Diversity & Inclusion

UPLIFT. INCLUDE. EMPOWER.
 
 

At Morgan Lewis, we believe that a commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) is vital to realizing our true success as a firm and 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:

 

OUR STORIES

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.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

ALLYING WITH KEY DIVERSITY ORGANIZATIONS

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.

Select from the organizations below to learn more.

Morgan Lewis is proud to have housed MCCA in our Washington, DC, office for more than 15 years. Aligned with MCCA’s vision of making the next generation of legal leaders as diverse as the world we live in, a number of our diverse lawyers have participated in MCCA’s Pitch Session Network, Sources of Success Program, G-TEC Forum, and Pathways Conference.
We participate in LCLD’s marquee programs, including the 1L Scholars Program for diverse first-year law students, the Pathfinder program for diverse lawyers with 3–7 years’ experience, and the LCLD Fellows Program for mid-career emerging leaders with 8–15 years’ experience. These programs connect our high-potential diverse lawyers with outside counsel from more than 300 member organizations.
We were one of the first law firms to adopt the Mansfield Rule, which measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered diverse lawyers—women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and lawyers with disabilities—as candidates for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions. Diversity Lab awarded us Mansfield Certification in 2018 and 2019 and and we have earned Mansfield Certification Plus since 2020.
Morgan Lewis is honored to have been recognized in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index since 2009. With a 100% score in 2023, the firm was a recipient of the Equality 100 Award: Leader in LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion.

Primary Contact

Malaika Lindo

Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Advancing diversity and inclusion (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:

Building Equitable Futures

At Morgan Lewis, the career development of our lawyers is a top priority. This involves close attention to the work assignment process to ensure that our all of our 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.

ML Foundation

For nearly a decade, the ML Foundation has provided 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. Giving now tops nearly $2.5 million, with 82 scholarships awarded since 2014.

Primary Contacts

Malaika Lindo

Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Noelani Walser

Chief Associate Talent Officer

 
 

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.

Support from the Top

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.

A Culture of Belonging

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.

Our affinity groups and their missions:

ASIAN AMERICAN/ASIAN

Seeks to advance the recruitment, development, and promotion of Asian American and Asian Lawyers, and to support Morgan Lewis’s core value of fostering a community of inclusion. The network strives to host quarterly meetings, share information, and enable junior and mid-level lawyers to gain valuable insights from senior lawyers.

BLACK

Provides a platform for associates to develop and build professional relationships; receive informal mentoring, guidance, and advice from influential partners; gain valuable work-related insights; and discuss matters of importance and issues impacting the African American/Black legal community.

DISABILITY AWARENESS

Serves as a resource for our disabled lawyers and caregivers of disabled family members to share their experiences and learn from one another. Works to educate our colleagues and clients about the value our disabled lawyers and those caring for them bring to our community, and to make our lawyers aware of resources both within and outside the firm.

FIRST GENERATION

Seeks to provide “first generation" lawyers with the tools necessary to be successful at all stages of their careers—from summer associate to partner—and aspires to build a supportive community through professional development, mentoring, networking, community outreach, and social events.

HISPANIC/LATINO

Seeks to provide a forum for increased participation in the firm's D&I efforts at the global and local levels, to serve as an internal and external networking resource for Hispanic/Latino lawyers and the firm in general, and to provide opportunities for educational and professional development.

LGBTQ+

Committed to creating and fostering a sense of community among LGBTQ+ lawyers. Meets regularly to support the recruiting, retention, and professional development of diverse lawyers, and routinely takes on cases involving LGBTQ+ immigration and civil rights issues.

MIDDLE EASTERN/NORTH AFRICAN

Seeks to connect and support lawyers who identify as Middle Eastern by providing a community to encourage personal, professional, and business development, as well as enhancing their connection to the Middle East region and its rich culture.

PARENT

Aims to support, promote, and retain our parent lawyers by providing resources including mentoring, guidance, and advice; programming on topics important to parents; avenues for creative feedback and suggestions about the firm's parent-assistance programs; and a fellowship of lawyers dealing with the unique issues facing parents at our firm.

VETERANS

Aspires to promote the leadership and development of current and former military service members within the firm and foster a sense of community—collaborating with clients in working and networking with veterans, addressing issues important to veterans and active-duty military, and joining with organizations committed to providing pro bono legal services to veterans.

ML Women

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.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you in your career? Select from our lawyers below to find out how they answered.

