Joseph K. West, President and CEO, Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), presents the 2012 Innovator Award to Duane Morris Chairman John Soroko.
PHILADELPHIA, September 7, 2012—Duane Morris is the 2012 recipient of the George B. Vashon Innovator Award presented by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) for innovative best practices by a law firm in Recruitment and Retention. John J. Soroko, Chairman of Duane Morris, will accept the award at the Diversity Innovators Awards Reception following the Pathways Conference on September 10, 2012 in New York City.
The Innovator Award, which now carries the George B. Vashon name, has special significance to Duane Morris. Vashon was Duane Morris Chief Diversity Officer Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr.'s great-grandfather. Atkinson and others petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to grant Vashon posthumous admission to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The noted abolitionist and activist had been denied admission to practice law in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) because of his race. Joseph K. West, President & CEO of MCCA, said that the Award carries Vashon's name because of his "steadfast determination in the face of discrimination and his accomplishments following rejection of admission to the bar in Pennsylvania." Vashon became the first African-American admitted to the bar in New York State in 1847.
In recognizing Duane Morris for its innovative programs, MCCA is honoring the firm for creating the Vashon annual lecture series that explores issues of justice and fairness, one of the first law-firm-sponsored lecture series of its kind. Other retention programs at Duane Morris include an increasingly popular firmwide Diversity Retreat, new mentoring, recruiting and retention programs, a new, widespread inclusion effort including training for management and programs for all attorneys throughout the firm and a business development series aimed at answering the needs of clients seeking diverse legal teams.
About the MCCA
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Inc. (MCCA) was founded in 1997 to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA accomplishes its mission through the collection and dissemination of information about diversity in the legal profession.
About Duane Morris
Duane Morris LLP, a global law firm with more than 700 attorneys in offices across the United States and around the world, is asked by a broad array of clients to provide innovative solutions to today's legal and business challenges.