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 2014
Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2014)
Named Employment Practice Group of the Year by Law360 (2014)
Named a top 5 firm for employment in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2014 report
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
Winner, The National Law Journal’s Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment (2014)
Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2011–2014)
Listed, The Legal 500, Labor and Employment Litigation (2011, 2013–2014)
Listed, Human Resource Executive, Most Powerful Employment Attorneys (2008–2014)
Listed, Lawyers of Color Power List (2014)
Listed, “Top 100 Lawyers in D.C.,” Washington Post (2014, 2013)
Listed, “Top 50 Women Lawyers in D.C.,” Washington Post (2014, 2013)
Listed, Washingtonian magazine "Best Lawyers" (2007-2013)
Listed, Who's Who Legal (2012–2014) – Labour and Employment
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 (2007–2014)
Listed, "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, D.C." by Super Lawyers (2007, 2014)
Listed as one of the nation's top 100 most powerful employment attorneys in Human Resource Executive (2008–2010)
Recipient, Chambers USA Women in Law Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Public Service/Social Activism (Private Practice) (2013)
Recipient, NAACP Champion of Justice Award (2013)
Recipient, Washington Bar Association Legal Fund's Maben Haden Trailblazer Award (2013)
Recipient, the NBA’s Wiley A. Branton 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, 2012 Washington Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Award
Recipient, 2012 National Area Council of Boy Scouts of America Good Scout Award
Recipient, Great Washington Area Charter of Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Associate Charlotte E. Ray Award (2011)
Recipient, 2010 Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award
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, Board of Trustees, George Washington University
Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- District of Columbia
- Washington, D.C.
1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541
Grace E. Speights is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice, co-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.