We understand that the true power of diversity is only realized in an environment where everyone feels able to share their differences and achieve their potential.

At Paul Hastings, our inclusive work environment enables our people to be themselves and bring their diverse perspectives to the table. We recognize diversity as an opportunity to leverage the power of differences. Cultivating a talented workforce reflective of the diverse global communities we serve enables us to better understand the needs of our clients and deliver exceptional value.

Diversity fuels our innovation—and our growth. We recruit the best and brightest, and work with a range of organizations to develop an elite, diverse talent base that guides the success of our clients. Notably, our 2016 class of new partners reflects the diverse and inclusive environment we are working to foster, with 50% of the class representing race/ethnicity and/or gender diversity.

Understanding Barriers to Advancing Law Firm Diversity & Inclusion

Like many of the industries we serve, law firms are focused on making substantial advancements in diversity and inclusion. However, they also face a number of barriers in this area. Paul Hastings and Bloomberg BNA’s Big Law Business recently produced “Diversity and Inclusion: Annual Report,” an in-depth examination of this critical issue, based on a survey of more than 260 law firm attorneys and corporate counsel. According to the report, a substantial majority of law firm respondents – 69 percent – say that the most prevalent challenge in advancing diversity and inclusion at their firms is implicit and unconscious bias. Along with uncovering a number of other notable obstacles, the report outlines practical recommendations to help firms overcome these challenges and establish more diverse, inclusive teams.

Click here to access the report.

Leveraging “The Power of the Client” to Promote Diversity

At Paul Hastings, we are dedicated to the development and growth of our lawyers, and we are committed to providing the resources necessary for success. Our efforts are guided by our Talent Development department, which continues to enhance our extensive training and career development programs for our lawyers.

By choosing Paul Hastings, you will be working alongside some of the world’s top legal professionals. We are a respected global leader and provide a wide range of professional development services including legal training, integration opportunities, career development, and performance management.


We support and encourage the success of talented women lawyers and business professionals—within our firm, among our clients, and throughout the world. In addition to numerous mentoring, networking, and professional development opportunities throughout the year, we also regularly co-host events with our clients, creating opportunities to strengthen our relationships outside the office.


Our newest initiative launched in late 2017, PH Balanced, aims to bring together people from across the firm- lawyers and professional staff, men and women, parents and non-parents- to provide mutual resources and support for one another around the topic of work-life balance. This Initiative is led by a national steering committee with local leads in most offices who share a common goal of providing a forum for people at the firm to share ideas, learn from others and participate in programming that focuses on achieving work-life success.


We proudly partner with organizations focused on the LGBT community including the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, Lambda Legal, Out & Equal and HRC, among others. Our attorneys play meaningful roles within these organizations by serving on boards and committees, working with them to file legal briefs and creating other innovative programs to support the LGBT community more broadly.

Examining the Pursuit of Gender Parity in Boardrooms Around the Globe

We continue our efforts to spark discussion around the topic of gender parity in the boardroom. Our ongoing series, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling:"Women in the Boardroom, examines the legislative, regulatory, and private sector developments impacting the representation of women on corporate boards globally.

Our full report includes developments from more than 40 jurisdictions. As this issue continues to draw discussion, we continue to expand the scope of our research and evolve our report. 

Click here to access the full report


Our Paul Hastings Affinity Networks (PHANs) are open to all people at the firm, regardless of their background and include both attorneys and professional staff. These groups, which are led by associates with guidance from one or more partner advisors, work on programs that align with our firm strategy. The groups specifically serve as a resource for mentoring, networking, and professional development, help raise awareness of different backgrounds and cultures across the firm, and help identifying programs to increase diversity at the firm.

The breadth of our PHAN program underscores our firm’s commitment to build upon our globally diverse and inclusive culture. We have four national PHANs, with presence in all our US offices, as well as 14 women’s networks, which are active in Asia, Europe and the US. Through a wide range of initiatives and events, PHAN leaders have developed sophisticated programming in support of the firm’s diversity recruiting, professional development, and business goals. Additional programming includes leadership development and empowerment exercises for female and other diverse individuals.

Our PHANs include:

  • National Asia Network

  • National Black Network

  • National Latin Network

  • National LGBT Network

We also have 14 active Women's PHANs:

  • Atlanta Women’s Network

  • Chicago Women's Network

  • China and Hong Kong Women’s Network

  • Houston Women’s Network

  • London Women’s Network

  • Los Angeles Women’s Network

  • Milan Women’s Network

  • New York Women’s Network

  • Orange County Women’s Network

  • Palo Alto Women’s Network

  • Paris Women’s Network

  • San Diego Women’s Network

  • San Francisco Women’s Network

  • Washington Women’s Network

Paul Hastings provides global support for women’s organizations, special events, and programs that expand opportunities for women in business and practice.


Outside of the firm, our strategy focuses on investments in the diverse legal community and expanding our relationships with clients that share our commitment to diversity and inclusion. In addition to many local bar associates and committees, there are a number of organizations with whom we partner or serve as members. Through our partnerships with leading centers for diversity research, we are investing in the next generation of women, LGBT, and minority attorneys by creating thought leadership and research that examines this important topic. Click here to read our recent research.


Paul Hastings recruits the best and brightest talent from the world’s leading law schools and law firms to ensure our future diversity. We benchmark ourselves not only against our peer law firms but against corporate clients to ensure our programs are progressive and our numbers are increasing. Our diversity team works closely with our PHANs to ensure members are engaged, our programs are beneficial and to have open and honest dialogues. From large diversity recruiting events to individualized networking and referrals, we recognize the importance of obtaining the finest lawyers available to provide our clients with unmatched legal service.

We also offer several programs to diverse students such as:

  • The Paul Hastings Diversity Scholarship: established in 2013, provides a tuition scholarship to select second-year law students who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity and contributing to the firm’s diversity goals and who receive an offer to join Paul Hastings in one of our U.S. offices.

  • The Ron Brown Mentor Program: since 2011, we have sponsored the Ron Brown Mentor Program. This program targets high-achieving pre-law students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue the study and practice of law. Through this program we provide students with summer internship positions and request participating attorneys to commit to a one-year mentor assignment. Summer interns include college graduates entering law school in the fall and undergraduates generally in their sophomore year of college.

  • The Law Preview Program: a week-long, intensive summer prep course for students who are enrolled to begin law school. It is taught by law school professors in major cities throughout the country. The course provides substantive overviews for each first-year course and teaches students how to brief cases, outline for each class, study effectively and manage their time. It also includes completion of practice law school exams. We currently sponsor Law Preview Scholarships at Penn and Berkeley. Scholarships are awarded to: (i) members of historically underrepresented groups in the legal profession; (ii) members of the LGBT community; and/or (iii) students who are the first in their immediate family (excluding siblings) to attend college. The firm also assigns associate mentors to each scholar. The mentors serve as a resource (virtual coaching, resume review, etc.) to the students throughout the year.

For more recruiting information, please visit our Careers page

K Whitner, co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Council and Litigation partner, discusses how he first became interested in a career in law and his involvement in corporate social responsibility.

Read the full interview here


Image: Karlie Illaria
Karlie Illaria

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