- Of the LGBT attorneys at the Firm, 6 are partners, 1 is counsel, and 32 are associates in the U.S., London and Hong Kong offices.
- Weil was named among the “Best Places to Work” for LGBT individuals by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index.
- 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. Co-Chair of the global Litigation Department, Jonathan Polkes, is the Management Committee Sponsor for WEGALA.
Programs and Policies
Weil is unique among law firms bringing affinity group members together Firmwide for professional development conferences.
In June 2016, Weil’s LGBT Affinity Group, WEGALA, held its third Firmwide conference in New York City, featuring a speaker from Lambda Legal, an alumni panel and discussion, community service project with God's Love We Deliver, a client networking reception and a Pride Month Lunch Panel Presentation, "OutWomen at the Forefront" moderated by Stephanie Sandberg of Out Leadership. WEGALA’s previous Firmwide affinity group conference was held in 2013 in Washington, D.C.
To kick off 2016 Pride Month, Weil hosted its sixth annual LGBT client networking event on the terrace of the penthouse of The Standard East Village in New York City. Over 120 people were in attendance including clients, professional contacts and members of WEGALA from across the United States.
During Diversity Month 2015, the London office joined forces with the Terrence Higgins Trust, a pro bono client, to co-host a networking event for clients and peer law firms.
During Diversity Month in November 2015, Kenji Yoshino, author of Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial, presented his talk, “Uncovering Talent: The Power of Allies in a New Model for Inclusion”. He presents authenticity as a major driver of personal and professional success and explains why many professionals feel the need to “cover” their true identities and conform to corporate culture. Keeping with the “Upstander@Weil” theme, he discussed how allies can empower other employees to bring their real selves to work and when they do, the results are inspiring.
Past Pride Month programs include: a lunch panel to discuss various legal considerations for the LGBT community featuring transgender rights attorney, Phyllis Randolph Frye; representatives from Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals (HATCH) visited the Houston office to describe the legal and socioeconomic challenges faced by homeless LGBT youth; in 2012, Weil debuted a video featuring Weil staff and attorneys for the “It Gets Better” project at a New York office-wide program featuring The Trevor Project on bullying and suicide prevention.
The WEGALA members in our London office hosted and led a program on LGBT rights in Europe, the office’s LGBT-related pro bono work (including with the Human Dignity Trust’s efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in Malawi), and broader plans to support LGBT issues across Europe. There were over 70 attendees across 6 offices.
The New York office hosted a film screening of “Brother Outsider,” a documentary on the African American and gay civil rights activist, Bayard Rustin. The filmmaker and Rustin’s surviving partner participated in a special post-film discussion that was shown via videoconference to the Boston, Dallas, Houston, and Miami offices.
Pipeline & Community
Weil is a substantial contributor and sponsor of many LGBT-related charities and benevolent organizations. WEGALA regularly attends and actively participates in numerous national and local fund raisers. Some recent events have included the ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project’s Summer Attorney Reception in New York, the Ali Forney Center Oasis Benefit in New York, the GLAAD Art Auction in New York, the LAMBDA Legal Liberty Awards in New York, LAMBDA Legal reception in Washington, D.C., the Trevor Project’s Spring Fling and TrevorLive in New York, Whitman Walker Benefit in Washington D.C., among others.
In response to the tragic event in Orlando in June 2016, Weil contributed to the Florida Equality Fund for victims and families as well as to our longstanding nonprofit partner, Lambda Legal, to further the cause of LGBT civil rights. Weil is an inaugural member of Out in Law, the first annual LGBT leadership organization for the legal industry, by the legal industry. Recently, Weil also joined Hong Kong Gay & Lesbian Attorney Network (HKGALA.)