The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has named WilmerHale as its 2017 Law Firm Diversity Award recipient. NAPABA created the Law Firm Diversity Award to recognize firms that actively, affirmatively, consistently and enthusiastically recruit, retain and promote Asian Pacific American lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. The award will be presented at the NAPABA Anniversary Gala at the NAPABA Convention in Washington DC, on November 4, 2017.
“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority at WilmerHale,” said Susan Murley, co-managing partner at WilmerHale. “The range of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds of our lawyers helps us to be that much more effective as we handle some of our clients' most complex and challenging legal issues. Moreover, with our legacy of leadership on civil and human rights, a commitment to diversity and inclusion is fundamentally part of WilmerHale's culture.”
Commitment to diversity and inclusion starts at the top and cascades throughout WilmerHale. The firm is one of very few AmLaw 100 firms with a woman co-managing partner, and an even smaller number of firms that have had both a woman and a person of color as a co-managing partner. In our equity-only partnership, Asian Pacific American partners represent 6% of US-based partners and partners of color represent 11% of the partnership.
WilmerHale's commitment to diversity is also illustrated in our recruitment efforts. The summer associate classes over the past three years have averaged around 31% law students of color and Asian Pacific American summer associates represent the majority of the diverse associates, with a strong representation among other groups as well. Similarly, of the firm's lateral partner hires over the past three years, diverse partners represented 24% and Asian Pacific American partners represented 10%.
“Leadership commitment, as well as partnership and collaboration with clients and others committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession, are key factors for our efforts and results,” said Nimesh Patel, director of diversity and inclusion for WilmerHale and former NAPABA president.
This year, WilmerHale was also recognized in The American Lawyer's A-List for the 14th time. The A-List is an annual compilation that includes the 20 leading US firms and honors overall excellence, including financial success, commitment to pro bono work, workforce diversity and associate satisfaction.