- Of the Firm’s Asian attorneys, there are 10 partners, 4 counsel, and 71 associates. One of the Firm’s Management Committee Members is also a member of AAW.
- In 2016, Weil received Morgan Stanley's Leadership and Excellence in Inclusion and Diversity Award.
- 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. Marcia Goldstein, a partner in the Business Finance & Restructuring Department, is the Management Committee Sponsor for Asian Attorneys@Weil.
- Partner Akiko Mikumo leads the Firm’s Asia practice and is the managing partner of the Firm’s Hong Kong office.
Weil holds biennial individual conferences for its Asian Attorneys@Weil, Black Attorney Affinity Group, Latinos@Weil, and WEGALA (LGBT) affinity groups. The conferences are designed to bring together members from across the Firm’s offices for professional development, internal networking and development, client development, and pipeline efforts. In September 2014, the Asian Attorneys@Weil Ascend to Leadership conference was held in New York City.
In January 2017, Weil hosted a Multicultural Attorney Conference, bringing together Asian American, Black/African American and Latino attorneys from across the US for professional development, client networking, and strategic planning. The conference featured a Minority Bar Association and Legal Defense and Education Fund Panel with leaders from the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, LatinoJustice, and Muslim Advocates to discuss the current climate of civil rights in the United States and explore ways in which legal pro bono service and community engagement help impact the evolving social landscape.
Annual Commemoration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month
In May 2016, the Firm co-sponsored an event with Morgan Stanley at The Rubin Museum of Art featuring a panel on representations of Asian-Americans in pop culture and media. The 2017 celebration will include inspiring remarks from Lawrence Tu, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of CBS Corp.
Elimination of Bias CLE
In May 2016, the Silicon Valley office hosted a California Elimination of Bias CLE workshop and networking reception with clients.
Lunar New Year
Weil annually celebrates Lunar New Year. Previous events have included a cooking demonstration, a client reception with spoken word poet, Kelly Tsai, at Radiance Tea House, and a private exhibit viewing at the Museum of Chinese in America. Attendees included representatives of Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetLife, NBC Universal, and Wells Fargo.
Diwali and Eid
For the fourth year, AsianAttorneys@Weil co-sponsored the Annual Festival of Lights Diwali Celebration with the Barclays Embrace Americas Network. Weil has hosted other cross-cultural celebrations such as Eid.
General Counsel Events
Two Asian-American general counsels, Don Liu of Xerox and Sandra Leung of Bristol-Myers Squibb, shared highlights of their inspiring career journeys, promoted what individuals and organizations can do to remove the barriers of advancement for Asian Americans and other underrepresented groups, and build inclusion in the legal profession. The events were streamed live to all of the Firm’s U.S. offices.
In 2016, the annual Dallas office multicultural luncheon featured Liji Thomas, the Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at Southwest Airlines. The 2015 luncheon addressed diversity and multiculturalism in Japan and featured a Weil associate on secondment with Panasonic in Japan.
The Firm also hosted a film screening of “Kicking Glass”, an industrial documentary sequel to a video first made in 1995 on female Asian American Lawyers discussing whether they have broken through the glass ceiling nearly 20 years later.
Pipeline & Community
The Firm has been a longtime supporter of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. In 2016, AsianAttorneys@Weil co-sponsored a career panel session featuring diverse leaders of the bankruptcy and restructuring world. The Firm also sponsored the Asian American Bar Association of New York's Annual Banquet in 2015 and hosted the annual Asian American Bar Association of New York and North American South Asian Bar Association conferences in 2013.
In 2016, the Firm sponsored the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s Annual Banquet, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Lunar New Year Gala, and the South American Bar Association of Northern California’s Annual Conference. In recent years, AAW has also sponsored the North American South Asian Bar Association’s Annual Convention, the International Association of Korean Lawyer’s Annual Conference and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance’s LGBT Asian American/South Asian Lawyers Reception, to name a few. Weil also supports the Corporate Counsel Women of Color conference, the Council of Urban Professionals, the Center for Talent Innovation, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, amongst other diversity related sponsorships.
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.
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:
Mercy Corps Nepal Relief helps to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities in the aftermath of the Nepali earthquakes.
Operation Backpack provides new backpacks complete with school supplies to children who live in New York City shelters.
In a significant voting rights litigation, Weil’s Miami office, along with attorneys from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the American Civil Liberties Union, helped stop the Florida Secretary of State from improperly purging alleged non-citizens from the state’s voting rolls. Weil and the two civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and two registered Florida voters in June 2012 claiming that the Secretary’s new voter purge program violated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In September 2012, less than two months before the general election, a Florida federal court ruled in favor of Weil’s clients by denying the Secretary’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ amended complaint, thereby securing a major victory for the voters of Florida.
As a result of the litigation, Florida’s Secretary of State and Division of Elections changed their voter purge program to address the plaintiffs’ concern that the purge procedures erroneously targeted a disproportionate share of minorities based on race and native language. The court’s denial of the motion to dismiss, and subsequent motion to stay, also enabled the team to conduct discovery regarding these changes, which led the Secretary of State to extend his office’s decision not to apply its prior voter purge procedures during the 2012 election process.
Awards & Recognition
Partner Karen Ballack Named a 2015 “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Partner Akiko Mikumo was named a “Leading Lawyer” for Corporate/M&A (International Firms) in Hong Kong and Private Equity: Buyouts (International Firms) in China by Chambers Asia Pacific.
Partner Charan Sandhu was named as one of the “Company and Executive Women Worth Watching” in Diversity Journal 2013.