- Of the Firm’s black attorneys, there are 9 partners, 1 counsel, and 27 associates in the U.S. and London offices. Since 2016, Weil has promoted 5 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 June 2022 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
- Client and alumni network reception with performance by the Syncopated Ladies.
- Leadership small group discussions with several members of the Management Committee.
- Fireside chat with Judge George Hazel.
Client & Alumni Development
BLAST hosted virtual programs for summers in 2021, including a game night and a caviar tasting. Summers also participated in virtual mentoring groups with BLAST attorneys and met with the group’s Management Committee sponsor.
In 2022, BLAST hosted in-person programs for summers, including ice cream socials and a visit to the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit in NYC.
BLAST members participate in associate of color mentoring circles, which supplement the existing mentoring program for associates who seek additional access to partners as advisors and role models. The circles foster peer mentoring and provide a forum to discuss diversity topics at the Firm.
BLAST (Black Lawyers Achieving Success Together) is a new leadership and business development initiative. BLAST invests in participants through Management Committee Sponsors, individualized business plans, executive coaches, and group leadership sessions. To date, there are three BLAST programs dedicated to Black senior attorneys, mid-and junior-level associates and partner mentors.
Two advisory boards were formed in 2021 to work with Executive Partner Barry Wolf, one composed of Black partners, and the other of Black counsel and associates. These advisory boards advise on a range of issues of importance to the Firm, including but not limited to diversity-related topics.
Jumpstart is a new resource for new and lateral Black associates who are paired with a Black partner and associate to support their transition to the Firm
The Black Affinity Group also created Zoom mentoring circles to stay connected during the pandemic.
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:
Since May 2020, Weil has held 25+ virtual programs for the Racial Justice Speaker Series, including but not limited to:
- Heather McGhee, political commentator, strategist and author for Juneteenth 2021
- Professor Ibram X. Kendi for a fireside chat on How to Be an Antiracist.
- Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt to help understand and uncover Bias: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We Say, Think and Do
Weil also offered programming with an intersectional lens, including:
- Intersectionality with Kimberlé Crenshaw, a UCLA and Columbia law school professor who is the leading authority on race, racism and the law
- Veteran’s Day program with Lieutenant General Nadja West
Prior in June 2020, Weil collaborated with LatinoJustice, a non-profit organized working to create a more equitable society through education and advocacy. \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.
For 2022, in celebration of MLK Day of Service, Weil hosted its first Social Impact Awards, honoring administrative staff, attorneys, and nonprofit partners who have gone above and beyond in making a difference in the broader community through public service, charitable giving, and much more.
In 2019 and 2018, the Firm hosted a number of on-site and offsite volunteer opportunities. In 2017, the New York Office bundled 2,000 healthy snack packs and health and hygiene kits for clients served by the Bowery Mission.
Weil aims to serve the community through the sponsorship of several organizations as part of our ongoing Racial Justice Initiative, including:
- Boston University Center for Antiracist Research
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law
Other external sponsorships include:
- Weil was among the first law firms to join the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), whose mission is to leverage the resources of the private bar to promote racial equity in the law.
- Weil’s Racial Justice Fellowship was developed to provide associates the opportunity to participate in full-time six-month long pro bono fellowships.
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 Urban Resource Institute, spoke with Weil’s Candace Arthur about our organizations’ partnership, the growing demands for racial justice and how lawyers can get involved.
Chantale Fiebig and Trey Mulrow have joined the Firm’s Washington, D.C. and New York offices, respectively, Chantale as a partner in the Complex Commercial Litigation practice and Trey as a partner in the Private Equity practice.