Danielle Conley, who concluded her service as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States in January, is returning to WilmerHale as a partner in the firm's Regulatory and Government Affairs Department. She will be a member of two firm groups: Strategic Response and Government and Regulatory Litigation. Ms. Conley will also co-chair WilmerHale's Anti-Discrimination Practice with Partner Debo Adegbile, who was recently appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights.
At the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ms. Conley was a key advisor to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. She provided strategic counsel to senior government officials on regulatory, litigation and policy issues and managed many of the department's most important civil rights litigation and enforcement initiatives. Ms. Conley served as a DOJ representative on the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. She also worked closely with senior DOJ officials to develop the department's response protocol for officer-involved shootings and other high-profile civil rights incidents, and to implement strategies to carry out the department's community policing mission.
“We are thrilled that Danielle is returning to WilmerHale,” said Co-Managing Partner Robert Novick. “Danielle has a well-earned reputation for excellent judgment and deep experience in complex government litigation and enforcement matters. She has vast experience in civil rights, from campus sexual misconduct and voting rights to fair housing and fair lending. Her return strengthens our civil rights team, which represents corporate and nonprofit clients in a wide array of litigation, enforcement and regulatory matters. She is also a superb colleague and mentor.”
Of her return to WilmerHale, Ms. Conley said: “I am proud to have served my country at the Department of Justice and delighted to rejoin WilmerHale. The firm's regulatory litigation and strategic counseling practice is without peer. WilmerHale also has a profound and long-standing commitment to fairness and the rule of law. The firm's work representing clients across industries on compliance with state and federal requirements, including civil rights and nondiscrimination rules, makes it an ideal platform for me.”
WilmerHale's expanded civil rights practice handles high-stakes, often complex anti-discrimination problems for a spectrum of clients, including technology and other companies, universities and colleges, housing authorities, and police departments and municipalities. The firm's lawyers also have a long tradition of handling significant pro bono civil rights work. A 2016 civil rights victory, in which Ms. Conley participated before entering the government, kept Texas from imposing more restrictive voter ID requirements in last year's general election.
Ms. Conley received her bachelor's degree in English and African diaspora studies from Tulane University in 2000. At Howard University School of Law, where she received her law degree in 2003, she was a member of the Howard Law Journal. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer of the US District Court for the District of Columbia. She also received WilmerHale's Pickering Fellowship for public service in 2009, giving her the opportunity to work at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.