Diversity, Equity + Inclusion
Patterson + Sheridan is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, because we know that our firm is stronger — and our clients benefit — when a multitude of perspectives are not only welcome at the table, but encouraged at all levels of practice and leadership.
A cornerstone of our firm’s culture is respect for every individual regardless of race, color, religion, pregnancy, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, veteran or marital status, disability or any other cultural factor.
Our long-term goal is to recruit, retain and promote talented intellectual property professionals who represent our industries, communities and the various walks of life that bring them all together.
Pioneering actionable diversity with measurable goals
Patterson + Sheridan is proud to participate in Diversity Lab’s inaugural Mansfield Rule for Midsize Firms initiative, which is intended to build a stronger and better legal community through diversity and inclusion. As part of its participation, the firm pledges that at least 30% of the candidates considered for firm positions will be from historically underrepresented communities. This objective applies to new hires, partner promotions, leadership roles and the makeup of client pitch teams.
The recurring, 18-month program includes periodic check-ins on measurable objectives, as well as collaboration with other participating law firms who share our values for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the law. Patterson + Sheridan is one of only about two dozen firms piloting this meaningful national project.
Recruiting and mentoring a variety of candidates
It’s a priority of our firm’s recruiting committee to identify the best and brightest candidates from all backgrounds. That’s why we recruit at minority job fairs, connect with bar association diversity programs and participate in law school initiatives that match diverse law school students with firms offering internships.
The work doesn’t stop there, however. Patterson + Sheridan’s mentoring program pairs diverse first-year associates with managing partners who help the young lawyers transition into the firm and support their career goals.
Putting our money where our values are
Our firm commits to a gift-matching program for employees who donate to nonprofit organizations that make a positive difference in our communities. In addition, Patterson + Sheridan has pledged to double its match of employee donations to organizations focused on social and racial justice issues.
Supporting future Black IP lawyers and agents
Sitting for the Patent Bar exam can be an involved process that isn’t always accessible to all qualified candidates equally, particularly Black and African American candidates. That’s why Patterson + Sheridan established an annual scholarship for deserving Black and African American individuals seeking to become licensed patent attorneys or agents. The scholarship covers the cost for an exam prep course (including any travel expenses for in-person instruction) as well as the exam and application fees.
Partnership with CareerSpring
We are excited to announce a new social impact initiative we are launching in partnership with CareerSpring – an organization that works to unlock the employment potential of first generation college students and – by doing so – enrich America’s workforce. Partnership with CareerSpring will empower us to increase social engagement, have a direct impact on the community, and reap the immeasurable rewards of volunteerism that so many of us yearn for.
Promoting a fair and respectful profession that values everyone
As a full-service technology firm with offices across the country, we are always seeking opportunities to be a positive influence in our growing industry — and that includes being a voice for fairness and representation.
In 2021, Patterson + Sheridan will commit to a five-year sponsorship of the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Women in IP Law committee . This group develops programming and initiatives to promote the representation and advancement of women in IP law and to improve the gender diversity of IPO’s membership. The international trade association includes more than 125 companies spanning 30 countries, and Patterson + Sheridan regularly participates in its annual conference.
As a firm, we’re proud to support the individual efforts of our employees to create a more unified and welcoming industry. Many of our attorneys volunteer, support and serve in leadership positions for organizations that further diversity, equity and inclusion in our profession, including:
- IPO D&I Committee
- IPO Women in IP Committee
- Hispanic Bar Association of Houston
- Mexican American Bar Association of Houston
- American Bar Association’s Judicial Internship Opportunity Program
- Coalition of Houston Diverse Bar Associations
- National Hispanic Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association D&I Committee
- Houston Young Lawyers Association First Generation Lawyers Committee
- Hispanic Law Student Organizations at the University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law