Jones Memorial 5k. For the next several months, our entire firm will be walking, hiking, and biking to raise dollars for the Equal Justice Initiative. In a world where we are battling a pandemic and racial inequality, marrying our health initiative with this contribution seemed particularly appropriate.
Finally, the firm is encouraging all members to use their time off on Friday to reflect on the importance of Juneteenth in the history of our country and efforts they can take to individually begin to impact systemic change, resulting in true liberty and justice for all. In that vein, we have also provided all employees with an Ally Toolkit containing suggested resources to enhance their understanding of race relations and the challenges faced by our Black colleagues.
About Ogletree Deakins
Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. Premier client service, as outlined in the firm’s Client Pledge, is one of the firm’s top priorities and a cornerstone of its core values. U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” has named Ogletree Deakins a “Law Firm of the Year” for nine consecutive years. In 2020, the publication named Ogletree Deakins its “Law Firm of the Year” in the Labor Law – Management and Litigation – ERISA categories. Ogletree Deakins has more than 900 attorneys located in 53 offices across the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico. The firm represents a diverse range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies. www.ogletree.com