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I, Rachel Proffitt, personally commit to the following:

Personal Commitment

As Cooley’s CEO, I am committed to fostering a culture that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. Creating safe spaces for our people to bring their authentic selves to work every day is imperative. I believe that by building an inclusive community, we can continue to thrive in our ever-evolving industries. I pledge to:

  • Consider diverse representation among the board of directors and in all key firm leadership positions
  • Consider a diverse slate of candidates for all hiring and promotion decisions
  • Develop mentoring and sponsorship relationships to support diverse talent
  • Recruit diverse talent at all levels of the organization
  • Identify, support and promote the de-biasing of core business processes
  • Model inclusive leadership and allyship
  • Embark on continuing education about the experiences of groups who are underrepresented in the organization and legal industry
  • Prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across Cooley and the wider legal industry

Organizational Commitment

At Cooley, we recognize that a diverse and inclusive environment is essential for driving innovation and pushing boundaries. We are committed to ensuring that everyone feels included, valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives without fear of judgment or bias. To that end, I commit that as an organization we will continue to enact the measures set forth below, as outlined in Cooley’s diversity, equity and inclusion action plan, which has been regularly updated since its implementation by our board of directors in 2020.

  • Drive accountability and incentives
    • Establish board liaisons to affinity groups
    • Establish an annual Cooley Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion
    • Award to reward and promote inclusive behaviors
    • Institute upward and peer attorney feedback programs, with reports influencing compensation
    • Include DEI metrics in firm citizenship data during the annual partner compensation process and address learnings from the data in individual compensation conversations
    • Institute a Mansfield Rule-style initiative for business professionals hiring and promotions
  • Increase investment
    • Direct financial and personnel resources to a robust coaching program for high-potential lawyers throughout all stages of career development and advancement, with a focus on women and historically underrepresented individuals
    • Devote financial resources to implement all-attorney training focused on topics identified by affinity groups as important to the goals of retention and promotion of their membership
    • Mandate inclusive leadership training for all those in leadership positions and require remedial coaching where appropriate
    • Incorporate DEI components into all leadership training efforts
    • Mandate antiracism training for all partners, with initial sessions devoted to firm leadership
    • Require microaggression training for all chiefs, directors and managers
    • Expand reverse mentoring to match diverse associates with partners serving in leadership positions
    • Devote resources to bring our diverse lawyer populations together
    • Expand the diversity, equity and inclusion billable hour credit program to include all business professional timekeepers
  • Strengthen recruiting and integration
    • Expand our 1L Diversity Fellowship by number of positions and financial commitment
    • Launch a 2L Diversity Fellowship
    • Expand our Sponsors for Educational Opportunity partnership
    • Direct increased firm resources in an innovative way toward issues and initiatives that impact diverse populations at feeder law schools
    • Engage firm leadership in developing relationships with diverse talent earlier in their careers and more often
    • Develop a formal staffing program to better integrate and support diverse talent and to counter inequitable opportunity
    • Build a pipeline for women and historically underrepresented lateral partner and associate candidates with more proactive search, recruitment and vetting strategies
    • Design and institutionalize more thoughtful integration around diverse talent hires
    • Increase pro bono engagement, including intentionally staffing individuals from a variety of backgrounds


  • I commit to hold myself and the firm accountable by striving to achieve the following goals related to these commitments:

  • By January 1, 2026: Increase the percentage of women in the partnership to at least 35%

  • By January 1, 2026: Achieve at least 32% ethnic, racial and LGBTQ+ diversity among all lawyers

  • • By January 1, 2026: Achieve at least 37% ethnic, racial and LGBTQ+ diversity among all managers and directors