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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP



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At Morgan Lewis, culture cascades from the top. From Firm Chair Jami McKeon to practice group leaders to office managing partners and members of the C-suite, our firm leaders know that their actions will create opportunities and promote parity for diverse lawyers.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a core value at Morgan Lewis. It influences how we serve clients, collaborate with colleagues, and recruit, retain, and promote the firm’s lawyers and legal professionals across the globe. From the creation of our D&I Committee in 2003 to 2006 when the firm hosted its first lawyer-of-color retreat to the appointment of our first woman Chair in 2014 and the launch of our lawyer networks for women, minorities, LGBT individuals, veterans, and returning-to-work associates in 2015, our philosophy is to “show, not tell” how we promote and celebrate diversity.

We are proud of the work we have done and continue to do within and outside the firm to ensure that the values of diversity and inclusion are increasingly the norm, not the exception. Morgan Lewis recognizes and leverages diverse talent in key roles; commits time, finances, and other capital resources; collaborates with clients and the community; and designs and executes programs focused on addressing unconscious bias to ensure the values of D&I are embedded in our DNA as well as the wider legal community. With nearly 2,000 lawyers in 30 offices across the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, we are determined to be as diverse as the world in which we operate.

In the spirt of showing and not telling, we invite you watch the videos below to hear from our lawyers themselves about what shaped them and why they are such an important part of Morgan Lewis.


We are Morgan Lewis: Larry L. Turner

As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during Black History Month, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories. Growing up in rural North Carolina, Larry Turner was inspired by two lawyers. Perry Mason was one. Who was the other? Watch to find out.

Posted by Morgan Lewis on Tuesday, 6 February 2018



We Are Morgan Lewis - Jocelyn Cuttino

As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during #BlackHistoryMonth, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories. Jocelyn Cuttino shares a lesson she learned from one of the first mentors she had in her career: the importance of authenticity. #WeAreMorganLewis

Posted by Morgan Lewis on Tuesday, 20 February 2018



We Are Morgan Lewis - Udray Wilks

As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during #BlackHistoryMonth, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories. What professional achievement is Undray Wilks most proud of? Hint: It doesn’t have anything to do with the law. Watch this to find out. #WeAreMorganLewis

Posted by Morgan Lewis on Saturday, 24 February 2018



RJ Hendricks

As we celebrate the risk takers and the history makers during #BlackHistoryMonth, some of our Morgan Lewis lawyers did a little reflecting of their own on their professional journeys and personal stories. After 22 years as a trial lawyer, which cases left the biggest mark on RJ Hendricks? Watch this to find out.

Posted by Morgan Lewis on Thursday, 15 February 2018



Diversity progress recognized

Morgan Lewis’s progress in expanding diversity has been acknowledged by our peers and our clients. Below is a sample of some of the firm’s recent D&I recognitions:

  • Client JPMorgan Chase honored Morgan Lewis with the Joan Guggenheimer Diversity Champion Award for promoting and maintaining a culture of diversity and inclusion (2018).

  • Yale Law Women named Morgan Lewis to its annual list of the Top 10 Family Friendly Firms, as well as to its inaugural Top 10 Female Friendly Firms. We were one of only four firms named to both lists (2018).

  • Client TIAA presented Morgan Lewis with a Diversity and Inclusion Award (2017).

  • Law360’s annual Glass Ceiling Report named Morgan Lewis one of the Top 10 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys based on the percentage of female lawyers both at the nonpartner and partner levels (2017).

  • Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) granted Morgan Lewis its Gold Standard Certification for the third consecutive year, recognizing our firm alongside 44 others (2017).

  • The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index gave Morgan Lewis a 100% Rating for the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for the 10th year in a row (2009– 2018).

  • Client Morgan Stanley honored Morgan Lewis with its Leadership & Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award (2017).

  • Client Lockheed Martin honored Morgan Lewis with its Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award (2017).

  • Equality Illinois named Morgan Lewis a Top Law Firm, LGBTQ Diversity & Inclusion Practices, (2017).

  • Client Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company gave Morgan Lewis with its Legal Excellence Award: Inclusion & Diversity Leader (2016).

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer named Firm Chair Jami McKeon one of Philadelphia’s most iconic business leaders and inducted her into its Business Hall of Fame at The Union League of Philadelphia (2017).

  • The National Bar Association presented Morgan Lewis’s Labor and employment chair Grace Speights with its Gertrude E. Rush Award because she exemplifies the same spirit and commitment to humanity that the bar group’s sole female co-founder demonstrated (2017).

