Diversity & Inclusion 
Uplift. Include. Empower.

Diversity & Inclusion

At Morgan Lewis, we believe that a commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) is vital to realizing our true success as a firm. We are dedicated to D&I not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is integral to how we succeed for clients. It influences how we serve clients, collaborate with colleagues, and recruit, retain, and promote talented lawyers and professional staff, as well as how we engage the global communities where we live and work.

Our holistic D&I framework is underpinned by four pillars that impact every aspect of our culture:

D&I is woven into the fabric of who we are. Each of our skilled, dedicated lawyers and professional staff has their own unique story to tell that enriches, enlivens, and uplifts our culture and work for clients.

 

We seek out and welcome opportunities to join in common cause with important organizations working toward a more diverse and inclusive industry and global community. Below are just a few examples of how we partner for change.

Morgan Lewis Named One of Only 8 Inclusion Champions by Diversity Lab

Morgan Lewis has been named a 2022 Inclusion Champion by Diversity Lab, as part of the incubator’s 2022 Inclusion Blueprint.

Primary Contact
Malaika Lindo
Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Advancing D&I in the legal profession means nurturing the diversity of pipeline talent. We invest in law students, high school students, and underserved communities through a combination of financial aid, mentorship, and critical preparation for success.

Initiatives that bolster our recruiting and outreach efforts include:

 

At Morgan Lewis, the career development of diverse lawyers is a top priority. This involves close attention to the work assignment process to ensure that our diverse lawyers receive the right opportunities and exposure, as well as paying for and encouraging them to attend and actively participate in external programs that enhance their professional development, while also providing networking and leadership opportunities.

A commitment to D&I is one of our core values, influencing how we serve clients, collaborate with colleagues, recruit prospective lawyers and professional staff, and engage with our communities.

Established in 2014, ML Foundation uses funds awarded to Morgan Lewis in a historic settlement on behalf of African American families working to combat nearly a century of government-sponsored racial segregation in the Baltimore area. Our foundation provides financial support to promising law students from underrepresented groups to promote diversity, and thereby strengthen the legal profession and improve its contributions to our communities.

Our ML Foundation Recipients

Morgan Lewis Foundation Awards 2022 Scholarships to 14 Diverse Law Students

The Morgan Lewis Foundation has awarded its 2022 Diversity Scholarships to 14 students from eight US law schools. With this latest class of scholars, the independent 501(c)(3) organization has awarded 67 scholarships to promising law students since its founding in 2014.

Chief Engagement Officer Amanda Smith Honored for Collaborative Leadership by Corporate Counsel

Morgan Lewis Chief Engagement Officer Amanda Smith has been recognized by Corporate Counsel as part of its 2021 Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) Awards, which honor general counsel, in-house leaders, and law firm partners who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in law. Amanda is one of six honorees recognized for achievements in the Collaborative Leadership—Law Firm category.

Lawyers Selected by Leadership Council on Legal Diversity as Fellow and Pathfinders

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) has selected Morgan Lewis partner Elizabeth Khoury Ali as a 2021 Fellow and associates Sariyah Buchanan and Andriette Roberts as 2021 Pathfinders.

Primary Contacts
Malaika Lindo
Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion
NOELANI WALSER
Senior Director, Associate Talent
 

What we have believed for decades has become something we know: Teams of top-tier lawyers with diverse backgrounds are more powerful in overcoming our clients’ most pressing challenges. This is why we unceasingly strive to provide the best training, mentoring, access to promotion, and well-being support to cultivate an elite and inclusive workforce.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee turns commitment into action. The committee helps actualize our holistic D&I approach by bringing together firm leadership and influential partners with senior diversity, talent, engagement, and recruiting personnel who meet regularly to ensure that we are strategically focused on diversity—in recruiting and hiring, in firm leadership, and throughout the Morgan Lewis culture. Our D&I Committee reports directly to Firm Chair Jami McKeon and reviews all diversity efforts with her.

Morgan Lewis has a number of internal affinity groups that serve as resources for our diverse lawyers and professional staff, as well as providing opportunities for allies to listen and learn about the experiences of their diverse colleagues. Each group meets regularly, shares information, and enables group members to gain valuable insights from more senior leaders.

