A commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a core value at Morgan Lewis. We are committed to D&I not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is integral to how we do business. It influences how we service clients, collaborate with colleagues, and recruit prospective Morgan Lewis lawyers and administrative professionals, and how we engage the communities in which we live and practice.
At Morgan Lewis, our D&I program includes four components that impact every aspect of our culture:
Litigation associate Monica Pedroza says the influence of her grandparents, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico, has had a major impact on her pro bono work. Learn how.
Corporate partner John Crespo, a leader of our Latin America practice, says he often sees the fruits of his labor while taking taxis in cities across Latin America. Find out what he’s been up to.
As associate representative of the ML Hispanic/Latino Lawyer Network, Matt Riehle says Morgan Lewis walks the talk when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Find out what we have been up to.
Responding to immediate needs of Puerto Rico residents after Hurricane Maria, Morgan Lewis partner Melissa Rodriguez helped organize everything from care packages of flashlights to a rum tasting fundraiser. Find out why she was moved to do so.
Our commitment to D&I begins at the top. The D&I Committee reports directly to Firm Chair Jami McKeon and our Advisory Board, and is led by two senior partners. In addition to active leadership participation in D&I efforts, women lawyers, attorneys of color, and LGBT lawyers serve on the our Advisory Board, the Compensation Committee, are office managing and/or hiring partners, and hold various firm-wide and practice group leadership positions.
Initiatives that bolster our recruiting and outreach efforts include:
Our commitment to D&I extends to the legal profession at large, and we participate in and provide financial and staffing support to many organizations that assist law students and junior lawyers. These programs can include partnerships with clients, financial assistance to law students, and strategic alliances with organizations, such as the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity.
Our D&I program also includes focusing on the career development of women lawyers, lawyers of color, and LGBTQ lawyers. This involves close attention to the work assignment process to ensure that our diverse lawyers receive the right opportunities and exposure, and paying for and encouraging them to attend and actively participate in external programs that enhance their professional development, while also providing networking and leadership opportunities.
Our firm has several internal lawyer networks, or affinity groups, that serve as resources for our diverse lawyers. Participation is voluntary, based on self-identification, and open to all lawyers interested in learning more about or participating in the groups’ activities. Each group—led by two influential partners and other lawyers—meets regularly, shares information, and enables junior and mid-level lawyers to gain valuable insight from more senior lawyers. The networks also play a vital role in the development and retention of diverse lawyers, and helps to create a more inclusive firm culture by bringing community, understanding, and enhanced opportunities to everyone at the firm.
Our lawyer networks include:
ML Women, led by Firm Chair Jami McKeon, harnesses the strength of our women lawyers through collaboration and partnership with our clients. We learn from engaging with our clients by hosting specialized roundtables for women featuring speakers from Morgan Lewis, our clients, and external experts, and by leveraging our vast network of successful women alumni to discuss topics specific to women, leadership, and the power of women consumers.
Our Diversity Committee turns commitment into action. Led by two senior partners and our Director of Diversity, the committee includes partners and senior staff who meet regularly to ensure that we are strategically focused on diversity—in recruiting and hiring, in firm leadership, and throughout the Morgan Lewis culture. The committee reports directly to our firm’s Chair, Jami Wintz McKeon, and reviews all diversity efforts with her.