Our Firm values speak to our underlying intentions and core principles. Our norms guide how we carry these values out in our work and in our professional relationships. These norms provide the context and framework for our interactions and communication with colleagues, clients, partners, and other Firm stakeholders. These are statements of conduct and communication that we expect of others and that we intend to honor for ourselves.
Our Initial Position – Positivity
We enter all interactions with a positive intention and assume the same positive intent of those with whom we interact. We act with integrity and intention and invite others to join us in upholding shared values. We strive to offer others the benefit of the doubt about their intentions and motivations. This deliberate stance to seek the best in others is balanced with many years of pragmatic vigilance for the interests of our clients and the movements we serve.
Spirit of Inquiry
We ask questions and encourage others to do so. The only way to know, learn, and understand another person’s position and point of view is to ask. Simple questions signify that a person is curious, conscientious, and engaged. We ask questions to deepen our understanding, to build empathy, and to engage in effective problem solving. We do not ask questions to debate lived experiences or assert dominance.
Equitable Access to the Law
We are committed to expanding affordable and equitable access to legal services. The law provides an invisible infrastructure (and sometimes barrier) which shapes business, relationships, and society. Making progress towards equity and justice requires access to capable, creative, and principled legal advisors. We help make this possible by running a lean operation that prioritizes people over profits, by providing pro bono counsel, and by supporting other organizations that advance this cause.
We expect to be held accountable and we will do the same when faced with discrimination, prejudice, or bias, explicit or implicit, inadvertent, or deliberate. We are committed to dismantling systems of oppression and re-building a more just and equitable socio-economic system. We recognize that this requires that we confront difficult habits, patterns, and blind spots in ourselves and that we ask our clients and stakeholders to do the same.
We believe in working collaboratively with clients in an open, timely, and effective manner. We ask that our clients agree to uphold these norms and hold us accountable for our commitment to them. To deliver the best possible services to clients we must be able to count on each other to provide timely responses and produce deliverables on agreed upon timelines.
“Show Your Work” — Sheena Wadhawan, AORTA
We work, experiment, fail, and succeed publicly. We make our intentions known and we are open about our reasoning and our work process. We bust open the black box as a means to be transparent, to educate, and to empower. We expect our clients and partners to do the same with us. We will not be offended by being asked “why?” we did something a certain way; in fact, we encourage it.