Diversity and Inclusion

At Wilentz, we recognize that our people are among our greatest assets. Attracting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce strengthens our ability to serve our clients and our firm.  We strive to seek out and retain the finest talent from all backgrounds to ensure top business growth and performance, and we focus on creating an environment in which every individual’s unique strengths and abilities are valued and utilized to the fullest capacity.

We are committed to strengthening our workforce both through education and through recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys and professionals from all backgrounds.  We have long embraced the concepts and principles of equal employment opportunity and have endeavored to maintain a non-hostile work environment.  Beyond that, however, we recognize that continuously promoting diversity is an integral part of our mission to strive for excellence as individuals and as a law firm.

The Diversity Committee at Wilentz leads the firm’s efforts to:

  • Recruit, retain and develop diverse talent at all levels in Wilentz.
  • Educate our managers and employees to understand and support our diversity goals.
  • Participate in opportunities that recognize and promote diversity in the communities in which we live and practice law.
  • Support our long-standing policy to encourage reporting of any discrimination or harassment based on sex, race, or any other protected status.

Our commitment to diversity is consistent with our recognition that the exceptional people within our firm contribute to our success. Our Diversity Committee seeks new and innovative ways to expand our diversity initiatives in the areas of education, recruitment and retention.

We are proud to participate in diversity-focused initiatives and community events, which have included:

  • Wilentz Shareholder Satish Poondi serves as legal advisor to the Indian Business Association (IBA) and as legal advisor to the Indian Cultural Society of Union and as such, serves as an important liaison on behalf of the South Asian communities in New Jersey, to ensure that their voice has a greater impact within the political system.
  • We encourage and sponsor our lawyers to become members of the Hispanic Bar Association and are proud to sponsor many of their events.  As a participant in the Hispanic Bar Association Mentorship Program, we designate Wilentz attorneys as mentors to Hispanic law students as they complete their courses and work toward graduation from law school.
  • We support the Garden State Bar Association in its mission to assist African-Americans and other minorities in becoming an effective part of the judicial system.
  • We encourage and sponsor our attorneys to become members of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey and support the association’s events. Our Shareholder Willard Shih has served as an officer and director of the organization.
  • We provide annual support to the Association of Latin American Law Students scholarship fundraising events hosted by the students of Rutgers-Newark School of Law and Seton Hall University School of Law.
  • We support the annual Rutgers-Newark Law School Minority Student Program banquet. 
  • We support the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association New Jersey (NJWLA) an independent association of New Jersey women lawyers in their mission to retain women in the legal profession through education and activism, promote members to the highest levels of law firm, government, academic, community and corporate positions and endorse qualified female attorneys for appointments to the state and federal judiciary. Our shareholder Brett Harris serves as the association’s General Counsel.
  • Wilentz Of Counsel Steve Barcan led early industry diversity efforts as a founding member of the New Jersey Law Firm Group, an organization committed to the recruitment, hiring and retention of minority law students and lawyers in member firms and government agencies. Wilentz's participation has included sponsoring an annual fellowship for a minority law student, hosting panel discussion groups for law students, participating in minority job fairs, and encouraging our associates to mentor students identified through this group.
  • Wilentz Shareholder John Hogan served as Central Jersey Chapter Chair and Member of the State Board of Directors for the American Conference on Diversity.