Diversity & Inclusion
Riker Danzig has dedicated itself to fostering a work environment that promotes diversity, inclusion and the highest standards of personal and professional excellence. We have put into place a variety of programs intended to recruit, retain, and promote attorneys of a variety of backgrounds, creating a diverse team of attorneys that reflects our clients and our communities. It is our belief that this environment encourages and enables every person to do the best work possible, enriched by our unique life experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. Riker Danzig is proud of its long-standing commitment to diversity, which both strengthens the Firm and enables us to better serve our clients.
The Firm has a proactive Diversity Committee consisting of partners, associates, and administrative staff. The Committee is charged with educating the Firm on diversity issues, supporting and promoting diverse candidates, and sponsoring the Firm at various diversity-related events throughout the year. The Committee regularly meets to address various topics, including discussing ways for the Firm and its various practice groups to enhance and to improve the promotion, retention, and professional growth of diverse attorneys.
Our female attorneys hold positions of leadership in the Firm, including serving as Co-Chair of Riker Danzig, serving on the Firm’s Executive Committee, as practice group chairs, office principal partner, and chairs of firm committees. The Firm also hosts recurring women’s forums to discuss the unique concerns of our women attorneys, and offers opportunities for enhancement of their professional development. Riker Danzig’s women attorneys are consistently singled out by the legal community for distinctive honors, including NJBIZ’s “Best 50 Women in Business,” New Jersey Law Journal’s “Top 40 Women Under 40,” New Jersey State Bar Association’s “Young Lawyer of the Year,” “Best Lawyers in America®,” Super Lawyer’s “Top 50 Women Attorneys in New Jersey,” the Garden State Bar Association’s “Young Lawyer Award,” Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars,” and the Network Journal’s “40 Under Forty Achievement Award.”
Recently, Riker Danzig co-sponsored a CLE legal community event which addressed implicit bias in the workplace for corporate counsel, attorneys in private practice and those in the public sector. It was supported by many affinity bar associations, including the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ), Association of Black Women Lawyers-NJ (ABWL-NJ), Garden State Bar Association (GSBA), Hispanic Bar Association - New Jersey (HBA-NJ), Morris County Bar Association (MCBA), New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association (NJMLA), and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ).
Riker Danzig attorneys also serve as active members of several affinity bar associations, and some have been recognized for their accomplishments.
Some of the specific recruiting initiatives the Firm is actively involved with include:
- New Jersey Law Firm Group: Riker Danzig maintains an active membership in this Group, which promotes the hiring of minority law school students at the major New Jersey law firms. As part of this effort, we meet regularly to explore new state-wide initiatives that foster diverse hiring. We attend the NJLFG job fair that is held annually at Seton Hall University School of Law or Rutgers University School of Law. We serve as speakers to the New Jersey Law Firm Group and many attorneys regularly serve as mentors to the program.
- Justice Pollock Fellowship: This program was created by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation in honor of one of Riker Danzig’s Of Counsel, retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Stewart Pollock. The fellowship provides a minority law student with a ten-week paid internship shared at Riker Danzig and another area law firm. The fellowship recipient is selected by the Minority Student Program led by Rutgers Newark School of Law.
- Minority Recruitment Efforts: The Firm participates in the Black Law Students Association job fairs and requests applicant resumes from law schools with historically large minority enrollments.
Riker Danzig is proud of the following Riker Danzig women and diverse attorneys and alumni who serve(d) on the Bench or in public service, and their achievements as “firsts”:
- Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, former Riker Partner who was appointed June 3, 2019 as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey. He is the First Asian Pacific American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey history. Prior to his appointment, Judge Quraishi was the firm’s First Chief Diversity Officer.
- Justice Marie Garibaldi, Riker Danzig Partner from 1973-1982. First female Partner in a major New Jersey law firm, First female New Jersey State Bar President 1982-1983, First female Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, appointed by Thomas Kean 1982-2000.
- Peter C. Harvey, Riker Danzig Partner from 1990-2002, First African-American to serve as New Jersey Attorney General 2003-2006.
- Justice Anne M. Patterson, Riker Danzig Partner from 1992-2011. Associate Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court, 2011 and reappointed in 2018.
- Judge Renee M. Bumb, Riker Danzig associate from 1988–1991. United States District Court Judge nominated by President George W. Bush in 2006.
- Travis L. Francis, A.J.S.C. (Ret.), Riker Danzig Of Counsel 2017-Present. Superior Court Assignment Judge 2007-2017; Superior Court Judge (Middlesex County) 1992-2007.
Riker Danzig attorneys and alumni hold leadership positions and have been honored within diverse bar associations:
- Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ), Award for Professional Achievement, Zahid N. Quraishi, 2019.
- Garden State Bar Association, Young Lawyer of the Year 2018 and Executive Board Member, Natalya Johnson.
- National Bar Association, "40 Under 40 Nation's Best Advocate", Natalya Johnson, 2019
- Garden State Bar Association, President, Dara Aquila Govan, Riker Danzig Alumni.
- Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ), President-Elect, Jenny Chung, Riker Danzig Alumni.
- Hispanic Bar Association-NJ, President, Julia Lopez, Riker Danzig Alumni.
- New Jersey Law Journal, “Diverse Attorney of the Year,”Firm Co-Chair Kelly Strange Crawford, 2015.