Diversity, Equity and Inclusion StrategyExpand All Collapse All
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 2022 summer associate class: 60% women, 37% students of color and 14% LGBTQ.
Our new hires are invited to join our affinity groups as soon as they arrive. We have five active affinity groups: Asian American Affinity Group, Black/African American Affinity Group, Latino Affinity Group, LGBTQ Affinity Group and Middle Eastern Affinity Group.
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 clients that are also LCLD members to host 1L LCLD scholars for part of the summer in our Washington DC and New York offices and part of the summer in the client’s office.
- Colorado Pledge: We support the Colorado Pledge, which addresses the lack of diversity in the Denver legal community and to address inequities faced first by Black law students and students of color, and expanded to include students with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender students; and other individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented in the practice of law.
- Law in Tech Diversity Collaborative (LiTD): We have partnered with LiTD in Boston and Palo Alto to split a 1L summer program with the firm and with the in-house legal department of a tech company.
- WilmerHale’s 1L Diversity Public Interest Fellowship Program: Consistent with our longstanding commitment to public service and organizations that seek social justice, we sponsor six 1L Diversity Public Interest Fellowship Program spots for first-year law students during the summer between their 1L and 2L year.
- WilmerHale’s 2L Diversity Scholarship: As part of our ongoing support of diversity, we sponsor several 2L Diversity Scholarships for the summer between 2L and 3L year. In addition to our Summer Associate salary, the recipients will be awarded a $30,000 stipend (half at the conclusion of the summer program and the remainder upon start as a full-time WilmerHale associate, contingent on receipt of a permanent offer).
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
Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion[email protected] +1 202 247 3259
Rocio Arlette Chavez
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager[email protected] +1 212 937 7225
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager[email protected] +1 617 526 5014
Corporate Equality Index 100% Rating
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
Mansfield Plus Certified
Best Law Firm for Women
- Financial Times named WilmerHale to its "Innovations in Equity and Racial Justice" shortlist in 2022.
- WilmerHale was named to Bloomberg Law's second annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework in recognition of the firm’s strong commitment to advancing inclusivity.
- WilmerHale was recognized among the top firms in The American Lawyer's 2022 Diversity Scorecard, which shows the greatest annual increase in the percentage of minority attorneys in the industry since 2001.
- In its 2021 Social Impact Leader survey, Law360 ranked WilmerHale among the top three law firms for its socially responsible business practices.
- For the fifth consecutive year, WilmerHale achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status in 2022.
- WilmerHale ranked fourth in The American Lawyer’s 2022 A-List, which marks the 19th year that WilmerHale has been listed and the firm’s seventh consecutive year in the top ten. This prestigious list highlights the top 20 law firms in the nation that excel in diversity, associate satisfaction, compensation and pro bono.
- The Minority Corporate Counsel Association ranked WilmerHale “top scoring” in its inaugural Diversity Scorecard. The firm was one of 20 law firms in the 501+ lawyers category to receive the ranking.
- WilmerHale was recognized on the 2021 and 2022 ChIPs Honor Roll, which recognizes firms that place highly on a series of diversity benchmarks for law firm leadership and across practices.
- The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) recognized WilmerHale with 2021 Top Performer and the 2021 Compass Awards in recognition of the firm’s active commitment to LCLD programs and the organization’s mission to create a truly diverse US legal profession.
- 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 2022 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 ninth consecutive year, in 2021 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 14th consecutive year in 2022, based on the annual Human Rights Campaign Foundation survey to identify the best places to work for LGBTQ equality.
- ChIPs and Diversity Lab named WilmerHale a 2021 Inclusion Blueprint Champion. WilmerHale is one of 20 firms to obtain champion status based on the Inclusion Blueprint survey, a collaborative assessment that measures inclusion and diversity at the leadership and practice group levels. The firm was previously named a top-scoring firm in 2019.
- 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.
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum awarded WilmerHale the Gold Standard Certification Award for the seventh time in 2022 for the firm's 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 Washington Post named WilmerHale among the Top Workplaces in 2022, marking the ninth consecutive year that the firm has made the list.
- 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 Technologies' awarded WilmerHale the Legal Diversity Award in 2017 and 2021, 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.
- 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.