Our Diversity

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Robinson+Cole is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive work environment where the diverse backgrounds of all of our lawyers and other professionals are respected and each individual is empowered to succeed. For Robinson+Cole, diversity refers to the spectrum of people who make up our firm, our clients, and the community we serve. Diversity reflects a culture of inclusion that welcomes people of all types, no matter their ethnicity, culture, race, color, gender, religion, national origin,ancestry, age, sexual orientation, disabilities, marital status, and veteran status, as well as people of diverse opinions, perspectives, lifestyles, ideas, and thinking.

Promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment is not just the right thing to do. The broad influx of ideas and perspectives that our increasingly diverse group of lawyers and other professionals bring to the practice of law better positions us to provide the best legal services for our clients.

Robinson+Cole's Diversity Action Plan calls for and sets goals to maintain an environment characterized by acceptance and respect for all individuals. The plan was implemented upon the recommendation of the Managing Committee and the vote of the partnership. As a result, it is embraced by the firm's leadership. To ensure the plan's success, a Diversity Committee composed of firm leaders and other parties was developed and charged with the task of carrying out the plan.

At its core, the plan focuses on a three-pronged approach to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment at the firm, namely, recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse lawyers. Simply stated, at Robinson+Cole, we want you to join us, stay with us, and succeed with us.

Robinson+Cole's Women's Initiative is a firmwide effort to promote the success of women lawyers. As part of this effort, the firm conducts educational programs in areas such as professional development and business development and strongly encourages mentoring, networking, and community involvement. In several of our offices, the women lawyers participate in an informal internal lunch network where they share interests and learning experiences. In our larger offices, Hartford, Boston, and Stamford, our women lawyers have hosted a number of networking events, such as  wine tastings and a chocolate-making class, to which women contacts and clients from the area are invited; local nonprofit organizations are honored at these events and attendees bring in-kind donations to support the charities.

While not unique to women attorneys, effective alternative work arrangements are often critical to the retention of attorneys who balance family and other outside responsibilities. Robinson+Cole supported the use of alternative work arrangements long before other firms recognized the need; our first formal alternative work arrangement began in 1988, and in 2001, a lawyer who was working an alternative work arrangement was elected partner.

Robinson+Cole's Women's Committee was created to complement the efforts of our Women's Initiative. It is dedicated to advancing and retaining the firm's women lawyers. The Women's Committee supports our women lawyers in accomplishing their professional goals and becoming leaders in a changing legal landscape.

One measure of firmwide support for women at any firm is the presence of women lawyers in positions of leadership. At Robinson+Cole, women are represented at the highest levels of firm governance, serving as members of the firm's Managing Committee, section chairs, and practice group leaders.

  • Recruitment
    We want you to join us. Robinson+Cole's Hiring Committee and Diversity Committee work jointly to increase the number of diverse summer associates, first-year associates, and lateral attorneys at the firm.  For our Summer Fellowship Program, Robinson+Cole actively recruits diverse candidates through the University of Connecticut School of Law Cultural Diversity Initiative.

    Robinson+Cole is committed to the aggressive recruiting of talented, diverse attorneys and law students to continue to strengthen our firm and our profession as a whole.

  • Retention

    We want you to stay with us. Robinson+Cole is committed to keeping the diverse talent that we attract. What we hear from all of our lawyers is that they are looking for great mentoring and the opportunity to do good work in a collegial and dynamic work environment.

    Mentoring

    A strong mentoring program is essential to attorney retention. Robinson+Cole is proud of its mentoring program and the dedicated group of lawyers that mentor our law student interns and new lawyers. Summer interns and incoming associates are matched with senior- and junior-level mentors who commit themselves to provide guidance and insight into the practice of law and the firm culture of Robinson+Cole. In addition, the firm's section leaders monitor the status of the mentor/mentee relationship and provide additional support and feedback where necessary. The firm has also established "Mentor of the Year" awards to evidence the value we place on those who display excellent mentoring skills.

    Access to Meaningful Work

    Our section leaders, in conjunction with the Diversity Committee, set benchmarks for associate development and monitor access to meaningful work assignments and client exposure, ensuring that both opportunities are equally available to all associates. The firm's one-to-one partner/associate ratio creates many opportunities for early responsibility on a variety of matters.

    All of our associates receive meaningful feedback through two formal review cycles each year. Our partners are encouraged to provide informal feedback on an ongoing basis.

    Collegiality

    As Robinson+Cole and the legal profession in general become increasingly diverse, it is incumbent upon us to make our firm a place where everyone is welcome and valued. To that end, our firm supports the efforts of our lawyers and local organizations who are working to make the legal profession more inclusive and satisfying for all people.

    Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity

    Our firm is a founding member of the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD). The mission of LCD is to unite the resources, energy, and commitment of the state's leading law firms, corporations, public sector entities, law schools, and state bar associations in the joint mission of making Connecticut a more attractive place for lawyers of color and women to practice law and find satisfying professional opportunities. We regularly contribute firm resources to LCD, including hosting annual events and providing marketing support. We have even furnished office space for the organization's executive director in our Hartford office. Our partners hold positions on the LCD Board of Directors and actively participate in the organization's programs and events. A number of our lawyers have served on LCD's annual Diversity Award Committee.

    The Boston Lawyers Group

    Robinson+Cole is a member of the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG), considered a prototype around the country in its mission to support the efforts of its member organizations, specifically law firms, leading corporations, and public entities, to identify, recruit, advance, and retain lawyers of color.

    Resource Bar Associations

    Robinson+Cole is proud to support resource bar associations. Many of our lawyers take active roles, including leadership positions, within the following organizations:

    • Connecticut Asian Pacific Bar Association
    • Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association
    • George W. Crawford Black Bar Association
    • South Asian Bar Association
  • Promotion

    We want you to succeed with us. Robinson+Cole welcomes at its highest level of management the increasingly diverse group of lawyers that make up our firm. Rhonda Tobin, one of the firm's female partners, serves on Robinson+Cole's Managing Committee, the elected governing body of the firm, and two of the firm's practice groups are chaired by women. Rhonda Tobin also serves as co-chair of our Litigation Section.

    Three partners on the firm's Diversity Committee have as their primary responsibility monitoring and fostering the success of diverse lawyers within each of our practice sections. These individuals work to ensure that opportunities are equally available to all lawyers as well as that all lawyers have an additional partner-level resource and advocate.

    Along with a strong mentoring program and a firmwide culture of mentoring, we understand that sponsorship of our diverse associates at the stakeholder level is critical to their success at the firm.  Our partners are incentivized to identify associates, and particularly diverse associates, who are  the future of our firm and to help guide them down the path to partnership.

Spectrum Newsletter

Spectrum Diversity Newsletter (11/20/14)

Spectrum Diversity Newsletter (6/10/14)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (02/10/2014)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (10/22/2013)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (07/26/2013)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (04/30/2013)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (01/28/2013)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (10/17/2012)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (06/18/2012)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (02/10/2012)

Spectrum - Our Diversity Newsletter (10/3/2011)