PracticePro has selected Latham & Watkins, LLP as the recipient of its 2018 Diversity Leadership Award. Despite the growth in law school enrollment by students from underrepresented communities, the percentage of firm partners from minority groups continues to remain low. Established last year, the Diversity Leadership Award highlights law firms that are actively working toward a more inclusive and diverse legal profession.
The award was presented last month at PracticePro’s Fifth Annual San Francisco Career Conference and Diversity Reception, which was attended by attorneys, corporate executives, and law students from across the country. The event featured a keynote speech from Michelle VonderHaar, the General Counsel of Veritas Technologies.
Lisa Nguyen, a litigation and trial partner at Latham & Watkins and member of its Diversity Leadership and Women Enriching Business (WEB) Committees, accepted the award on behalf of the firm. “Within the legal profession, we need to do as much as we can to ensure that those traditionally underrepresented in the practice of law find pathways to success and opportunities to achieve. Latham is honored to be recognized for its efforts,” said Nguyen.
“Latham & Watkins is attacking the diversity problem from all angles, internally and externally,” said Niki Khoshzamir, the founder and CEO of PracticePro.
Latham & Watkins has a long track record of developing innovative diversity-focused programs, including Women Enriching Business, an initiative established more than 10 years ago that addresses the business challenges unique to women lawyers and women clients. Latham’s programs further include the Women’s Leadership Academy, which provides tailored training for senior women attorneys in business development and self-promotion, and the Diversity Leadership Academy, which brings together over 200 practicing Latham lawyers and law students for a dynamic multi-day professional skills building and networking event.
Latham also dedicates significant resources to supporting the development of future lawyers who share the firm’s commitment to diversity. Latham’s 1L Fellowship Program offers summer internships to a select number of first-year U.S. law students, who split their time between Latham and a firm client. The firm’s 2L Diversity Scholars Program awards $25,000 scholarships to second-year law students. Since the inception of that program in 2005, Latham has awarded more than $750,000 in scholarships.
Khoshzamir says that in addition to its own wide-reaching initiatives, Latham has gone above and beyond to support PracticePro’s Diversity Scholar Program. “Less than one year after we partnered with the firm in California, Latham expanded its support to Illinois and D.C. Most importantly, Latham attorneys and staff have dedicated countless hours to hosting PracticePro’s events, mentoring students, and helping us find prominent speakers even in regions where they are not an official sponsor,” she said.
The PracticePro Diversity Scholar Program is a training, coaching, and recruiting program that fosters practice-ready diverse talent. First-year law students who are accepted into the program attend training conferences and participate in an intensive career coaching program to learn soft skills and practical competencies required of attorneys in their early years of practice.
- Corporate Sponsors: Google; VMware
- Diversity Founder: Haynes and Boone
- Diversity Leaders: Latham & Watkins; WilmerHale
- Diversity Champion: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Crowell & Moring
- Diversity Benefactors: Alto Litigation, Cooley, Ferrari & Associates; Jackson Walker; Littler Mendelson, McDermott Will & Emery; Morrison & Foerester, O’Melveny & Meyers; Ropes & Gray; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati