Professional Development and Inclusion
Diversity Speaker Series and Professional Development Series
Through our Diversity Speaker Series and Professional Development Series, we expose our diverse lawyers and the firm community to prominent lawyers in academia, private practice and the public sector, and to a range of diversity-related topics. Our Professional Development Series addresses the professional development needs of our diverse lawyers through local programming. We also provide WilmerHale lawyers with networking opportunities through affinity group activities and internal and external programs.
The following is a representative list of events:
- Nelson Mandela Exhibit Dedication Ceremony: John Payton, former director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and a former WilmerHale partner, discussed the firm’s role in supporting South African lawyers in using the rule of law to combat apartheid. The exhibit in our Washington DC office includes copies of Nelson Mandela’s handwritten manuscripts and a video describing the firm’s involvement.
- Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Martha Coakley (then-Massachusetts attorney general) and Massachusetts Attorney General and former WilmerHale Counsel Maura Healey (at the time of the presentation, chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Office of the Attorney General) discussed the federal case challenging DOMA and President Barack Obama’s decision to stop defending DOMA in court.
- Lawyers, Guns & Money…and More!: Charles Fried, Harvard Law School professor and former US Solicitor General, and Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, discussed the effectiveness of the US Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process, and the impact of the Court’s decisions on immigration, campaign finance, Miranda rights, guns and torture. Former Co-Managing Partner Bill Lee moderated the discussion.
- An Insider’s Perspective: Diversity and Inclusion in the Financial Services Industry: Then-WilmerHale Partner and New York Diversity Committee Co-Chair Elizabeth Derbes moderated a discussion featuring in-house counsel from financial services firms and a financial regulator who addressed the state of diversity and inclusion in their industry.
- Because It Is Wrong: Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror: Harvard Law School Professor and former US Solicitor General Charles Fried and Gregory Fried, Suffolk University’s philosophy department chair, participated in a debate about presidential authority in the fight against terrorism. Seth Waxman, co-chair of WilmerHale’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Group and a former US Solicitor General, moderated.
- Fireside Chat with the General Counsel of Panasonic, N.A.: Damien Atkins, general counsel of Panasonic North America, discussed his career path and insights about the relationship between outside counsel and in-house legal departments.