Vernon L. Francis
Partner, Dechert LLP
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
I’ve always committed myself to unearthing what the real issues are in a given situation, and then to finding a solution that advances my client’s objectives. I am comfortable with complexity.
I was most inspired by my parents, who worked hard to give their five children the best possible shot at life, while still remembering to enjoy what was fun about living.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
We need to work on getting every child the kind of education needed to succeed in this knowledge-based economy. More funding needs to go to urban public schools. As long as Brown’s promise remains unfulfilled, there will never be true equality in this country.
I try to stay involved in efforts that will increase opportunity for the next generation of diverse young people, especially those aimed at increasing the number of diverse lawyers. For example, I’ve been heavily involved in the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, a group of law firms and corporate in-house legal offices dedicated to increasing diversity in Philadelphia area law offices. We have sponsored programs for lawyers and law students.
Stand up for the things you believe in and don’t be afraid to question the prevailing wisdom. Know when to follow the script and when to do rewrites. Also, every experience can teach you something if you’re open to it.