Morgan Lewis women are dynamic, determined, and successful. Our commitment to supporting our women lawyers is embodied by our ML Women initiative, which harnesses the strength of our women through partnership with our clients, creating opportunities to come together around a shared industry or practice and develop skills that catalyze the next generation of women leaders, ceiling smashers, and game-changers.

Every day, our women lawyers deliver remarkable results for our clients—garnering recognition from the legal and business communities.

While we place great emphasis on purposeful and consistent action, we also know that keeping an open, frank, and ongoing dialogue on issues of racial justice and societal challenges for diverse individuals is vital to our path forward.

A CONVERSATION ON INTERSECTING IDENTITIES, ADVOCACY, AND ALLYSHIP

Women of intersecting identities—including race, gender identity, class, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and disability—face unique challenges in the workplace. Morgan Lewis, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) recently joined together for a candid discussion on these issues.

A Conversation: Asian American History and How It Impacts Us Today

In a recent firmwide discussion with Robert Chang—Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, Seattle University School of Law—Morgan Lewis partner Michelle Park Chiu explored the collective past experiences of the Asian American community and asked Professor Chang to share his thoughts on how this history has shaped the present.

Recognizing Disabilities as Diversity

Partner Craig Bitman, practice group leader for the employee benefits and executive compensation practice and co-leader of Morgan Lewis’s Disability Awareness Lawyer Network, shares how his experience being legally blind has shaped his career and how important it is to have a network of allies.

IT’S BEEN A YEAR SINCE GEORGE FLOYD WAS MURDERED. HAS BLACK AMERICA SEEN MEANINGFUL PROGRESS?

As part of the firm’s ongoing conversations on anti-racism and allyship, Morgan Lewis hosted a panel with Dr. Lisa Coleman, senior vice president of Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation for New York University; George Holland, president of the NAACP’s Oakland branch; and John Harmon, founder, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

Leadership and Race: A Conversation with Toyota’s Sandra Phillips Rogers

In a fireside chat with Morgan Lewis partner Grace Speights, Sandra discussed her career path, including her time at Morgan Lewis, secondment at Toyota, the challenges of being a Black woman in business and law, and her ongoing dedication to diversity and inclusion.

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How Law Firms Measure Progress on Diversity and Inclusion, Law360

Recruiting diverse talent is just one piece of the puzzle. We also work on creating safe and inclusive workplaces where everyone has an opportunity to fully engage in the practice of law in an environment that respects, values and supports their development and contributions throughout their careers.

Progress Is Not a Straight Line: Michelle Park Chiu Reflects on Her Time as AABA President

When Michelle Park Chiu first joined the board of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, long before taking the role of president in 2021, she never could have predicted the challenges that would face the group—and the world.

2021 Diversity Roundtable Discussion, The Legal Intelligencer

Partner Sarah Bouchard discussed insights on law firm retention efforts, pandemic-related effects on diversity initiatives, and ways to keep the momentum going amid a wave of “diversity fatigue” during The Legal Intelligencer’s biannual Diversity Roundtable Discussion.

Primary Contact
Malaika Lindo
Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion

In the somber aftermath of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, Morgan Lewis launched Mobilizing for Equality to determine what more we can do as a firm to more directly, effectively, and aggressively mobilize against racial injustice. Firm Chair Jami McKeon and Grace Speights, leader of our global labor and employment practice, lead working groups across the firm curating and taking action on substantive racial and social justice projects.

Our Mobilizing for Equality Leadership Task Force comprises 20 members from all ranks of our firm and around the globe, and encompasses 14 working groups—each tackling racial injustice from a unique angle. Each working group has four or five leaders and dozens of individual volunteers.

Mobilizing for Equality: 2021 Annual Report

MFE Report 2021

Our inaugural MFE annual report shows that we have made great strides toward our ambitious goal of focusing the immense resources of our firm toward creating a more racially just society. The report graphically illustrates some of our meaningful projects and highlights the great work of our hundreds of volunteer lawyers and professional staff, many in cooperation with clients who share our dedication to this effort.

