Press Release

Morgan Lewis Partner Grace Speights Named WBA’s 2021 Woman Lawyer of the Year

Thursday, July 1, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC, July 1, 2021: The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA) will honor Morgan Lewis partner Grace Speights as its 2021 Woman Lawyer of the Year. The annual award recognizes a leader who has championed change in the profession by leading by example, advocating for justice, and promoting the advancement of women in the profession.

Recognized as a “powerhouse lawyer,” Grace serves as head of the firm’s global labor and employment practice, which counts more than 300 lawyers across the firm. Grace also co-leads Mobilizing for Equality, the firm’s task force committed to promoting racial equality and justice.

Grace handles high-profile, high-stakes workplace matters and is often called on by clients for crisis management assistance. Her practice has garnered national prominence for her pioneering role in leading high-profile internal investigations and advising organizations as they navigate a new workplace paradigm in a #MeToo era. Her work on behalf of clients have appeared in major news headlines, including winning a groundbreaking $1.5 million jury verdict on behalf of PBS in 2020.

In her profile, WBA writes that Grace is a “focused leader who sees potential in others before they see it in themselves.” During her tenure as practice leader, Grace has prioritized creating avenues to advance diversity and inclusion in the practice through recruitment efforts, internal promotions, and implementing new processes to ensure diverse lawyers receive impactful work assignments and opportunities, among others. Over the past three decades, Grace has devoted countless pro bono hours toward advocacy on behalf of organizations and minority families and children with legal needs in the Washington, DC, metro area. A highly respected figure within the firm and the Washington, DC, legal community, Grace has held numerous leadership positions and received myriad recognitions of her work and her public service. 

The award will be presented at WBA/WBA Foundation’s annual dinner and award ceremony on October 6.