  • The Los Angeles Business Journal selected Litigation partner Esther Ro as one of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers for 2018 for helping lead Morgan Lewis teams to victory in the precedent-setting Rubenstein v. Gap as well as Starks v. Geico Indemnity cases (2017).

  • San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee officially proclaimed August 2 as Joan Haratani Day in the City and County of San Francisco in recognition of partner Joan Haratani for her years of community service including being the first woman of color to serve as president for the Bar Association of San Francisco and for serving as president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (2017).

  • The Minority Corporate Counsel Association recognized Labor and employment partner Melissa Rodriguez as a Rising Star for 2017.



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Recruitment

Morgan Lewis is committed to developing and advancing diverse associates and women lawyers through consistent implementation of internal and external groundbreaking initiatives that underscore the importance of these lawyers within the firm and within the legal profession.

Morgan Lewis recognizes the imperative to increase diversity in the educational pipeline leading to the legal profession. Below are but a few examples of the many ways in which Morgan Lewis endeavors to increase diversity in the legal profession by increasing the number of diverse candidates who are financially able to pursue a legal education:

  • Morgan Lewis Foundation – The Morgan Lewis Foundation provides multiple $40,000 scholarships annually to diverse second- and third-year law students with excellent academics and serious financial need. Since its founding in 2014, the foundation has disbursed nearly $750,000 to increase diversity in the legal profession.

  • Morgan Lewis Diversity Career Fellowship – Established in 2008, the Morgan Lewis Diversity Career Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for future participants in our Summer Associate Program who share a commitment to supporting D&I across the legal industry. The program awards four or five of these prospective summer associate candidates a $15,000 stipend for demonstrating leadership in D&I through the fellowship.

  • ML Diversity Scholarship Program/BARBRI Law Preview Partnership – Morgan Lewis also partners with select law schools on the ML Diversity Scholarship Program and BARBRI Law Preview, which respectively provide second- and third-year students with financial support and incoming first-year students with critical preparation for success.

  • Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program – Recognizing the need to educate and provide opportunities to underrepresented, ethnically diverse students as early as possible,

Morgan Lewis proudly supports the New York City Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, which places high-achieving inner-city high school students with legal employers for the summer.


Participation in minority law student/diversity job fairs

Morgan Lewis works aggressively to improve diversity in our firm and in the legal profession, and actively seeks out talented diverse candidates by participating in and/or sponsoring a number of prominent minority law student and/or diversity job fairs, including, but not limited to:

  • National Black Law Students Association Regional Job Fairs

  • Boston Lawyers Group Diversity Job Fair

  • Cook County Minority Job Fair

  • Philadelphia Diversity Job Fair

  • Hispanic National Bar Association Convention and Career Fair

  • Rocky Mountain Diversity Legal Career Fair

  • Vault/MCCA Legal Diversity Job Fair

  • LGBT Bar Association’s Annual Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair

  • Bay Area Diversity Career Fair

  • Lambda Legal

  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

In addition to the above, Morgan Lewis partners with clients to educate diverse first-year law students by offering internal workshops focused on providing law students with the tips and tools they need to successfully interview for employment and get off to a great start in their legal careers. Morgan Lewis shares our clients’ commitment to diversity and is proud to represent a number of MCCA members, including JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, Cigna and Merck, to name a few.


Outreach to leadership of minority student organizations

During students’ 1L years, Morgan Lewis sponsors affinity groups at many law schools, and supports diverse students in various ways, including by hosting mock-interview events. We also work with the Asian Pacific American Law Students Associations, Latin American Law Students Associations, and Women’s Law Centers, among many other groups.

We are also an advocate level sponsor at the National BLSA conference, and our Washington, DC, office hosted a Lunar New Year celebration, inviting all of the local APALSA students from area law schools to attend.

Partner J. Goodwin Bland, co-leader of our D&I Committee, is vice chair of our New York Recruiting Committee, where he is actively involved in recruiting diverse talent. We are proud that 55% of our New York summer associate class has been comprised of persons of color or LGBT lawyers for several years, and the class has always been 50% or more women. J. is also a member of the Alumni Council at University of Virginia (UVA) Law School, where he helps recruit diverse students to UVA, actively attends UVA BLSA and Lambda Law Alliance events, and received an alumni award recognizing his extraordinary efforts on behalf of the LGBT community to create an open, supportive, and welcoming environment for diversity at the law school and beyond.

