Danielle Conley

Danielle Y. Conley

Danielle Conley

Danielle Y. Conley

Partner

  • Co-Chair, Anti-Discrimination Practice

Danielle Conley focuses her practice on high-stakes investigations and litigation involving the federal government, as well as other multifaceted legal challenges spanning law, government policy and business. She has significant experience representing companies, universities and individuals in a wide range of complex litigation and regulatory enforcement matters, including civil rights and anti-discrimination matters. Ms. Conley also regularly conducts sensitive internal investigations for companies and non-profits with respect to executives accused of sexual misconduct, and has significant experience representing universities in government investigations and litigation arising from reported sexual misconduct incidents.

Ms. Conley co-chairs the firm's Anti-Discrimination Practice, which counsels a range of companies and organizations, including technology companies, universities and colleges, housing authorities, law enforcement agencies and municipalities, on anti-discrimination issues.

Ms. Conley rejoined the firm in 2017 after serving as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where she was a key advisor to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. In that role, Ms. Conley provided strategic counsel to senior government officials on a broad range of regulatory, litigation and policy issues and managed some of the DOJ's most significant and high-profile civil rights litigation and enforcement actions. 

Prior to joining the DOJ, Ms. Conley represented major corporations, educational institutions and quasi-governmental entities before federal and state courts in complex commercial disputes, including contract and intellectual property disputes. She has also represented clients in civil litigation and government investigations involving regulatory regimes such as Title IX, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the False Claims Act, and the antitrust and competition laws.

Ms. Conley shares the firm's commitment to pro bono work. She has represented clients on a pro bono basis in cases involving complex issues of constitutional law, as well as in actions brought under the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. 

  • The #MeToo Movement: The Critical Role of the Board in Preparing for, Responding to and Avoiding Sexual Misconduct Allegations

    As the #MeToo movement gains momentum, companies in nearly every major industry are dealing with allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment or even sexual assault—including allegations of widespread misconduct and inappropriate behavior within the upper echelons of the corporate structure.

    March 8, 2018
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  • Department of Justice Launches New Initiative to Combat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

    On February 28, 2018, the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division announced a new Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Initiative (SHWI) that will focus on combating workplace sexual harassment in the public sector.

    March 5, 2018
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  • Recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington DC's "40 Under 40" 

    Conley was selected for this award based on her experience at the Department of Justice working at the forefront of policing issues and at WilmerHale working on civil rights issues. 

    April 2017
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Experience

  • Civil Rights Investigation

    Represented universities in Title IX and Rehabilitation Act investigations by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and Clery Act investigations by the Office of Federal Student Aid.
  • Title IX

    Represented university in civil suit brought under Title IX and various state laws based on university's alleged mishandling of a sexual assault investigation. 
  • Pro Bono

    Represented individuals and a nonprofit organization in a trial in the Southern District of Texas challenging Texas's photo ID law under the Voting Rights Act. 
  • Anti-Discrimination

    Represented investment bank in class action seeking damages and injunctive relief for violations of federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
  • Internal Investigation

    Conducted an internal investigation for a non-profit education organization based on allegations that one of its board members engaged in sexual misconduct several years ago.
  • Pro Bono

    Represented Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus as amici curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, a constitutional challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
  • Anti-Discrimination

    Represented a professional sports team in a class action seeking damages and injunctive relief for violation of federal anti-discrimination law.
  • Pro Bono

    Represented proposed class of African-American homeowners in New Orleans in a lawsuit brought under the Fair Housing Act challenging a post-Katrina federal recovery program.

  • Pro Bono

    Represented woman in Title VII lawsuit alleging discrimination in hiring and promotions at the DEA at trial and on appeal.

Recognition

Ms. Conley received the 2018 Women Worth Watching Award from Profiles in Diversity Journal.

In April of 2017, Ms. Conley was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington DC's “40 Under 40.”

In 2015, the Washington Business Journal named Ms. Conley a Minority Business Leader. The list recognizes the entrepreneurial drive, creativity and success of the Greater Washington region's top minority business leaders.

Ms. Conley is a recipient of the firm's Pickering fellowship in Washington DC, established in honor of John H. Pickering. As a Pickering fellow, she spent six months practicing at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, an organization founded under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall that focuses on issues of education, voter protection, economic justice and criminal justice through advocacy and litigation. 

Insights & News

Credentials