If you are someone people count on, particularly in difficult moments, that’s a sign of a life lived honorably.

Michele Pector

Partner, Houston

Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing your community. Good lawyering is important, but understanding cultural and social nuances makes a huge difference in how effective you can be for clients.

Lesli Ligorner

Partner, China

The practice of law is a marathon; not a sprint. Enjoy the journey, and train every day for the unexpected.

Sarah Bouchard

Partner, Philadelphia

As basic as it sounds, be yourself. Don’t cave into the pressure to fit a certain mold. Let your passion for the work itself lead your way and not the expectations of others.

Kelly Moore

Partner, New York

Lead by example and show people that you’re going to add value. Doing that puts you in a good position to be ready when those moments arise.

Grace Speights

Partner,Washington, DC

Begin with the end in mind.

Connie Cheung

Partner, Hong Kong

KEEPING THE DIALOGUE OPEN

A Conversation: Workplace & Community Efforts to Support LGBTQ+ People

In honor of Pride Month, our LGBTQ+ Lawyer Network and Pro Bono team hosted a firmwide discussion—Pride in Practice: Workplace & Community Efforts to Support LGBTQ+ People. Our panelists discussed efforts to support the LGBTQ+ community in both workplace and community settings, and the development of meaningful allyship for advancing LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion.

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.

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

Sandra Phillips Rogers wears many hats at Toyota Motor North America. In title, she is group vice president, general counsel, chief legal officer, chief diversity officer, and corporate secretary. In action, Sandra develops strategies to navigate significant business and legal challenges while supporting Toyota’s expansion as a global mobility company—all while advancing the company’s ambitious diversity goals.

Primary Contacts

Malaika Lindo

Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Mobilizing for Equality

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 Inaugural Report

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.

 

Below are our Mobilizing for Equality working groups. Select to learn more about their mission.

Access to Education & Opportunity: Leveling the Playing Field

MISSION

Identify and advocate for access to education in multiple forums.
Community Engagement & Volunteerism

MISSION

Partner with community-based racial justice organizations, grassroots groups, and nonprofits to support solutions through volunteerism efforts.
Conversations on Privilege & Anti-Racism

MISSION

Develop an internal platform for small group discussions on topics including racism, discrimination, power, and privilege to create changes in our collective understanding, discourse, decisions, and behavior.
Economic Development & Investment

MISSION

Identify opportunities to support low-income entrepreneurs and participate in community economic development.
Educating Ourselves

MISSION

Develop an internal curriculum on the context and manifestations of racism, and share resources and reading materials to aid in changing practices and mindsets in favor of racial justice.
Engaging With Alumni

MISSION

Identify tactical opportunities to partner with Morgan Lewis alumni on racial justice issues.
Engaging With Clients

MISSION

Identify tactical opportunities to partner with clients on racial justice issues.
Impact Litigation

MISSION

Identify and litigate high-impact racial justice matters.
Law Enforcement Policy

MISSION

Collaborate with federal and state law enforcement to develop and implement safe policing practices, including de-escalation.
Legislative Reform

MISSION

Partner with racial justice organizations on legislative reform efforts in support of racial justice, including work on police unions and qualified immunity.
Measuring Our Progress & Coordinating Our Efforts

MISSION

Track progress, hold our firm and working groups accountable, and identify future projects.
Racial Justice Pro Bono

MISSION

Identify opportunities to provide traditional pro bono legal services to racially disadvantaged individuals and families and legal services organizations with racial justice missions.
Transforming the Next Generation

MISSION

Equip the next generation, and those influencing their development, with resources and tools to achieve a more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist society and legal system
Voting Rights & Engagement

MISSION

Mobilize Morgan Lewis resources, in partnership with existing voting rights organizations, to promote the education of underserved minority communities regarding their rights and ability to vote and to protect their rights to do so before, during, and after upcoming elections.

Primary Contacts

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.

Pro Bono Partnerships Advancing Social Justice

Our innovative, award-winning pro bono practice spans all of our offices around the globe. Our lawyers contribute more than 125,000 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.

Workplace Culture Consulting & Training

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.

Partnering on Community Engagement

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.

Thought Leadership on Racial Equity

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.

Diversity Internship & Scholarship Programs

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.

Mentoring and Sponsorship Partnerships & Programs

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.

Primary Contact

Rachael Johnson

Senior Manager, Diversity & Inclusion