About Us

“I am proud to lead a law firm whose commitment to diversity and inclusion is deeply embedded in our cultural DNA.”

– Frank Ryan, Global Co-Chair

Our mission

At DLA Piper, our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) mission is to emerge as a leader through insight, innovation, diversity and inclusion. We put our people first as we work to deliver excellence in service to our clients.

We accomplish this by integrating our goals and concepts into the way in which the firm manages its people and business.

Our commitment

“Our D&I efforts are initiated and led from the very top of the global firm by our senior management team, holding our leaders accountable. Firm resources − including our Professional Development, Marketing and Recruiting departments − are aligned to actively support the implementation of our Practice Group Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans. These plans are tailored to each group’s unique D&I priorities, needs and culture, demonstrating how each group would focus on such goals as advancement, retention and equitable utilization of team expertise. Practice group leaders are responsible for managing their action plans and the results stemming from them.

Our drive to establish growth and create forward-looking opportunities is evidenced by the firm’s active D&I team, led by the firm’s Chief Talent Development & Inclusion Officer, Lenora Ausbon-Odom. Lenora is charged with ushering our diversity and inclusion efforts into the next stage of the firm's evolution.

Who we are

Lenora Ausbon-Odom
Chief Talent Development & Inclusion Officer
  Edward "Smitty" Smith
National Diversity & Inclusion Partner
Aaron Wang     Christina Serrato
Aaron Wang
Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
  Christina Serrato
Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
Shuhana Khan
Sr. Director of Talent Development & Inclusion
  Justin Bell
Diversity & Inclusion Manager
Kanika Singh
Sr. Talent & Inclusion Analyst 
  Tasha Brown
Director of Talent Development & Inclusion 
Sasja Moore
Diversity & Inclusion Manager


Our strategy

The firm’s strategy focuses on recruitment, retention, advancement and promotion of the best lawyers.

Our three strategic pillars are:

  • Workforce
    Objective: to build an inclusive and sustainable pipeline for succession in leadership and promotion.
  • Workplace
    Objective: to create an inclusive work environment that values differences and promotes respect, support and a sense of belonging to retain talent across all lawyer levels.
  • Marketplace
    Objective: to proactively engage clients in discussions around effective D&I strategies to support all communities and foster effective outreach to diverse suppliers.

These pillars provide a framework for the firm to best address all aspects of the following areas of focus:

  • Recruitment
    Increasing the representation of lawyers across all cultures, backgrounds and experiences
  • Engagement
    Creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all DLA Piper partners and employees
  • Advancement and Promotion
    Ensuring that opportunities for success and leadership are accessible to everyone
  • Pipeline Programs
    Supporting the education and development of future legal professionals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences
  • Supplier Diversity
    As part of centralized procurement, we consistently track the firm's engagement with certified women-owned and minority-owned businesses. The goal is to diversify our supplier network and increase spend with these businesses over time. As we work toward identifying specific benchmarks, we strongly encourage our attorneys to consider and recommend women-owned and minority owned-businesses as opportunities arise. This initiative is important to us and reinforces our commitment to our clients, our communities and our people. For more information, please contact our Procurement Team.

Mansfield Rule Certification

In 2017, DLA Piper was one of the first signatories of the Mansfield Rule, a national initiative developed to increase diversity in promotions and hiring at law firms. To be certified under this rule, firms must make good on their commitment to source and consider a candidate pool comprising at least 30 percent women and minorities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions.

Our efforts in this area were so successful that in 2018, we not only sourced and considered the Mansfield-required 30 percent diverse applicant pool, we achieved actual representation of at least 30 percent women and minorities in a large number of our key leadership roles and lateral hires. As a result, we were one of just 27 firms to reach a level beyond certification, becoming “Certified Plus.”

In 2019, we again achieved Certified Plus status and also became Mansfield 2.0 Certified, a rating which includes LGBTQ attorneys in the definition of diverse and also measures diversity in pitch teams. In addition, the firm achieved Mansfield 3.0 Certified Plus status in 2020, which incorporates disabled lawyers into the definition of diversity, as well as measuring the diversity of pitch teams.

The firm has officially made the commitment to participate in Mansfield Rule 4.0, inclusive of a pilot measuring the diversity of staffing associated with formal pitches, and is a signatory to the 2021 iteration, Mansfield Rule 5.0.

Contact the D&I Team