Agenbroad Aaron L

Why Jones Day

Aaron Agenbroad, Partner-in-Charge of the Firm's San Francisco Office, talks about choosing a career at Jones Day, and how knowing that Black lawyers had progressed and succeeded at the Firm was key to his decision.

Read the full transcript below:

Aaron Agenbroad:

What I do think distinguishes places are the people in the culture of it, and for me, at Jones Day, resonated more than a lot of other settings. So that was one bucket that really resonated when I went through the process and met people. And then the second, I think, is kind of apropos of the event today and Black History Month in general, and that was who was here? And so Charles James was a partner at the fir, at that time. He was active in recruiting me out of law school, he's an African-American a guy who, at that point, was running our antitrust practice here, and that mattered to me to see somebody that looked like me, that wasn't just a summer associate or wasn't just a fourth year associate, but who had had longevity and who had been able to be successful in the place.

Aaron Agenbroad:

I think that matters and it's one of the reasons that we all are indebted to Yvette and the work she's put in over the last several years to increase the numbers, because everybody touts diversity as an interest. I think there's different approaches to it. I think one is numerical and I think one's more qualitative. And when I was going through the process, saw a lot of firms that seem to ascribe to the numerical part of it. So you would look at the NALP guide, back when the NALP guide was actually still a book that you opened. There was these things called books that you have to go to the library or career services to look at and you'd thumb through and you'd see, oh, the numbers look pretty good in year one, the numbers looked pretty good in year three, but eventually, everybody disappeared.

Aaron Agenbroad:

And so for me, coming here and seeing that there were people that had progressed and been successful and that Charles was here and had clearly done well and the firm was a place that if you put in the work and demonstrated a commitment to the place, that you could succeed, was meaningful. So that was the other big piece for me when I was deciding where I wanted to go, that there was somebody that looked like me that had succeeded at a very high level.

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