Following are additional examples of our diversity outreach efforts:

  • University of Pennsylvania - Sponsor for the 30th Annual Sadie T.M. Alexander Commemorative Conference; and BLSA mentors

  • University of Virginia - Firm sponsor for the 2017-2018 school year, as well as attending both the winter and spring BLSA receptions, exclusive BLSA mentor partnership, and led interview preparation and mock interview program for BLSA and Lambda Law students

  • Boston University - Sponsor for BLSA this school year and helped to coordinate and plan their annual gala

  • Duke University - Together with our clients, the Duke Law School Alliance Team (LSAT) led an interviewing workshop for the Duke chapter of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and Duke Outlaw student groups

  • Michigan University - The Michigan LSAT team was a headline sponsor of the Michigan Outlaws Scholarship Gala, and attended an “Out in Big Law” panel discussion and networking reception

Mentoring programs

At Morgan Lewis, we recognize how beneficial mentoring programs are to the retention and development of all our associates, but we find these programs to be even more critical to the success of our diverse talent. In fact, we conduct regular meetings with hiring chairs and other firm leaders to discuss diversity recruiting/mentoring and how best to coordinate our efforts. To retain and advance diverse lawyers, practice leaders, influential partners, and their designees (many of whom serve as mentors to our diverse associates) meet regularly to assess the progress and prospects of diverse associates in their respective practices. Meetings address work assignments, associate access and exposure to senior partners and clients, and associate career trajectories.

Morgan Lewis also recently launched a Sponsorship Program for high-performing, ethnically diverse associates with four to six years of experience with the firm. The program partners these associates with an influential member of firm leadership who can offer guidance, provide access to assignments and business development opportunities, and provide associates with greater exposure throughout the firm. The goal is to give high-performing, ethnically diverse associates the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to navigate the pipeline to partnership and firm leadership positions and have long-term success at the firm.

We also launched an innovative “cross-pairing” mentorship program and business development initiative with key client SoCalGas. This program pairs a select group of women lawyers from Morgan Lewis with a group of women lawyers from SoCalGas in an effort to provide mutually beneficial one-on-one mentoring, professional guidance, and business development opportunities. The ultimate goal of the program is to establish meaningful bonds between women lawyers, while strengthening and deepening the firm’s relationship with an important client.

The firm also established the Diversity Leadership Program, an ongoing partnership with two clients, Bank of America and State Street Bank, that provides diverse associates with direct access to clients through pro bono clinic projects, shadow programs in the clients’ offices, and other social activities, thereby strengthening diversity, mentoring, and business development opportunities for all three organizations.




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At Morgan Lewis we appreciate that the retention and advancement of our diverse attorneys is an essential element of our D&I mission. We approach the career development of women lawyers, lawyers of color, and LGBTQ lawyers from multiple angles, both internal and external, all of which intersect to build and support their careers. This involves paying close attention to the work assignment process to ensure that diverse lawyers receive the right opportunities and exposure, and paying for and encouraging them to attend and participate in external programs that enhance their professional development, while also providing networking and leadership opportunities.


Strength in Numbers

We offer our lawyers support from several internal affinity groups for lawyers who support and/or identify with the following populations:

  • ML African-American/Black

  • ML Asian-American/Asian

  • ML Hispanic/Latino

  • ML LGBT

  • ML Returning to Work

  • ML Veterans

  • ML Women

Led by influential partners, these popular groups bring community and heightened understanding as well as enhanced opportunities to everyone at the firm through forums, special movie screenings and event, and networking opportunities.

For example, our LGBT affinity group partners with dozens of external organizations to expand the firm’s footprint in the LGBT community. From annual firm-wide Pride Week celebrations; to our sponsorship of organizations such as the LGBT Bar Association, BALIF (Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom), Lambda Legal and OUTLeadership; to our recent “A Focus on LGBT Asylum Issues” presentation, which addressed asylum and immigration legal issues affecting the LGBTQ community, Morgan Lewis is proud of our diversity efforts on behalf of and commitment to the LGBT community.


“The D&I Business Case from the Client’s Perspective”

Morgan Lewis routinely engages clients to share best practices and create programs and partnerships to enhance D&I in the legal profession. One such collaborative program was a panel discussion, “The D&I Business Case from the Client’s Perspective,” which included a candid conversation about how diversity impacts clients’ business operations and their relationships with outside counsel. Everyone who attended the discussion benefitted from hearing about the D&I business case directly from clients.


Advancing Gender Parity in the Legal Profession

While Morgan Lewis consistently showcases women lawyers’ work within the firm’s 30 offices, we strive to keep the goal of gender parity top of mind in the broader legal profession. Below are recent collaborations and conferences we have been actively involved in:

  • March 2018, Morgan Lewis sponsored the 10th annual Ms. JD Conference on Women in the Law, hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. This year’s conference centered on the theme “Her Story” and featured keynote speaker Michelle Banks, co-chair of UCLA Law Women LEAD. The Ms. JD Conference on Women in the Law is the premier gathering for women law students and young lawyers across the United States to continue and expand on progress for women in the profession and to discuss remaining challenges.

