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03/05/14 Morgan Lewis Partner Recognized on Lawyers of Color “Power List”
Morgan Lewis is pleased to announce that Washington Office Managing Partner Grace Speights is recognized on the Lawyers of Color 2014 “Power List.”
01/07/14 Twelve Morgan Lewis Partners Named to Washingtonian’s Best Lawyers Listing
Twelve Morgan Lewis partners were counted among Washington, DC’s “best legal minds” in Washingtonian magazine’s 2013 Best Lawyers list, published in its December 2013 issue.
12/03/13 Juggling Region’s Pitfalls, Focus Latin America
Partners Grace Speights and Greg Parks are quoted.
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Photo of  Grace E. Speights

practice accolades

Labor & Employment

The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012

Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2013

Named a top 5 firm for employment in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2014 report

Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2012)

Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012) 

Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey

honors + affiliations

Listed, Washingtonian magazine "Best Lawyers" (2013)

Listed, Who's Who Legal (2012–2013) – Labour and Employment

Listed, Human Resource Executive, 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in America (2011–2012)

Listed, The Legal 500, Labor and Employment Litigation (2011, 2013)

Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2011–2013)

Listed, "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers," National Law Journal (2010)

Listed, Who's Who in Black Washington, D.C. (2010)

Listed, "Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women," Washingtonian Magazine (2009)

Listed, The Best Lawyers in America (2007–2011)

Listed, Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers (2007–2009)

Listed, "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, D.C." by Super Lawyers (2007)

Listed as one of the nation's top 100 most powerful employment attorneys in Human Resource Executive (2008–2010)

Recipient, NAACP Champion of Justice Award (2013)

Recipient, Washington Bar Association Legal Fund's Maben Haden Trailblazer Award (2013)

Recipient, The Young Lawyers Division of the NBA's A. Leon Higginbotham Award (2013)

Recipient, The African American Managing Partners and General Counsels Division of the NBA's Pathfinder Award (2013)

Recipient, 2010 Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award

Human Resource Executive’s The Best Defense 2008, ranked in national Top 50

Featured in The Legal Times as a leading Labor and Employment Lawyer in D.C. (2004)

Listed as Recommended, Labor and Employee Benefits, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2008

Chairman, American Bar Fellows, Washington D.C. Chapter

President, Jack and Jill of America Foundation

Member, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Advisory Committee on Local Rules

Member, Order of the Coif, George Washington University National Law Center

Member, Trustees' Council of Women, University of Pennsylvania

Member, Board of Trustees, George Washington University

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

bar admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
print profile

Grace E. Speights

Washington, D.C.
1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541
Phone: 202.739.5189
Fax: 202.739.3001

Grace E. Speights is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice, Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office, chair of the Systemic Employment Litigation Practice, and co-chair of the firm's Diversity Committee. Ms. Speights focuses her practice on counseling and defending clients in connection with employment discrimination claims, primarily those involving class claims, and on counseling clients regarding best practices for corporate diversity initiatives. Ms. Speights has handled many employment discrimination class action cases. She also has defended several cases involving claims of discrimination in public accommodations.

Prior to joining the Labor and Employment Practice, Ms. Speights was an associate and partner in the firm's Litigation Practice, where she focused on employment discrimination litigation, employee benefits litigation, and insurance coverage litigation. She has litigation and trial experience in federal courts nationwide and in the District of Columbia's local courts.

Ms. Speights joined Morgan Lewis in 1984, after having clerked for the late Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was elevated to the partnership in October 1991. Ms. Speights also has served on the adjunct faculty of the Washington College of Law of the American University.

Ms. Speights is very active in bar association activities and has served as an officer in several associations in the Washington, D.C. area. Ms. Speights also serves as a member of the District of Columbia Judicial Nominations Commission. In addition, she served for six years as a member of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions, which is responsible for preparing and grading the essay examination of the District of Columbia Bar and for making recommendations to the Court regarding the admission of applicants to the bar, and the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Tenure and Disabilities.

Ms. Speights has been actively involved in recruitment and management activities at Morgan Lewis. She has served as a member of the Washington Office Management Committee, and, when her practice was dedicated to general litigation, she served as the deputy assistant manager of the Litigation Section of the firm's Washington office. She also served as the hiring partner and chair of the Recruiting Committee of the firm's Washington office from 1994–1998. Currently, she is a member of the firm's 19-member Advisory Board.

Ms. Speights is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.


  • George Washington University National Law Center, 1982, J.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania, 1979, B.A.