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About / Diversity & Inclusion / EastAsian@Blakes

Diversity in all its forms makes Blakes and the legal profession stronger.


When you don't have people that you can relate to, you do carry this insecurity with you where you ask a lot of questions like: Am I being  treated the right way? Does so-and-so have the same experience? Do people have more confidence in others than me? How come when I speak, it doesn't feel like people hear me the same way?
Being able to share my thoughts or insecurities sometimes as a junior lawyer with others with the same upbringing or background that I had, it's just something that I found would have been helpful to realize that it wasn't just me feeling this way.
There's challenges all along the way and you really need to have sounding boards. You need to have people who can help you through challenging times. You need people to help you run through the opportunities that you see and you face and help you with that.
When I started as a student, meeting Paul and getting the benefit of getting to be mentored by people like Paul was really important; and so we're trying to formalize that so that, as there are more and more South-Asian students and young associates, that they feel comfortable reaching out to the more senior South-Asian lawyers at the Firm.
I think what we would like to see is the promotion and  the belonging of Asians within the Firm so in the next few years, if that means we see the current associates being promoted to partner and partners taking on leadership roles within the Firm, I think that would be a successful outcome for the for the group.
I'm very excited about the launch of this group. People from different backgrounds have different things that they have to deal with and challenges that they have to face and maybe having people from similar backgrounds to talk to about that we think is very helpful.
You can now be a member at Blakes, but also have this platform for yourself to connect with others who share similar experiences. It's pretty amazing to see how far the firm has progressed over the years.

EastAsian@Blakes is a network of lawyers and students of East Asian heritage and their allies. EastAsian@Blakes is dedicated to promoting recruitment, retention, mentorship, professional development and advancement of top legal talent of East Asian heritage. The group regularly meets to exchange ideas, share information, build relationships and address issues of importance to Asian communities and maintains connections to our clients, non-profits, pro-bono organizations and alumni network which serve or have ties to East Asian communities.

The group works to ensure that lawyers have what they need to grow, attain partnership and occupy leadership roles at Blakes and in the wider legal profession. For EastAsian@Blakes, this effort starts with cultivating belonging — whether through mentorship, by offering a forum to discuss challenges or by promoting systemic change.