Financial Times Names Morgan Lewis Most Innovative Firm for Diversity & Inclusion

Citing Morgan Lewis’s signature Mobilizing for Equality Task Force, the Financial Times named the firm the winner in the Innovation in Diversity & Inclusion category as part of its 2021 Innovative Lawyers North America Report. The annual report recognizes law firms and practitioners deploying innovative solutions to affect change in the legal profession and communities.

Primary Contacts
Grace Speights
Co-Leader, Mobilizing for Equality Task Force

We know many of our clients are focused on their own D&I, social justice, and anti-racism initiatives, and, like Morgan Lewis, are leveraging resources and influence to maximize their positive impact. For this reason, many of our client partnerships naturally extend beyond our initial legal service work to advising clients on their own D&I programs or joining in common cause to make meaningful progress to promote justice for all. Below are some of the ways we assist or join with clients to partner for change.

Our innovative, award-winning pro bono practice spans all of our offices around the globe. Our lawyers contribute more than 130,000 hours to pro bono representations each year, and we are particularly focused on these efforts as part of our dedication to combat racism and advance equality. We partner with clients on pro bono matters involving voting rights, criminal justice, minority-owned small businesses, immigration, and housing preservation, to name just a few. In addition, we share our experience in helping launch, develop, and nurture successful pro bono programs at our clients’ organizations, offer training for clients’ pro bono teams, and connect clients with relevant pro bono organizations from our extensive network.

Our workplace culture consulting and training lawyers tailor our D&I services by listening to each client’s unique needs—drawing on our experience in developing diversity initiatives and aspirational goals, providing tailored advice on anti-harassment approaches, and drafting workplace policies. We also offer a broad spectrum of training solutions that can be customized to each client’s particular requirements to transform the workplace into a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment. Our highly interactive training programs are designed to educate all levels of management on issues including implicit bias, workplace harassment, and creating a culture of respect. We also help clients build and implement their own in-house training programs.

Every year in June we host our Community Impact Week with our lawyers and professionals around the world participating in more than 150 community service and pro bono events. We offer opportunities for clients to partner with us on location-specific initiatives, such as service days in local communities, as well as firmwide webinars and educational events on relevant topics. We are also available to assist companies in building a community impact week of their own.

Our thought leaders help clients in their goals to achieve greater racial equity within their own organizations by participating in their internal panel discussions, hosting webinars on topics of interest or importance, or sharing advice on the most recent legal changes impacting the conversation.

Leveraging our experience creating our own internship and scholarship programs, Morgan Lewis assists clients in building such programs from the ground up—from recruiting diverse candidates, to structuring and helping run the program, to retaining diverse talent. We can also pair these opportunities with scholarship programs, or create an independent scholarship program designed to support deserving diverse students through college and beyond.

Using knowledge gained from our own successful internship and sponsorship programs, Morgan Lewis partners with clients to create or refine their mentoring programs that pair senior mentors with diverse junior mentees, to give mentees a sounding board for advice, tap into mentors’ knowledge and experience, and learn skills to advance their careers. We also partner with clients to create or refine internal sponsorship programs for their organizations that pair successful senior employees with diverse, junior employees with high potential, whereby the sponsor actively seeks out opportunities for the individuals they sponsor, highlights them for opportunities or recognition, and works to elevate their status to ultimately get them promoted.  

Recognizing Partner Law Firms for Furthering Diversity in the Legal Profession

Microsoft recognized Morgan Lewis for exceeding the benchmarks set out in its Law Firm Diversity Program for 2021 in its Microsoft TechNet blog. The program was created in 2008 to recognize the accomplishments, progress, and commitments of Microsoft’s law firm partners to create more diverse and inclusive legal organizations.

Morgan Lewis Receives Excellence Award from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network

Morgan Lewis has been recognized by Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) with a 2022 Excellence Award for its outstanding contributions on behalf of low-income and marginalized Pennsylvanians.

Morgan Lewis Partners with Nonprofits to Prepare Voters and Protect Their Rights

Morgan Lewis has a well-established history of supporting voter education efforts and protecting the right of all citizens in the United States to elect their local, state, and federal government representatives. As in years past, we are partnering with nonprofit organizations throughout our communities to prepare voters and to protect their rights before, during, and after the election on November 3. Here’s how.

Primary Contacts
RACHAEL HUTT
MANAGER OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION, EXTERNAL ENGAGEMENT AND ANALYTICS