Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA 2019 - Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of our Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards USA 2019 that took place in San Francisco on June 6, 2019. You can find out more about the winners below or you can view the winners brochure here.


You can view the highlights and photo gallery of the event here.  

Chambers - diversity - awards- usa -2019 - highlights

Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards USA 2019 - Winners

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award for LGBT + Equality Lawyer of the Year

James J.S. Holmes, Partner - Clyde & Co US LLP

Lifetime Achievement Award for Minority Lawyer of the Year

Joseph K. West, Partner - Duane Morris LLP

Lifetime Achievement Award for Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Harold Hirshman, Senior Counsel - Dentons

In-House Award Categories

Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch is deeply committed to D&I and corporate social responsibility. 60% of the company’s domestic workforce is racially diverse, 60% is female including more than 40% of the Vice Presidents and above, including the company’s CEO, COO, and President of Global Brands, and 40% of the Board of Directors. The company recently partnered with a law firm to launch a new fellowship opportunity for first-year law students who are members of a historically underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group.

Outstanding D&I Program


Deloitte has played an industry-leading role in furthering diversity and inclusion in recent years; a particular focus has been Deloitte’s commitment to increasing gender parity in leadership. Deloitte has already made significant headway in diversifying its leadership ranks. 43% of its U.S. employees are women, and 38% of its board is female. The Deloitte Women’s Leadership Launch program has played a big part in this success.

Outstanding Company for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion


eBay is not only committed to its own D&I but demands to see metrics from its law firms. Outside law firms must explain how they are recruiting, developing, and retaining women and under-represented minorities and are required to complete an extensive survey of their diversity metrics at the beginning of the relationship with the company. eBay then tracks those metrics and updates them each year. This is a game-changing way of clients demanding change in the legal profession.

Future Leader - Gender Diversity

Jennifer Ivan - Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation

Jennifer Ivan is Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft Corporation. She currently leads Diversity and Inclusion at Microsoft’s Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs organization. In this role, she leads a team that oversees Microsoft’s eight Employee Networks, manages the company’s relationships with local and national minority bar associations, and manages the Law Firm Diversity Program. She is a role model and trailblazer for both the legal profession and the community as a whole.

Future Leader – LGBT+ equality

Anson Lau, Senior Corporate Counsel, Salesforce

Anson Lau is Senior Corporate Counsel at Salesforce. Anson has been an active member of Outforce, the company’s LGBTQ+ affiliation group, and PacificForce, the Asian-Pacific American affiliation group. He is also a passionate mentor to up-and-coming LGBT+ lawyers.

Future Leader – Minority Lawyers

Patricia Svilik, Senior Product and Commercial Counsel, eBay

Patricia Svilik is Senior Product and Commercial Counsel at eBay and a thought-leader in bringing companies together to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She is the chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Workforce subcommittee at eBay and mentor and co-ordinator of eBay’s legal diversity internship program. Patricia leveraged her expertise in running a successful internship program to –co-found the Law in Technology Diversity Collaborative in 2019.

Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year - Michelle Fang

Michelle Fang, General Counsel, Turo

Michelle Fang, former StubHub GC, is the General Counsel of Turo and is vocal and passionate about encouraging diversity in the law and tech industries. Michelle is proud that 75% of the members of her legal organization are women and under-represented minorities, and her team boasts the highest employee satisfaction ratings at her company, well above industry average. Michelle recently spearheaded a group of more than 200 GCs to sign an open letter to law firms, demanding improvements on D&I or risk losing business. She is a truly innovative leader.

Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year

Laura Stein, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The Clorox Company

Laura Stein has become an influential member of the legal community. Having served as the first woman general counsel of not just one, but two, Fortune 500 companies, Laura has raised the bar for women lawyers. She is also an active board member and supporter for many non-profit organisations.

LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year

Wesley Bizzell, Senior Assistant General Counsel and Managing Director of Political Law & Ethics Programs, Altria

Wesley Bizzell is Senior Assistant General Counsel and Managing Director of Political Law and Ethics Programs for Altria Client Services. Wesley recently became President of the National LGBT+ Bar Association, the leading association for LGBT+ lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals. In this role, he helps direct the strategic vision of the National LGBT+ Bar Association, interacts with the presidents of the other minority bar associations and serves as one of the National LGBT+ Bar Association’s chief ambassadors.

LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year

Timothy Chow, General Counsel, Latin America & the Caribbean, Global Travel and Global Compliance, Diageo plc

Timothy Chow is General Counsel, Latin America & the Caribbean, Global Travel and Global Compliance at DIAGEO. Timothy is a high-profile advocate for diversity and LGBT+ equality and has helped Diageo adopt an inclusive company culture where employees are encouraged to be authentic in the workplace.

Minority Lawyer of the Year

Nolan Highbaugh, General Counsel, KIPP Foundation

Nolan Highbaugh is General Counsel of the KIPP Foundation. The organization is dedicated to creating a national network of public schools to help students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and beyond. Nolan is instrumental in developing external pro bono partnerships and dedicates countless volunteer hours to tutoring children.

