- Of the Firm’s black Attorneys, there are 5 partners, 1 counsel and 29 associates in the U.S. and London offices.
- In 2015, Weil was ranked twenty-third in “Best Law Firms for Diversity” by Vault.
- Each affinity group has an appointed senior leader sponsor, who is not a member of that demographic group. The sponsors are charged with understanding key issues the group members’ face and advocating for necessary change. David Lender, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department, is the Management Committee Sponsor for the Black Attorney Affinity Group (BAAG).
Weil is unique among law firms bringing affinity group members Firmwide for professional development conferences. BAAG hosted their fourth biennial conference in New York City in June 2015. BAAG members from the US and London offices convened to participate in:
- “One Size Never Fits All: Building a Professional Network & Developing Business in a Way That Fits You” presentation facilitated by Dr. Arin Reeves, President of Nextions
- A client networking reception featuring Michelle Roberts, Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association
- “Building Brand and Creating Preference” and “Business Development Recruitment, Retention & Advancement” Leadership Academy Workshops facilitated by Werten Bellamy, President of Stakeholders, Inc.
- A panel on public service and external leadership featuring Brennan Marcano, Executive Director, Council of Urban Professionals and Nicolaine Lazarre, SVP & General Counsel, National Urban League
In early 2017, Weil will host an Attorneys of Color Conference bringing together Asian American, Black/African American and Latino attorneys from across the US for professional development, client networking, and strategic planning.
In May 2016, the London office hosted a BAAG client networking dinner including a conversation on personal branding and career navigation with Mac Attram and Margaret Casely-Hayford.
In May 2016, the Silicon Valley office hosted a California Elimination of Bias CLE workshop and networking reception with clients.
The Black Attorney Affinity Group (BAAG) at Weil and Estee Lauder Inc.’s Network of Black Leaders and Executives (NOBLE) co-hosted a cocktail networking reception in March 2014.
Other events have featured a Dodd-Frank panel discussion and networking reception with the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the premier organization comprised of African American senior executives in Fortune 500 companies.
BAAG members from the Dallas office held a networking reception featuring live music and a private exhibit viewing at the African American Museum. Rob McCray, Weil alumnus, private investor and corporate director, provided keynote remarks. The event was co-sponsored by American Airlines, J.L. Turner Legal Association, National Black MBA Association and Minority Corporate Counsel Association.
In 2016, to honor Reverend Martin Luther King’s commitment to service and the community, the Dallas office helped their neighbors affected by the tornados in Garland and Rowlett by collecting over 1,300 desperately needed items including hygienic products, baby products, and other household materials.
In 2015, the Firm hosted many community service projects in participating US offices. There were over 200 Weil volunteer participants across 5 U.S. offices benefitting 8 nonprofit organizations.
In summer 2016, BAAG and Latinos@Weil hosted a panel of alumni of color who are judges and a women of color discussion featuring Maria Fernandez of IBM.
Each summer the Dallas office hosts an annual multicultural luncheon. In June 2016, the featured speaker was Liji Thomas, Senior Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at Southwest Airlines.
In November 2015, Professor Kenji Yoshino of NYU Law School shared his award-winning findings on “covering,” or the pressure at work to downplay outsider attributes and addressed the critical role of “ethical bystanders” and “allies” in making society and the workplace more inclusive. The Dallas office also hosted a Diversity Month In-House Counsel Panel featuring Tracy Preston of The Neiman Marcus Group, Navin Rao of Michaels Stores, and Amy Roman of EnLink Midstream.
The Firm has hosted several documentary film screenings and discussions, such as “The Central Park Five” with an Innocence Project Managing Attorney and one of the exonerated members of the group; “Brother Outsider: The Bayard Rustin Story” with the filmmaker and Rustin’s surviving partner; “The Black List” with the filmmaker and producer; and a Luminary Screening of King: Man of Peace in a Time of War.
Pipeline & Community
Weil has a longstanding relationship with PALS (Practicing Attorneys for Law Students), a nonprofit organization committed to minority attorneys and law students, including hosting mock interview, 1L exam writing, and networking workshops.
The Firm sponsors and actively participates in internship opportunities through DC’s Posse Foundation, the Dallas Judicial Intern Opportunity Program and the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Program (SEO). Weil’s New York Office has provided 81 summer internships to high school and college students from community based organizations since 2013.
Weil is a supporter of the Corporate Counsel Women of Color Conference, the Council of Urban Professionals, the Center for Talent Innovation, the Hispanic Lawyers Society of New York, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Legal Outreach, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.
In June 2016, Weil hosted the Association of Black Women Attorneys’ Annual Associate Dinner, Do You Slay, a fireside chat on client exposure, leveraging power players, and other key steps to succeed as an associate at every level.
Weil is building on a previous connection to MS 224 in the South Bronx through PENCIL, an organization that inspires innovation in NYC's public schools through private-public partnerships. Weil engages with students in myriad ways throughout the year including mentoring, tutoring, and workshops. In addition, one of New York’s Pay It Forward teams, led by a group of summer associates, is collaborating with Kids Creative NYC to establish a performing arts program at the school. Recent programs include bringing the BioBus, a state-of-the-art microscope lab built inside a bus, to bring hands-on science education to the students; Weil employees leading a Building Your Professional Brand and Networking workshop for the students; and members of the Firm participating in a Career Day program.
Weil Pay It Forward is an inclusion and community service initiative that empowers associate and staff-led teams to turn $1,000 of Firm funds into lasting community impact. While the external community impact is profound, the internal connections fostered among colleagues and the opportunities for attorneys and staff at all levels to showcase their leadership skills are equally powerful. Since 2011, 58 teams in 7 cities have raised $593,892.
Two 2015 examples include:
Baby Buggy provides essential clothing, gear and services to families in need nationwide.
Black Girls Code strives to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields.