January 29, 2018

Law Firm Ogletree Deakins Appoints New Ombuds

In a press release touting the law firm's promotion of women, Ogletree Deakins revealed that it has appointed its first Ombudsperson. The announcement said, "In 2017, the firm appointed its first Ombudsperson (a senior female shareholder and former member of the board of directors) to serve as a dedicated resource for the firm’s lawyers to assist them in resolving workplace issues and fostering a positive work environment, including with respect to diversity and inclusion." The Ombuds is not identified in any public materials.

The firm is one of the country's largest and it specializes in representing management. It is also facing a federal class action lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleging that it systematically underpayed female shareholders and denyied women equal opportunities for advancement and promotion. (Ogletree Press Release; ABA Journal.)

Ogletree Deakins joins a short list of presitgious law firms that have created Ombuds programs for employees and shareholders.  In most firms, the Ombuds is a senior or recently retired partner.

Related posts: Job Posting: DLA Piper; Kaye Scholer Implements Ombuds Program; Study Concludes Large Law Firms Should Have Ombuds; Altman Weil Endorses Ombuds Programs for Large Law Firms; Ombuds Can Mitigate High Costs of Internal Conflict for Law Firms; Chadbourne & Parke Ombuds Mentors Columbia Law Students; Law Firm of Shipman & Goodwin Appoints First Ombuds; CBA Magazine: Does Your Law Office Need an Ombuds?Norton Rose Fulbright Appoints First Ombuds.


  1. Is it really necessary to include the disparaging news about the organization?

    1. Yes. The reasons an organization might appoint an Ombuds are relevant. Moreover, in this particular case, the press release seems an implied response to the pending litigation.