Orrick Team Files Amicus Brief for Leading American Companies Emphasizing Business Imperative of Diversity and Inclusion in College Admissions


Highlighting the importance of fostering a diverse workforce, an Orrick team today filed an amicus brief on behalf of major tech, life sciences, communications and professional services companies supporting Harvard in a closely-watched challenge to its college admissions process.

A Leading Tech Company (U.S.), Intel, Microsoft, Applied Materials, Micron, GE, Verizon, Amgen, Cisco and Gilead are among the companies on the brief, which urges a federal appeals court to consider the need to recruit and sustain a diverse workforce for businesses across industries. The brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which is reviewing a lower court ruling upholding Harvard’s race-conscious admissions program.

“To win in global markets, American businesses need universities to graduate diverse individuals who have thrived in an inclusive environment,” our brief states. “Amici urge the Court to keep these essential business imperatives in mind when analyzing Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy.”

The brief can be read here.

An Orrick appellate and litigation team on the brief was led by partners Mark Davies and Josh Rosenkranz, co-leaders of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice, and partner Darren Teshima, co-head of our Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. The team also includes senior counsel Tom Bondy and associates Sheila Baynes, Katherine Kopp and Sarah Sloan.