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Diversity Initiative

Our Commitment to Diversity

The New York County District Attorney’s Office is committed to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of a diverse staff.  We strive to create an inclusive environment that provides all employees an opportunity to advance their careers successfully. We believe that our staff should reflect the community we serve which in turn results in a stronger office and one that pursues and projects fair-mindedness to all those coming in contact with the criminal justice system. New York City is enriched by its diverse population, and by embracing its diversity we strengthen our ability to carry out the mission of our Office. 

Our Legal Staff

Our Assistant District Attorneys are some of the best and most talented attorneys in the United States, who come to One Hogan Place with diverse backgrounds and experiences.  More than half of our attorneys are women, and members of the District Attorney’s Executive and supervisory staff throughout the Office are diverse in background and affinity.  See the Office's profile in the NALP directory.

Recruitment and HiringOpen

Our office participates in recruitment events on-campus and at job fairs throughout the country. We send lawyers and support staff to answer questions, encourage applications, and conduct interviews. The Office also proactively recruits applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The Diversity Committee has worked to increase the number of minority job fairs and panel discussions we attend. We participate in on-campus events, attend minority job fairs and conferences, and conduct outreach to law student groups in an effort to build a diverse applicant pool from which we hire the best and most qualified attorneys. Members of our legal staff also volunteer to attend in career fairs and programs hosted by law student affinity groups and bar associations, continuing our commitment to hire a legal staff that reflects our community. We actively participate in forums and programs sponsored by organizations such as:

  • Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)
  • National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
  • Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGaL)
  • Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA)
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)
  • National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association (Lavender Law)
  • Northeast Black Law Students Association  (NEBLSA)
  • National Latino/Latina Law Student Association (NLLSA)
  • Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (PALS)

 

Pipeline ProgramsOpen

NYC Bar Diversity Fellowship

Sponsored by the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers, the Fellowship Program is a highly competitive program that places first-year law students from historically under-represented populations (including minorities and those of disadvantaged economic status) in law firms, corporate legal departments and government agencies for the summer. This is the seventh year the Office has participated in the program.

College Pipeline Programs

We believe that the Office should contribute to efforts that encourage and support the enrollment of diverse students in law school. To increase the number of minorities in the pipeline, we participate in a number of programs, such as:

  • Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Program, which provides talented undergraduate students with an internship before they enter law school
  • Ronald R. Brown Scholars Program places college students in internships that provide opportunities for personal growth and career development
  • Legal Outreach Program which provides early exposure to the legal profession to high-school students
  • New York City Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program places high school students in a job shadow program
  • Guggenheim Foundation Internship Program, Oscar S. Strauss II Fellows in Criminal Justice

We are committed to building a diverse talent pool from which to recruit by. Each year we sponsor scholars from SEO, Ron Brown, and Guggenheim Program in our Summer Internship Program. We have also developed relationships with programs such as the Armory Foundation and New York Needs You to offer students the opportunity to explore careers in the criminal justice field.

Diversity CommitteeOpen

Our Diversity Committee, composed of attorneys and support staff from all divisions in the Office, focuses on issues related to the recruiting, hiring, and retention of Assistant District Attorneys and support staff.  Its mission is to develop creative approaches to enhance our applicant pool and ensure that our Office maintains a culture of diversity. 

In addition, the Diversity Committee fosters an open dialogue within the office, and provides guidance and feedback to the District Attorney and his Executive Staff.   The Committee hosts a variety of diversity events throughout the year, including office-wide celebrations of heritage events, presentations by guest speakers, and inclusion events for staff and summer interns.  Additionally, legal members participate in many other diversity initiatives, such as overseeing the office's Mentoring Program, facilitating outreach to law school organizations and affinity groups, and developing relationships with pipeline programs at the high school and college levels.

Our office strives to pursue and project fair-mindedness to all those coming in contact with the criminal justice system in order to promote justice and serve our community. We hope that our Diversity Committee will continue to encourage awareness, engagement, and inspire a diverse perspective. As we continue to build on our past successes, we are proud that so many people in this office are dedicated to our mission.

Mentoring ProgramOpen

The Office’s Mentoring Program is designed to create a support network that will enable our newly-hired Assistants to develop professionally and succeed in their careers in the Office. Mentors, who are assigned to all newly-hired Assistants, build relationships with their mentees to foster a fulfilling work environment by offering guidance and advice as the Assistants begin their careers in our Office. Assistant District Attorneys who volunteer and are chosen to serve as members are often more senior members of the legal staff who also serve on the Diversity Committee and Legal Hiring Boards. The Committee also encourages our legal staff to engage in informal mentoring to enhance the professional development of our junior attorneys and summer interns.

