Diversity, Equity and InclusionAbout
Firm LeadershipOur dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) starts at the top. The firm’s managing partners chair our Executive Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which includes many of our most influential lawyers. WilmerHale is also a proud member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a group of more than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners committed to nurturing diversity in the US legal profession.
Professional Development and Inclusion
We want all our outstanding employees to succeed, and we want to give clients exceptional service informed by an array of perspectives and experiences. We support professional development and inclusion through:
- mentorships, affinity groups and a Women’s Leadership Initiative
- a Racial Justice Reform Initiative focused on impactful racial justice and police reform work
- internal fellowships that give our lawyers and summer associates the chance to work at public interest organizations
- sponsorship of many external bar associations, conferences and professional development programs
- internal workshops that educate lawyers and staff about implicit bias, allyship and other topics, giving attendees the tools to interrogate their own assumptions and behavior
Recruitment and the Diversity Pipeline
We regularly refine our recruiting practices to continue attracting a diverse group of skilled professionals and law students. We’re proud of how these efforts were reflected in our 2021 summer associate class, which, at 57% women, 44% students of color and 9% LGBTQ, was our most diverse ever.
We also sponsor law school pipeline and mentorship programs, which include:
- Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO): We host a group of entering first-year law students as SEO interns each year before they start law school. These interns are included in the firm’s summer associate program, spending 10 weeks gaining practical experience working on substantive legal projects.
- Law Preview: Through this program, we provide 50 scholarships for first-year law students from underrepresented backgrounds each year.
- Practice Pro: We support Practice Pro’s 1L Diversity Scholar Program, which provides coaching, training and recruiting opportunities for law students from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Boston Lawyers Group: Through this organization, we work with historically underrepresented law students and annually host a 1L scholar in our Boston office.
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD): We partner with a client that is also an LCLD member to host a 1L LCLD scholar for part of the summer in our Washington DC office and part of the summer in the client’s office.
Client PartnershipClients can join with us on a wide range of DEI-related programs, including CLEs, mentoring opportunities and pipeline programs. We also host networking events that provide meaningful chances to connect with our current lawyers, alumni and other clients.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion By the Numbers
WilmerHale Women: Trial Lawyers
WilmerHale Stands for Equal Justice
For Prospective New Associates
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Contacts
Corporate Equality Index 100% Rating
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
Mansfield Plus Certified
Best Law Firm for Women
- For the fourth consecutive year, WilmerHale achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status in 2021.
- WilmerHale again earned a top-ten spot on The American Lawyer’s A-List in 2021, which marks 18th year that WilmerHale has been listed and the firm’s sixth consecutive year in the top ten. This prestigious list highlights the top 20 law firms in the nation that excel in diversity, associate satisfaction, finances and pro bono.
- In Law360’s 2021 Diversity Snapshot, WilmerHale placed fifth out of 65 peer firms for its high representation of minorities in the equity partnership and 8th for its portion of minority equity partners, nonequity partners and associates. In Law360’s 2021 Glass Ceiling Report, WilmerHale placed fourth out of 66 US law firms with the greatest overall representation of women.
- WilmerHale’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department was named a recipient of the third annual Diversity Team Award in a 2021 quarterly edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal.
- Seramount/Working Mother named WilmerHale a 2021 Best Law Firm for Women. WilmerHale is one of only two law firms recognized for being on the list since its inception in 2007.
- The firm was named among the Top Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness by Yale Law Women, an organization which seeks to advance the status of women and traditionally underrepresented gender identities at Yale Law School and in the legal profession at large. WilmerHale has regularly been recognized on Yale Law Women’s top firms for women and family lists since 2006.
- The Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI) recognized WilmerHale with its 2021 Law Firm/Legal Department [email protected] Award. CLI gives the award to one firm or department each year in honor of its efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusivity in its workplaces and community.
- For the eighth consecutive year, in 2020 WilmerHale was again named a Top Women-Led Business in Massachusetts by The Boston Globe and The Commonwealth Institute.
- WilmerHale earned a 100 percent rating in the Corporate Equality Index for the 13th consecutive year in 2021, based on the annual Human Rights Campaign Foundation survey to identify the best places to work for LGBTQ equality.
- The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance recognized WilmerHale as “Tipping the Scales” for having 50% or more women in its 2020 US-based new partner class.
- PracticePro recognized WilmerHale with its 2020 Diversity Leadership Award, which highlights law firms that are actively working toward a more inclusive and diverse legal profession.
- WilmerHale was named a Top-Scoring Firm in the 2019 Inclusion Blueprint survey, a collaboration between Diversity Lab and ChIPs that measures law firm inclusion and diversity at the leadership and practice group levels.
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum awarded WilmerHale the Gold Standard Certification Award for the sixth time in 2019 for dedication to women in leadership roles and commitment to equal compensation.
- Wilmerhale was recognized by Get Konnected! as a Diversity & Inclusion champion for leading the way in promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal community.
- The firm placed first in The Washington Post’s 2019 Top Workplace ranking of large companies in the national capital region, and Catherine Carroll, partner-in-charge of the Washington DC office, was quoted extensively in an accompanying feature article on the successes and challenges in promoting workplace diversity.
- Law360 listed WilmerHale as a “Best Firm for Women and Minority Attorneys” for the second year in a row in 2018 and ranked the firm of only two large firms to have above average representation at all levels in terms of both race/ethnicity and gender on its Glass Ceiling Report and Diversity Snapshot. Law360 also listed the firm as a “ceiling smasher” for the second year in a row based on the percent of women equity partners.
- Dell awarded WilmerHale its Legal Diversity Award in 2017, given annually to one of Dell’s partner law firms that excels at embracing and promoting workplace diversity. Selection was based on the overall diversity and inclusion strategy, the critical role of diversity programs and the Women's Leadership Initiative, and key metrics related to recruiting, advancement, and leadership.
- TIAA selected WilmerHale as a recipient of its Diversity & Inclusion Award in 2017 for the firm’s efforts to recruit, develop and promote diverse lawyers.
- WilmerHale received the inaugural Honor Roll Award given by ChIPs at its 2017 Women in Tech, Law, and Policy Global Summit for making a deliberate effort to increase diversity and inclusion and demonstrated success giving women true leadership positions and visibility.
- The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association awarded WilmerHale its Law Firm Diversity Award in 2017, which recognizes firms that actively, affirmatively, and consistently recruit, retain, and promote Asian Pacific American lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership.