Our Story of Diversity
Diversity has been part of the firm since 1923, when the first two women were admitted to the Delaware Bar and one of them, Sybil Ursula Ward, joined Potter Anderson & Corroon (then known as Ward, Gray and Ward). She went on to become the first woman elected to the Wilmington City Council. In 1941, when the fifth woman was admitted to practice law in Delaware, she did her required clerkship at Potter Anderson. And our story continues to evolve.
“As chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, I am proud of the firm’s history, continued support and recognition of the importance of diversity in the profession. Potter Anderson is committed to seeking the best legal talent available to serve its diverse client base. This approach includes attracting diverse attorneys and maintaining an inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Our strategic plan for diversity and inclusion drives our effort to provide “best in class” service to our clients. To accomplish the goals of our plan, our lawyers and staff must reflect a broad spectrum of cultures, races and ethnicities. The breadth of our approach is captured in the following affirmation:
MISSION STATEMENT At Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, we are committed to providing and promoting a diverse and inclusive environment for all, within which each person can succeed professionally regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or disability.
“The Diversity and Inclusion Committee plans and implements the firm’s diversity and inclusion activities, consistent with the Mission Statement to ensure that a diverse working environment within the firm is fostered and sustained.” Joshua W. Martin, III
Our firm is very committed to recruiting and promoting lawyers of color. The firm continually seeks opportunities to attract a racially and ethnically diverse pool of candidates. Examples include:
- Organizing and hosting receptions for minority students at regional law schools to provide the students an opportunity to learn more about Potter Anderson and the Delaware legal market in general
- Participating in the Delaware Minority Job Fair for 1st and 2nd year law students since its inception in the early 1990s
- Hosting the DuPont Minority Job Fair (open to Potter Anderson and approximately 40 other DuPont Legal Model firms)
- Participating in the Lavender Law Career Fair, the Vault/MCCA Minority Job Fair and the Southeastern Minority Job Fair.
In addition, the firm played a key role in the establishment of the Delaware Minority Supplemental Bar Review Course, now coordinated by the Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association.
“I have the pleasure of chairing the Women’s Initiative at Potter Anderson, one of the firm’s affinity groups. The Women’s Initiative builds an esprit de corps among the women lawyers with meetings and workshops that focus on business development. Three formal events are held annually in the spring, summer and fall. The spring meeting is a training session where we bring in a national speaker or use our own resources to train in a specific facet of business development. In the summer, the Women’s Initiative hosts a teambuilding event where we give back to our community. We have done everything from planting a garden for a local girls’ non-profit organization to hosting a luncheon education series for girls who are aging out of the foster system. For the fall, we host a networking event where the women of the firm entertain our clients, prospective clients and business colleagues. Beyond the expected cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the event revolves around a topic of interest and includes interactive displays and a well-recognized speaker to spark conversation.
“Each event is planned by associate-partner committees that strive to achieve the most impactful results. The feedback is amazing from all avenues – our lawyers, our clients and our community. The firm has seen bottom-line results from the business development focus of the Women’s Initiative, and our women have enhanced their appreciation of each other’s varied talents.” Barbara Uberti Manerchia