Meetings with Diverse InternsOpen

In our 2015 Summer Intern Program, 34 of the 74 law and college interns are from minority groups. Each summer, we meet separately with each group of interns before the intern program concludes. At these meetings, we get feedback about our current recruitment practices and solicit suggestions on how to diversify our overall applicant pool. We also stay in touch with interns during the school year for additional suggestions and to address concerns so that we may better advance our diversity recruitment efforts.

Diversity Outreach Open

Many of our Assistant District Attorneys serve as a liaison to establish relationships with affinity groups at local law schools in an effort to form connections with them that extend beyond the academic year. Our staff members also volunteer to participate in programs presented by different affinity groups and schools. Many legal staff liaisons are alumni looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with their alma maters.

Student organizations interested in learning more about the professional life of an Assistant District Attorney are offered group tours of our office and the court system. We also coordinate presentations on-campus to discuss careers in criminal prosecution and the role of the prosecutor in the criminal justice system. For more information, student organizations can contact the Public Interest Advisor or Career Services at their law schools or email diversitycommittee@dany.nyc.gov.

Heritage Celebrations & Inclusion EventsOpen

Heritage Celebrations

The Diversity Committee has hosted a number of dynamic and engaging speakers for our Heritage Month Celebrations. Past speakers have included Loretta Lynch, currently the Attorney General of the United States, attorney David Boies who spoke about challenging California’s Proposition 8, writer and activist Gloria Steinem, and Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Edith Windsor. Last fall, we hosted Jennifer Finney Boylan, professor and author, at our first Transgender Awareness Month event.

Inclusion Luncheons

The office sponsors inclusion events and luncheons for our summer interns and newly appointed Assistant District Attorneys. Our hope is that these events will allow our summer interns and first-year ADAs to meet our diverse staff and facilitate additional mentoring relationships.

Summer Intern Diversity EventsOpen

We hope that our diversity events for our summer interns will encourage awareness, engagement, and inspire a diverse perspective. Each summer the Diversity Committee and the Legal Hiring Unit plan a Diversity Breakfast and Panel Discussion for our law and college interns. A diverse group of ADAs share their personal experiences and offer their unique perspectives about choosing prosecution as a career and our office. This annual event is a great opportunity for our interns to learn more about our office and to celebrate the diversity of our legal staff.

Our Diversity Film Series showcase pivotal civil rights movements in Asian and African-American history. Vincent Who? and Freedom Riders are singularly compelling films about social justice, bringing issues vividly to life. Other documentary films include Miss Representation and Makers: Women Who Make America, tell the remarkable story of women asserting their rights to a fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy. We also offer our interns the opportunity to tour the African Burial Ground National Monument, which is the final resting place of approximately 15,000 free and enslaved Africans. Dating from the late 17th century, it has been called one of the most important archaeological finds of our time.

 

Upcoming Events at DANYOpen

The Diversity Committee hosts in-house events for local law and college students interestd in learning more about our office and the opportunities we have available.  Please check our website for updates on our next event.

Past Events:

Our Asian American Prosecutors Panel & Reception was held on September 24, 2013. The Diversity Committee and the Prosecutors' Committee of the Asian American Bar Association presented "Pursuing a Career as an Assistant District Attorney". A panel of prosecutors from local District Attorney's Offices discussed diversity at the DA’s office and shared their personal experiences. A reception and opportunity to network with legal staff from local District Attorney's Offices followed the discussion. The program was open to current law students and practicing lawyers.

Program Panelists:

Brian Lee, Deputy Bureau Chief of County Court Bureau, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office

Kin Ng, Chief of Training, Kings County District Attorney’s Office

Cristina Park, Supervisor of Arson/Economic Crimes Unit, Bronx County District Attorney's Office

Nitin Savur, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division, New York County District Attorney’s Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruitment EventsOpen

Our recruitment programs focus on attracting a diverse group of law students to join our office. We do this through increased participation in minority career fairs and working with law school faculty, office alumni and minority law student organizations to identify talented candidates. Below are some of the diverse programs we participate in. Click here for more information about the on-campus and career fairs we attend. 

2015 Recruitment Events
Date Event
December 1, 2014 Harvard BLSA Job Fair
January 6-7, 2015 SEO College Scholars Winter Institute & Career Fair     
March 2, 2015 LGBT Bar Association of Greater NY (LeGaL) Career Fair
New York, NY
March 3, 2015 Opportunity Network Law Panel
July 21, 2015 National Black Prosecutors Association Job Fair
Washington, DC
August 7, 2015

Northeast BLSA Job Fair
New York, NY

August 7, 2015

National LGBT Bar Association Conference & Career Fair 

Chicago, IL

September 2-5, 2015

Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Career Fair      

Boston, MA