WilmerHale Signs on for Inaugural Women in Law Hackathon Aimed at Tackling Gender Parity

WilmerHale Signs on for Inaugural Women in Law Hackathon Aimed at Tackling Gender Parity


WilmerHale is proud to be a participant in the Women in Law Hackathon—a new Shark Tank-style pitch competition established by Diversity Lab, in partnership with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law, aimed at advancing women in the legal profession by generating innovative ideas to close the gender gap in law firms. Lisa Pirozzolo, Co-Chair of WilmerHale's IP Litigation Practice and a leader of the firm's Women's Leadership Initiative, will represent the firm in the competition which will take place on June 24, 2016.

“I'm looking forward to being a part of this collaborative and innovative event,” said Pirozzolo. “It is amplifying the ongoing conversation about the gender gap in the legal profession and holds real promise as leaders throughout the industry join efforts to inspire meaningful change.”

Fifty-four firms in total will be represented at the inaugural competition, with nearly two-thirds of the participants being managing partners, practice group chairs, or other high-level leaders in their respective firms. Participants are working together virtually in teams from January to June 2016 to devise initiatives that will help retain and advance experienced women in law firms. Each team—comprised of six partners from across the country, two talent/diversity thought leaders, and a Stanford law student—will pitch their ideas to a group of high-profile judges at Stanford Law School during the June event. The top three teams selected by the judges will grant their prize money, donated by Bloomberg Law, to nonprofit organizations that are helping to advance women in the legal profession and beyond.

The Women in Law Hackathon was created by Caren Ulrich Stacy, Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Lab, who remarked, “Law firm leaders have been working internally for decades to solve the gender parity challenge, but very little progress has been made; currently women represent only 18 percent of the partnership in large law firms. Now, these law firms are trying something different.”

In conjunction with the Hackathon, Stanford Law School developed a policy course to research why the gender gap persists in the legal profession and propose possible solutions. Students enrolled in the course, supported by three faculty advisers, will author a white paper on the issue, which will be available to Hackathon participants prior to the June event.

To learn more about the event, its participants and future plans, view Diversity Lab's formal press release.