Community and diversity networks

DLA Piper's resource groups strategically focus on the development and promotion of diverse lawyers by maximizing their opportunities for business generation and leadership.

We encourage allyship in each of our resource groups. They are people who advocate for an understanding and inclusive experience for the partners and employees who share a common identity with the affinity group.

DLA Piper's cultural resource groups are an integral part of fostering inclusivity in the workplace and creating a system of support among our ethnically diverse attorneys. We are committed to creating a culture that is inclusive of all people, where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. This includes providing our diverse attorneys various spaces and opportunities to celebrate the differences among our lawyers and across the firm.

Iris – LGBTQ+

Iris is DLA Piper's global resource group for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning employees and allies. Iris is led by firm partners who serve as its chair and co-chair, and membership is open to both attorneys and staff. The overall aim of Iris is to promote an inclusive work environment for all of our colleagues. In addition to providing welcoming support to its members, the group serves as a forum and advisory body on matters of concern to DLA Piper’s LGBTQ personnel and supports projects that promote justice for the greater LGBTQ community.

The name Iris was selected following an internal competition to find a new name that would appropriately reflect the aims of the group. Iris was chosen for two reasons: in Greek mythology, Iris was the personification of the rainbow and the messenger linking humankind to the gods; and the eye structure we call the iris, also named after this messenger, brings light and clarity to our perception of the world.

Because of our consistent work in LGBTQ inclusion, in 2019, for the 12th consecutive year, DLA Piper was ranked one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

Iris seeks to abide by DLA Piper’s values of inclusivity by organizing and encouraging the following:

  • Networking opportunities internally and externally
  • Working jointly with clients on LGBTQ initiatives
  • Raising our profile as an open and inclusive LGBTQ employer

Resource Group Leaders:

Thomas Zutic    Mandy Chan_sitecore    ann ford 
Chair: Tom Zutic   Co-Chair: Mandy Chan
  Executive Sponsor: Ann Ford

Resource Group D&I Contacts: Natalie Vujko and Christina Serrato

Leadership Alliance for Women

Throughout our firm, we aggressively pursue strategies to retain, promote and develop our lawyers. 

The Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW) was launched in the US in 2006 as an initiative to help retain and develop women lawyers in DLA Piper's global environment. It is the firm's longest-standing resource group. LAW fosters internal networking, facilitates the flow of information, and empowers women lawyers by developing leadership skills and creating business development opportunities. It advances the firm's global competitive edge by developing and promoting women attorneys to maximize their opportunities for business generation and leadership.

LAW's strategic priorities are:

  • Create and enhance client connections and promote client leadership opportunities
  • Focus on sponsorship
  • Foster inclusion

Resource Group Leaders:

Kathleen Ruhland    Maxwell, Alison      Cara Edwards 
Kathleen Ruhland
(Executive Sponsor)
  Alison Maxwell (Co-Chair)
    Cara Edwards (Co-Chair)

Resource Group D&I Contacts: Natalie Vujko and Christina Serrato

Local D&I committees

Most of our US offices have local D&I committees led by both attorneys and staff and are open to all local personnel. The purpose of these committees is to develop a sense of community among our people, promote allyship, provide colleagues an opportunity to network with each other, and encourage business development opportunities. These committees are also focused on meaningful programming which strengthens our commitment to pipeline development, supports diverse recruiting efforts, enhances business development, and raises the Firm’s profile externally.

Key focus areas for the local committees are:

  • Investigate professional and business development topics and innovative work/career models
  • Target efforts focused on the recruitment and retention of women and minorities
  • Increase representation of women and minorities in leadership
  • Expand and increase market penetration through diversity and inclusion efforts
  • Participate in and sponsor diversity conferences, events, and programming

Racial and ethnic resource groups

Our racial and ethnic resource groups share common goals and aim to create and foster a supportive and collaborative environment for diverse lawyers and employees to discuss pertinent issues; promote business development and leadership of multicultural attorneys across the firm and within the respective communities through networking and mentorship; support and advocate for the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse lawyers; and have a meaningful and positive impact on the groups' local communities through pro bono efforts and community involvement.

To learn more about a specific group's initiatives and goals for the year, please contact the corresponding support personnel.

African American/Black

Resource Group Leaders:

Image of Gerry Williams    Image of Holly Lake

Co-Chair: Gerry Williams   Co-Chair: Holly Lake

D&I Contact: Amber Moreland

Asian American and Pacific Islander

Resource Group Leaders:

Angeline Chen     Wenxi Li
Chair: Angeline Chen
  Vice-Chair: Wenxi Li

D&I Contacts: Amber Moreland


Resource Group Leaders:

Ignacio Sanchez Amie Aldana

Chair: Ignacio Sanchez

Vice Co-Chair: Amie Aldana


Vice Co-Chair: Joseline Rodriguez 

D&I Contact: Sandra Holtorf

Mosaic – Diverse Partners and Counsel

Resource Group Leaders:

Chair: Poonam Kumar

D&I Contacts: Sandra Holtorf and Christina Serrato

Veterans and Military Families Resource Group

Our resource group for Veterans, active military, and relatives of Veterans is currently being shaped and aims to serve as an avenue for colleagues to come together in camaraderie and to provide support to one another.

This group exemplifies DLA Piper’s values of inclusivity by organizing and encouraging the following:

  • Internal and external networking and business development opportunities
  • Increasing our focus on recruiting efforts for Veterans, active military and spouses
  • Participating in pro bono efforts such as our project, Serving Those Who Serve Our Country, and
  • Working jointly with clients on to establish their own internal groups and programming for Veterans

Resource Group Leader:

Co-Chair: Rich Hans   Co-Chair: Brooke Goodlett