Our vision for the future
Diversity and inclusion are strengths we value.
At Alexander Holburn, we are building a more diverse and inclusive workplace. As our lawyers have been serving members of our community for nearly 50 years, we recognize the importance of fostering a work environment representative of the community around us. Our goal is to integrate diversity and inclusion into the firm’s framework by creating an environment that:
- Welcomes and values diversity among our staff, lawyers, and clients;
- Fosters a supportive and collegial workplace, free from harassment and discrimination;
- Provides equitable opportunities for employment and promotion;
- Provides high-quality service that is inclusive, innovative, and flexible in meeting the needs of our clients; and
- Supports the efforts of our clients, lawyers, and staff in participating in their various local communities.
- Promoting diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion is in line with our firm values and is simply the right thing to do.
- Diversity helps us cultivate innovation and a collaborative workplace. It also helps better serve our clients, providing insight into different perspectives and approaches.
- Inclusion assists us in bringing in and retaining the best talent, and in encouraging excellent performance, because we are at our best when we can be ourselves.
We recognize that we are unlikely to achieve our goals without dedicating the appropriate time and resources to do so. We have taken the following steps to put our goals into action:
- Developing a Diversity + Inclusion Policy and creating an active Committee, which includes members of our team at all levels, including Partners and senior management.
- Dedicating adequate resources in budget and staffing towards our diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Spearheading diversity and inclusion training for our firm, on issues such as discrimination and harassment, unconscious bias, bias interruption, and cultural competencies.
- Planning and orchestrating diversity and inclusion initiatives for our firm, and supporting members of our team to become more connected and involved in their own communities.
- Monitoring and tracking our diversity statistics, to ensure that we are making progress.
- The Justicia Project: We are proud to participate in the Justicia Project, a network of large law firms aimed at supporting and retaining female lawyers.
- The Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network: We participate in this network of like-minded Vancouver firms who have agreed to work together to promote diversity and inclusion in their firms and the broader legal community.
- Our Women’s Forum: We are very conscious of the need to mentor and support our female lawyers and clients, and have created the Alexander Holburn Women’s Forum, which provides opportunities for female lawyers to make new professional contacts and interact with mentors at all levels.
- Hosting D + I related events internally at our firm, to celebrate and build awareness, including PRIDE, Orange Shirt Day, and Purple Light Nights.
- Supporting D + I initiatives for law students, including the following organizations, many of which involve(d) our own articling students or lawyers:
- The Black Law Students Association (BLSA). For several years, we have provided funds to assist Black law students from BC schools to attend the annual BLSA Conference. More recently, we sponsored a BLSA initiative to provide a free LSAT prep course for Black undergraduate students.
- Allard Law Women’s Caucus. We regularly support the Women’s Caucus’ clothing drive for Dress for Success, and both attend and sponsor students to attend the annual Women + Law Dinner.
- The Chinese Law Students Association (CSA). We have provided financial contributions for the annual banquet, and supported our lawyers and students in attending.
- The Allard Asia Pacific Law Club. We have several team members who serve as mentors for APLC 1L law students.
Establishing and maintaining memberships and connections for our lawyers with professional associations from diverse communities, including:
- The South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia (SABABC); and
- The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL).
Supporting various community and charitable initiatives, often directed by our Philanthropic Initiatives Committee, including:
- Atira Women’s Resource Society. Atira is a non-profit organization that is committed to ending violence against women. Over the past few years, we have held fundraisers and clothing drives with Atira in recognition of International Women’s Day, and provided much-needed resources to the women they serve. In 2020, Alexander Holburn also raised funds and awareness for Atira through an event at the Allard School of Law.
- Mamas for Mamas. Mamas for Mamas are a national charitable organization that supports mothers and caregivers in crisis by providing ongoing support to individuals and families facing various poverty-related struggles. While their name is Mamas for Mamas, they welcome caregivers of any gender identity or expression, including men, trans*, non-binary, and two-spirit clients. We sponsored this charity as part of our holiday giving initiative.
- Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC. The Crisis Centre is dedicated to providing immediate access to barrier-free, non-judgmental, confidential mental health, and crisis support 24/7 through phone lines and online services. With a view to supporting mental health initiatives, Alexander Holburn sponsored the Crisis Center in 2020 as part of our holiday giving initiative.
People are the foundation of our firm. We are a proud equal opportunity employer that is committed to inclusion. Alexander Holburn sets out this commitment in our recruitment and promotional materials. We also integrate our training on issues such as unconscious bias and cultural competencies into our recruitment efforts.
This is particularly true in terms of our student recruiting initiatives, where our interview teams are composed with diversity in mind. We also provide specific interview training for members of our student interview teams, to ensure that hiring is as fair and objective as possible, and our interviews focus on core competencies, aptitudes, and professional goals — what really matters in hiring. Read more about our student hiring practices below.Learn More Here
Pro Bono Work
We recognize our duty and commitment to the legal profession and community at large. We believe in using our resources to give back and to provide access to legal services to those in need. We encourage our lawyers to do pro bono work in support of their communities or those causes where they have a specific connection. Members of the Alexander Holburn team volunteer their time with several organizations, including:
- Access Pro Bono;
- Pro Bono Going Public;
- Amici Curiae Pro bono Paralegal Program;
- Court of Appeal Referral Counsel;
- Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN); and
- MS Society of BC.
To learn more about the Diversity + Inclusion Committee at Alexander Holburn, please contact our Chair, Dianna Hwang.
DIANNA HWANG, PARTNER
TEL: 604 484 1744