Diversity & Inclusion

     
       

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion is a firm foundational value that is critical to our success and integral to our profession. We foster and promote individual outlooks and talents while ensuring a work environment free of barriers and bias. 

Reporting directly to the firm’s leadership, our Diversity & Inclusion Committee is an active working committee that meets monthly to discuss and develop strategies for recruiting, empowering and promoting our diverse attorneys. Wilson Elser has committed the funds and resources to launch multiple national and local initiatives, including Diversity Day, a speaker program and mentoring.  

Empowering the collaborative efforts of people from diverse backgrounds, beliefs and perspectives fosters an innovative and creative environment that enhances our ability to service our clients. This foundational value drives our recruitment, hiring and training initiatives, and programs and informs our sponsorship of multiple affinity groups.

The Committee’s leaders are thought leaders who strive to advance similar objectives within the national and local legal and business communities in which we do business. 

Since its formation, Wilson Elser’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee has created two robust subcommittees:

Women Attorneys Valued & Empowered (WAVE) attracts, develops and retains women attorneys at Wilson Elser, enhancing and strengthening their skills and providing career-advancing opportunities in client service, business development and leadership. WAVE implements and oversees national and local programs that are mutually reinforcing and combine to serve the single purpose of advancing WAVE’s mission. Read more about WAVE.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) fosters and maintains an inclusive work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attorneys and staff of Wilson Elser, supporting an environment where these individuals are able to succeed professionally and be true to themselves and their communities. 

Representative Programs & Initiatives
Our commitment is not simple rhetoric; we “walk the talk.” In addition to attorneys being credited with their involvement, the firm has advanced the following initiatives: 

  • Enhancement of the firm’s annual Diversity Day, which includes a firmwide presentation by a recognized diversity consultant in addition to a potluck meal and individual activities within each office. The event has been an exceptional draw among firm employees since its inception in 2014 and figures to remain a staple on the firm’s calendar for many years to come.
  • Expansion of the firm’s Supplier Diversity Program, which is enhances opportunities for diverse businesses to enter the firm’s operational supply chain.
  • Launch of a Diversity & Inclusion mentorship program for associate and of counsel attorneys. The program enables mentees to obtain valuable knowledge and skills so they may optimize their effectiveness as attorneys and advance their professional development.
  • Sponsorship of community organizations, including the Hispanic National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Corporate Counsel Women of Color and National LGBT Bar Association, to name a few. 

Recognition & Achievements
Wilson Elser outperforms most other law firms on many, if not most, related metrics. The firm is ranked #133 on The American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard; #31 on the National Law Journal 500 Women’s Scorecard; and #76 for number of women equity partners among the Am Law 200.

Diversity_Inclusion

Chairperson

Angela Russell
Baltimore | Regional Managing Partner 

Regional/Office Representatives


Heather Austin
Philadelphia | Of Counsel

Frank Chao
Atlanta | Of Counsel

Kevin Christensen
Milwaukee | Partner

William Cook
Michigan | Partner

Diana Estrada
Los Angeles | Partner

Jaqueline Hattar
White Plains | Partner

Stratton Horres
Dallas | Partner

Suna Lee
New Jersey | Of Counsel

Celena Mayo
New York | Partner

Yoora Pak
Virginia | Partner

Dennis Rhodes
San Francisco | Of Counsel

Nyasha Seale
Orlando | Of Counsel

Erik Tomberg
Chicago | Of Counsel