The press release below was originally distributed by PracticePro and republished with permission.
PracticePro has announced WilmerHale as the recipient of its 2020 Diversity Leadership Award. Established in 2017, the award highlights law firms and corporate legal departments that are actively working toward a more inclusive and diverse legal profession.
The award was presented at a virtual reception on November 5, attended by WilmerHale leadership and PracticePro’s scholars and students. The ceremony, originally scheduled for March at PracticePro’s Seventh Annual California Diversity Reception, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tracey West, WilmerHale’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and Jessica Natbony, Legal Personnel & Recruitment Manager for WilmerHale’s Palo Alto and San Francisco offices, accepted the award on the firm’s behalf.
“We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to support students and lawyers traditionally underrepresented in the practice of law,” said Ms. West.
“WilmerHale’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplary at every level of the firm,” added Niki Khoshzamir, PracticePro founder and CEO.
WilmerHale is one of only a handful of large law firms to have a woman co-managing partner, and part of an even smaller number of such firms that have had both a woman and a person of color as a co-managing partner. WilmerHale has also achieved Mansfield 3.0 Certification Plus status for three years in a row for having at least 30 percent of their key leadership and committee positions held by lawyers who are women, people of color, or LGBTQ+. In 2020, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance recognized WilmerHale as “Tipping the Scales” for having 50% or more women in its 2020 US-based new partner class.
In addition to its internal diversity and inclusion efforts, WilmerHale champions for an inclusive legal profession through investing in pipeline programs, including Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), Law Preview, and PracticePro.
In 2014, WilmerHale became PracticePro's first law firm partner by sponsoring the PracticePro 1L Diversity Scholar Program. “WilmerHale has been with us from the very beginning and has supported us every step of the way as we grew a small project into a multi-component program that has graduated 239 scholars and trained almost 1500 law students,” said Ms. Khoshzamir.
“We value the chance to be part of a program doing truly hands-on work to help law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds succeed,” said Ms. West. “It’s inspiring to see the commitment and talent of this new generation of lawyers and to support them in a direct way through mentorship.”
Past award recipients have included: Haynes and Boone, LLP; Latham & Watkins, LLP; and Google’s Legal Summer Institute.