Feature

ML Diversity Career Fellowship: A Shared Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

July 19, 2016

At Morgan Lewis we recognize that talent comes in many forms and that our experiences outside the classroom or courtroom truly inform our perspectives. Shared perspectives help us better relate to one another, but when they differ we find that what distinguishes us as individuals makes us stronger as a team.

A commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a core value at Morgan Lewis. It influences how we service clients, collaborate with colleagues, and recruit prospective lawyers and staff, as well as how we engage the communities in which we live and practice.

We’re looking for future Morgan Lewis lawyers who share this commitment and appreciate how a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and points of view strengthens the work we do and helps us meet the needs of our clients with greater understanding, sophistication, and skill.

The ML Diversity Career Fellowship provides stipends to assist with education expenses to second-year law students committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within the firm and the broader legal community. This opportunity is open to all law students who make the same commitment to D&I that we have and who demonstrate an interest in promoting its benefits.

For more information about the program and application guidelines, visit our US Law Students page.

To learn more about our D&I initiatives, including additional fellowship and scholarship programs offered by the firm, visit Diversity & Inclusion at morganlewis.com

Apply now for the ML Diversity Career Fellowship.

Q&A with ML Diversity Career Fellows

What attracted you to Morgan Lewis?

  • Its reputation for being one of the nation’s top firms, and one with a huge international footprint, which still manages to maintain an identity that transcends practice groups, offices, cities, countries, and even continents. Wilfred Beaye, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016
  • A strong legal practice, a commitment to fostering diversity in its offices and a dedication to providing pro bono representation to underserved communities. Albert Gilbert, Former ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow

What drew you to the ML Diversity Career Fellowship?

  • The ML Diversity Career Fellowship was a signal that Morgan Lewis takes a holistic approach to recruiting and has a commitment to the community at large. Vineeta Kamath, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016
  • I believed, and still do, I could add value to Morgan Lewis by making a commitment to not only reduce homogeneity, but also join its efforts to foster greater diversity here and in the legal profession as a whole. I have always held a strong belief in not only the social good that may result from diversity, but its tangible, and even economic, benefits as well. Wilfred Beaye, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016

Why are diversity and inclusion important to you?

  • Diversity and inclusion translate to recognition of the merit in different perspectives and the merit in challenging assumptions. These concepts are empowering to me as an immigrant and a woman of color because they mean that my differences are neither denigrated nor overlooked, but appreciated. Vineeta Kamath, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016
  • Diversity is more than a percentage or industry recognition; it’s the capacity to contribute to your chosen field at your maximum potential based on merit and ability. It’s important to me that differences not prevent individuals from participating and excelling. Mikaela Shaw, Former ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow
  • Business clients and pro bono clients both benefit when a firm can draw on the personal and professional experiences of a diverse set of attorneys to create innovative solutions to solve complex legal issues. Also, as an African-American attorney, I value firms that recognize the importance of diversity and work to retain diverse attorneys by creating inclusive workplaces that foster the success of their diverse attorneys. Albert Gilbert, Former ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow

How do diversity and inclusion benefit society and business?

  • More important than individual accomplishments is a person’s successful use of his or her unique background to motivate others toward innovative collaboration. Recognizing and utilizing differences to create value enables business efficiency and productivity. Mikaela Shaw, Former ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow
  • True collaboration with others with a different perspective, often derived from differences in backgrounds, race, ethnicity, religion, and even professional training - that sort of collaboration is obstructive to “business as usual” and promotes thinking about problems from various perspectives and deriving multifaceted solutions, fit for the multifaceted problems that both society and businesses face today. Wilfred Beaye, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016

Specifically, how do they benefit the legal profession?

  • The legal profession thrives on sharp minds, and sharp minds come from all walks of life.  Harnessing talent across all socio-economic and cultural groups allows the legal profession to develop into a field better equipped to serve today’s communities. Mikaela Shaw, Former ML Diversity Career Fellowship  Fellow 
  • Diversity benefits the legal profession by allowing greater, or broader, experience to be brought to bear on issues arising under the law. Wilfred Beaye, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016

What advice would you give to law students who may be considering applying for the Morgan Lewis Diversity Fellowship?

  • I would advise future applicants to above all else be genuinely committed to making contributions to diversity in their community (academic or in general). The qualities developed in trying to make genuine contributions elsewhere will transfer first to their application, but more importantly, to the opportunity they seek to and likely will have to make considerable contributions to whichever office the firm places them, its legal community, and the legal profession as a whole. Wilfred Beaye, ML Diversity Career Fellowship Fellow, 2016

Our fellows have demonstrated commitment to D&I by

  • Serving on the e-boards of the Harvard African Law Association and Harvard Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Tutoring immigrant children in their local communities and student athletes of minority backgrounds
  • Crossing  ethnic, religious, and national lines to conduct critical research on transnational crimes
  • Leading the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties law review as executive managing editor
  • Instituting scholarships for future BLSA members at Columbia Law School