Patrick C. Dunican Jr.
Chairman and Managing Director, Gibbons P.C.
Headquarters: Newark, New Jersey
Education: JD, cum laude, Seton Hall University Law School; BA, Iona College
First Job: Paperboy
Interests: New York Yankee baseball, New York Giants football
My Philosophy: Individuals affiliated with an organization should sublimate their egos for the good of the entire organization. When making decisions, they should never ask what is best for them, but rather what is best for their company.
Shaping a firm-wide perspective
At Gibbons, we understand that diversity provides valuable perspectives and cultural competencies that allow us to be more creative, efficient, and, ultimately, effective in our practice of law and service to clients. Diversity is key to our success, because diversity of perspective results in diversity of solutions, and we are in the solution-delivery business. Moreover, even beyond shaping our firm-wide perspective, diversity enhances our approach to an increasingly global marketplace in which we serve clients in their operations across the world, as well as dynamic new market segments that are expanding right in our own backyard. A solid knowledge base in an array of languages, business customs, and cultures optimizes our ability to think the way our clients think—to understand and interpret their issues and opportunities—so that we can most effectively address them.
There are various challenges inherent in managing any workforce, with some particular to a diverse workforce. We are always careful at Gibbons to recruit and retain a diverse attorney workforce that is poised for organic growth. That is, we do not engage in purposeful lateral recruitment of diverse attorneys to meet random quotas or to check items off a list; rather, as we do all our young associates, we recruit diverse attorneys from clerkships at the start of their careers, who have the mix of backgrounds, qualifications, and skills that match our clients’ needs and reflect our clients’ worldviews. As these attorneys work their way up the ranks at the firm, we constantly strive to prepare them for long- term success through thoughtful, comprehensive professional development, mentoring, and training opportunities that directly address particular issues each diverse attorney may face. People know on the way in what our values are; our focus is to demonstrate that our commitment to diversity is a consistent part of firm culture, embedded in firm life from orientation through every subsequent stage of the employment cycle.
Strong, visionary leadership is critical in this quest. To drive talent to reach its highest potential, leadership must present that talent with a range of options to assist with professional development and advancement, to customize those options as necessary, and to constantly review, analyze, and innovate the platforms, policies, and programs that support the company’s diversity commitment. Leadership must also build accountability into these platforms, policies, and programs, to underscore their importance to the vitality and success of the entire operation.