Diversity Team Name: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity Team Leader(s): Tracey West & Monya Bunch
What Makes this Diversity Team Stand Out
Any meaningful commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in an organization must start with leadership. The law firm WilmerHale has an Executive Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC), developed specifically to drive goals and programming with a focus on leadership commitment, professional development and inclusive workplaces, recruiting and retention of diverse attorneys, and partnering with clients and diverse alumni.
Additionally, the firm has a full-time Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, which includes Diversity and Inclusion Co-Directors Tracey West and Monya Bunch. They play an integral role in executing the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Under strong and dedicated leadership, we are proud to have reached the following leadership milestones:
- U.S. equity partners: 27% are women, 15% are attorneys of color, 2% identify as LGBTQ, and 2% identify as a veterans
- U.S. counsel: 35% are women, 6% are attorneys of color, 2% identify as LGBTQ, and 2% identify as a veterans
- U.S. associates: 53% are women, 32% are attorneys of color, 8% identify as LGBTQ, and 1% identify as a veterans
- Management Committee: 40% women and 13% attorneys of color
- Compensation Committee: 44% women and 15% attorneys of color
- U.S. Department and Practice Group Leaders: 29% women and 16% attorneys of color
- U.S. Office Heads: 43% are women and 29% are attorneys of color
Our full-time diversity team partners with firm leaders to ensure that all of our lawyers receive the work assignments, development support, and client engagement opportunities they need to advance on their career paths. We recognize that these paths differ, and we strive to tailor each lawyer’s opportunities to support their individual goals. Our programs include mentoring and networking opportunities, a diversity summit, a Racial Justice Reform Initiative, and several other fellowship programs and professional development opportunities.
Our recent summer associate classes demonstrate our commitment to recruiting lawyers from diverse backgrounds. The firm’s 2020 summer associate program class was 57% women, 35% racially and ethnically diverse, and 10% LGBTQ. Our recruitment of lawyers at higher levels also reflects this commitment; in 2019, half of our new lateral partner hires were diverse, and of those, three were women of color.
We also partner with clients on a wide range of diversity-related programs, including CLE sessions featuring our diverse lawyers and diversity pipeline initiatives.
As a result, the firm has been repeatedly recognized for advancing diversity and inclusion; WilmerHale has received the following honors:
- Won the second-highest spot, for the second year in a row, on The American Lawyer’s A-List
- Received Mansfield Certification Plus status in 2020, the highest designation possible for supporting the Mansfield Rule’s aim of boosting diverse representation in law firm leadership. We have received the designation since 2018, when we joined the first group of firms to agree to have our diversity efforts evaluated
- Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers again named the firm a Best Law Firm for Women, a recognition which the firm has received every year since the list launched in 2007
- Was named a Top-Scoring Firm in the 2019 Inclusion Blueprint survey, a collaboration between Diversity Lab and CHiPs that measures law firm inclusion and diversity at the leadership and practice group levels
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum awarded the firm the Gold Standard Certification Award for the sixth time in 2019 for dedication to women in leadership roles and commitment to equal compensation
- Was recognized by Get Konnected! as a Diversity & Inclusion champion for leading the way in promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal community
WilmerHale has long been a leader in efforts to diversify the legal profession. Thank you for this opportunity to reflect our commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace, starting with the leadership of our law firm.