- Of the Firm’s black attorneys, there are 7 partners, 1 counsel, and 28 associates in the U.S. and London offices. Since 2016, Weil has promoted 4 Black attorneys to partner internally.
- 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.
The Black Attorney Affinity Group Conference in New York City brought together affinity group members from the U.S. and London offices in July 2018 for career development, client and law student networking, and strategic planning.
- Client and Alumni Networking Reception
- Speed Mentoring Workshop benefiting PENCIL
- “Taking Ownership of Your Career” client panel and discussion featuring Felice Gray-Kemp of LEGO, Michelle Ifill of Verizon, and John Mbiti of Credit Suisse
- Lunch discussion and strategic planning session with Firm leaders
- “Career Paths and Lessons Learned” panels featuring Weil alumni and BAAG partners Adé Heyliger and Adam Banks
- Personal Branding Workshop facilitated by Weil’s Business Development team
The January 2017 Multicultural Attorney Conference brought together Asian, Black, and Latino attorneys from across the U.S. and London offices for career development, networking, and strategic planning. Conference Highlights include:
- “Future of Civil Rights Panel” with speakers from the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, LatinoJustice, and Muslim Advocates
- Courageous Conversations about Race panel exploring PwC’s Color Brave efforts
- Gender breakout sessions featuring Calvin Gladney and Tiffany Dufu
- Lunch discussion with Executive Partner and Affinity Group Management Committee Sponsors
- Student of Color 1L Recruiting & Diversity Reception and Client Panel
- Talking Boldly About Race Workshop facilitated by Vernā Myers
Weil started the formal Racial Justice series in 2020 to highlight the racial inequities present in the United States and to increase dialogue. As part of the series, Weil invited speakers from non-profit organizations to take part in fireside chats and discuss their missions.
The Racial Justice Series included:
- Weil sponsored the LatinoJustice Lideres Young Professionals Board Fall Networking reception in support of their Legal Pipeline Programs, in addition to sponsoring their annual dinner.
- In honor of Juneteenth 2020, Weil hosted a fireside chat with Clint Odom, SVP at the National Urban League, who discussed the history of police brutality in the United States and the reform efforts of the League.
- As part of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month 2020, Weil hosted Jerry Vattamala, Director of the Democracy Program at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Jerry touched on topics such as the rise in anti-Asian sentiment as a result of COVID-19 and how redistricting can affect communities of color.
- In June 2020, Weil partnered with LatinoJustice, a non-profit organized working to create a more equitable society through education and advocacy. LatinoJustice held two events, with the first focusing on the effect of the citizen question litigation on the 2020 Census and the second discussing the importance of voting and the effects of the pandemic on voting.
- Weil hosted two partners from McKinsey, Shelley Stewart & Jason Wright, to discuss the disparate impact of COVID-19 on the Black community. Shelley and Jason will also discuss the historical racial inequities present in the United States healthcare system.
- Weil invited Samuel Spital, Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to discuss the current policing crisis and how to achieve racial justice through legal and policy solutions.
Historically, Weil has placed great emphasis on racial justice. In response to the increase in shootings of unarmed men of color in 2016, the Firm joined the National Urban League’s Urban Solutions Council as one of its first law firm members. Weil continues to partner with the NUL’s Policy Bureau and other member companies in the Council to help create socioeconomic opportunities for men of color in the United States through policy and advocacy efforts.
Weil requires all attorneys and administrative staff across the U.S. to complete a two hour Annual Mandatory Diversity Training modeled on the ethics CLE requirement. Recent topics include:
- Interactive theater on unconscious bias by Steps Drama
- Implicit bias training by the Perception Institute, which fulfilled the New York and California Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias CLE requirements.
- “Talking Boldly About Race: Being an Upstander in a Time of Cultural Unrest” in the workplace led by Vernā Myers.
Client & Alumni Development
Weil has granted 49 Diversity Fellowships of $10,000 each in scholarship awards to first and second-year law students since 2011.
The Firm sponsors and actively participates in internship opportunities such as the Dallas Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Program (SEO) and Summer Search. Weil's New York Office has provided nearly 100 summer internships to high school and college students from community based organizations since 2013.
Weil alumna Nicole Lazarre, now at the National Urban League, spoke with Weil’s Candace Arthur about our organizations’ partnership, the growing demands for racial justice and how lawyers can get involved.