  • In December 2017, Morgan Lewis hosted “Passion & Purpose: The Secrets of Gritty Women in the Legal Profession,” a presentation in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division and co-sponsored by its ABA Legal Career Central and Commission on Women in the Profession.

  • In November 2017, Morgan Lewis partnered with Ellevate Network, a global professional community focused on advancing women in the workplace and helping companies succeed in supporting the development of female leaders. This provides our firm’s female lawyers access to Ellevate’s community of 90,000 women and resources.

Accountability and metrics

Morgan Lewis has an outstanding Implicit Bias training program, which is mandatory for partners and associates. Focusing on raising awareness of unconscious biases in the workplace, the training teaches lawyers how to recognize biases and provides guidance to address these biases. The firm’s program mirrors what has steadily been gaining ground as an essential component of onboarding and leadership planning throughout much of corporate America.

In addition, Morgan Lewis was one of the first law firms to pledge to adopt the Mansfield Rule, which measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and lawyers of color—at least 30% of the candidate pool—for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions. The Mansfield Rule, named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States, was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon.




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Morgan Lewis is chaired by Jami McKeon, distinguishing it as the world’s largest law firm headed by a woman. Ms. McKeon is also a long-time advocate of diversity and gender parity within the legal industry and a recognized leader who has spoken at a number of premier leadership conferences and major events in the business, finance, and legal industries, among others. Organizations such as the Financial Times, The American Red Cross, and the United Way are among the many that have recognized her and Morgan Lewis for their efforts.

Women are well represented in Morgan Lewis’s 30 offices, practices, and industry initiatives. Here’s just a small sample:

  • Grace Speights, Washington, DC, leader of the firm’s nationally prominent labor and employment practice

  • Suet-Fern Lee, Singapore, chair of the firm’s International Leadership Team

  • Frances Murphy, London office managing partner

  • Kathryn Sutton, Washington, DC, leader of the firm’s energy practice

  • Joanne Soslow, Philadelphia, deputy leader of Morgan Lewis’s corporate & business transactions–securities practice

  • Christina Edling Melendi, New York, firmwide hiring partner

  • Michele Coffey, New York, Morgan Lewis general counsel

  • Kate Weinstein, New York office co-managing partner

  • Barbara Fitzgerald, Los Angeles office managing partner and firm employment counsel

  • Allyson Ho, Houston, appellate practice leader and winner of multiple US Supreme Court decisions

A primary vehicle for the firm’s commitment in this area is ML Women, led by Joanne Soslow. Through this initiative, the firm invests in the development of its women lawyers and regularly encourages and provides opportunities for building relationships, both internally and externally. ML Women hosts bimonthly business development sessions across offices and offers opportunities to learn from Morgan Lewis rainmakers tips on client development and business generation strategies.

Through ML Women, Morgan Lewis in April 2017 sponsored its inaugural Women of Power & Prominence Summit in Washington, DC. The summit drew high-achieving women from government, politics, the news media, and industry to share their knowledge and expertise with 125 senior-level women clients. Later, in July 2017, our Moscow office hosted an ML Women event, “Women Making History in Moscow - A Glance from the Rooftop,” celebrating women leaders, highlighted by a local guide out places of significance in women’s history from the office’s rooftop in the heart of historic Moscow. In attendance were 20 women executives and general counsel from major companies.


Diversity Stats


Firm has a written diversity strategy that has been communicated to all Firm attorneys. Firm gives billable credit for work that is directly related to diversity efforts (but is not pro bono work). Firm ties a component of partner compensation to diversity efforts. Firm has a diversity committee that includes senior partners and that reports to the Firm’s highest governing body. Firm has a full or part-time diversity professional who performs diversity-related tasks. Firm has affinity or employee resource groups for its women and diverse attorneys, which meet at least quarterly. Firm has a succession plan that specifically emphasizes greater inclusion of women and diverse lawyers. Firm mandates and monitors that minority and women attorneys have equal access to clients, quality work assignments, committee appointments, marketing efforts and Firm events. Firm requires inclusion of at least one diverse candidate in all hiring decisions. Firm policy specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Firm provides opportunity for attorneys to voluntarily disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression through Firm data collection procedures. Firm policy specifically provides for paid maternity leave.  Firm policy specifically provides for paid paternity leave.  Firm has a formal, written part-time policy that permits partners to be part-time.  Firm has a flex-time policy. Firm provides for or mandates diversity training for all lawyers and staff. Firm has a supplier diversity program.
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