Susman Godfrey is committed to growing and maintaining diversity among its trial lawyers. This commitment is one of the firm’s core values and is essential to maintaining our position as the nation’s premier litigation firm. Diversity enriches the experience and ability of all of our lawyers, and it is critical to achieving winning results for our clients.
In 2020, the firm elected Kalpana Srinivasan to serve as the fourth co-Managing Partner in the firm’s 40-year history. She is the first minority managing partner, the first female managing partner and the first leader of the firm to have risen through the associate ranks. With the 2021 election of Vineet Bhatia to serve as co-Managing Partner alongside Ms. Srinivasan, both of Susman Godfrey’s managing partners are minorities, a testament to the firm’s belief that diverse leadership is a critical factor to our success. Likewise, in 2019, 2020, and 2021, the firm made 17 new partners, of which 24% are minorities and 59% are members of underrepresented groups in the legal profession. All partners at Susman Godfrey are full equity partners.
Susman Godfrey seeks to attract the brightest legal minds from diverse talent pools. We are proud of where we are today, but promoting diversity is an ongoing mandate that we strive toward. The firm strongly encourages members of all underrepresented groups to apply. Susman Godfrey does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The following are some of our initiatives and policies related to our dedication to diversity, inclusiveness, equity, and equality.
Racial Justice Working Group
The Susman Godfrey Racial Justice Working Group comprises a group of partners and associates who are dedicated to improving diversity within the firm and advocating for racial justice in our community. Its core goal is to implement the commitments outlined in the statement the firm made in the wake of the wanton killing of George Floyd. The principal objectives include:
- Donations to racial justice organizations. The firm donated 100% of its 2020 year-end charitable donations to organizations that work for racial justice. In addition, the firm matched $2 for every dollar donated in 2020 by a Susman Godfrey employee to non-profit organizations working for racial justice.
- Pro bono representation for racial justice. The firm is committed to increasing pro bono representation in cases that address racial justice. For example, we have partnered with ACLU of Louisiana in connection with their Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial initiative, which seeks to bring up to 1,000 cases challenging racially-motivated stops and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and any other applicable law in Louisiana.
- Minority hiring, retention, and mentorship. The firm has doubled its 1L Diversity Fellowship Program as part of its proactive efforts to recruit and retain minority attorneys, paralegals, secretaries, and staff.
- Implicit bias and race conscious trainings. The firm is working with speakers, professors, and organizations to provide ongoing training to our attorneys and staff.
In addition to the Racial Justice Working Group, the firm has a robust and active Diversity Committee that regularly meets to discuss and execute diversity-related initiatives at the firm. The Diversity Committee is focused both on recruitment and retention of diverse lawyers.
Gender Fairness Commitment Statement
Susman Godfrey has signed a Gender Fairness Commitment Statement as part of the Houston Bar Association’s Gender Fairness Initiative.
Unlimited, Gender-Neutral Parental Leave
Susman Godfrey offers unlimited paid parental leave to new parents, regardless of gender or caregiver status.
Diversity Fellowship For 1L Students
The firm offers a two-week fellowship to first-year law students who are women, people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQ, or members of other groups underrepresented in today’s legal profession. The firm seeks diverse applicants who have excelled in their first semester of law school and want to learn firsthand about trial work at Susman Godfrey. Fellows receive $5,000 upon completion of the program. Click here to apply.
The Susman Godfrey Prize for 1L and 2L Students
In 2020 the firm announced the Susman Godfrey Prize, an honor awarded annually to up to 12 students of color who are finishing their first or second year at an eligible law school. Recipients of the SG Prize will receive $2,500 plus an offer for a summer clerkship at any of the Susman Godfrey offices. Click here to read about the 2021 winners.