Corporate Social Responsibility Lawyer of the Year

Willie Hernandez, Deputy General Counsel, Hewlett Packard Enterprises

Willie Hernandez is Deputy General Counsel at Hewlett Packard Enterprises. He is the board chair of Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. The organization helps develop a pipeline of diverse law students. The Silicon Valley Urban Debate League channels the power of voice to engage at-risk youth in rigorous, evidence-based argument and competition. There are currently 150 students involved in the program.

Outstanding Ally Award

Brad Lerman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Medtronic

Brad has led a benchmark-setting diversity and inclusion initiative that stands out among its peers. He has employed the resources of the Medtronic Preferred Provider Program (MP3), a network of Medtronic’s ten leading legal providers, to encourage collaboration and team-based innovation advancing the goals of diversity and inclusion across different firms, markets, and practice areas globally.

Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession

Laura Schumacher, Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer, AbbVie

Laura Schumacher is Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer of AbbVie. She has been a strong advocate for diversity in the legal profession and continues to provide opportunities for women. Laura has recruited, sponsored and trained dozens of talented women and otherwise diverse attorneys at Abbott and AbbVie. AbbVie’s global legal department is 67% female overall, 52% of global attorneys are female, and VP direct reports of the General Counsel are 50% female.

Private Practice Award Categories

 chambers diversity awards usa 2019 - highlights 2

Future Leader - Gender Diversity

Jocelyn Sher, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Jocelyn Sher is an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Jocelyn plays an active role in the firm’s Women’s Professional Development Committee and mentoring programs. She is deeply committed to social justice and is an advisory board member for Her Justice, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal services to women in need.

Highly commended: Emily Zipperstein - Associate, Sidley Austin LLP

Future Leader – LGBT+ Equality

Alejandra C. Salinas, Associate, Susman Godfrey LLP

Alejandra C. Salinas is an associate at Susman Godfrey LLP. She is a committed mentor and supporter to diverse and under-represented communities at her firm, in her local Houston community and on a wider international scale: a true trailblazer and role model for LGBT+ women and minority communities.

Future Leader – LGBT+ Equality

Michael A Sabella, Associate, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Michael A Sabella is an associate at Baker & Hostetler LLP. This up-and-coming lawyer is a pro bono trailblazer for the LGBT+ community. He is co-chair of the firm’s Transgender Legal Defence and Education Fund’s Name Change Project, which provides legal assistance to transgender, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary individuals seeking to change their names to reflect their gender identity. Michael is also Vice-Chair of the Lawyers with Disabilities Involvement Subcommittee at the American Bar Assocation.

Future Leader – LGBT+ Equality

Kyle Mathews, Associate, Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Kyle Mathews is a 5th-year litigation associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Kyle is a committed pro bono lawyer and has worked on a number of LGBT+ national and international cases. He is an active supporter of Stonewall Sports and volunteers for Whitman-Walker Health, which provides community-based health and wellness services for the LGBT+ community.

Highly commended: BJ Jensen - Associate, Paul Weiss LLP

Future Leader - Minority Lawyers

Sidney O. Minter, Associate, Jackson Lewis P.C. Sidney

Sidney O. Minter is an associate at Jackson Lewis P.C. Sidney is an active member of the firm’s D&I committees and is also a member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Minorities in the Profession Committee. Sidney continues to inspire and promote minority law students and attorneys, giving back to his community by serving as a resource and advocate for African Americans in the legal profession.

Future Leader - Minority Lawyers

Wandaly Fernandez, Associate, Sidley Austin LLP

Wandaly Fernandez is an associate at Sidley Austin LLP. She is an active board member of the Hispanic Bar Association and co-chairs the Associates Diversity Committee at Sidley Austin. She is a passionate pro bono advocate and is currently helping young women from El Salvador and Afghanistan evade persecution and danger in their respective countries.

Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year

Kalpana Srinivasan, Partner, Susman Godfrey LLP

Kalpana Srinivasan is a Partner at Susman Godfrey LLP. She is a gender-diversity trailblazer, both within her firm and in the wider community. She acts a long-term mentor to many junior lawyers at her firm. She has served on the executive boards of the South Asian Bar Associations of California and of North America and is passionate about advancing diversity in the legal profession.

Highly commended: Elizabeth Bower - Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year

Wesley R. Powell, Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Wesley R. Powell is a Litigation Partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Wesley has a twenty-five-year history of fighting for civil rights and against injustice on behalf of the LGBT+ community and promoting the advancement of LGBT+ community members in the legal profession and public life.

LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year

Myrna Maysonet, Partner, at Greenspoon Marder LLP

Myrna Maysonet is a Partner at Greenspoon Marder LLP. She served as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Navy and later joined Greenspoon Marder as their first female partner. She is a high-profile advocate for both LGBT+ and Hispanic communities through her leadership roles at the firm and civic and volunteering duties.

Highly commended: Richard Milstein - Partner, Akerman LLP

LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year: Lifetime Achievement Award

James Holmes, Partner, Clyde & Co

James Holmes is a Partner at Clyde & Co. James has recently been appointed a member of the ABA Board of Governors and served as Chair of the ABA's Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. James has been a pro bono attorney with the Los Angeles County Bar Association for LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS cases for over 25 years.

Minority Lawyer of the Year

Brian Song, Partner, Baker & Hosteler LLP

Brian Song is a Partner at Baker & Hosteler LLP. Brian was the first Korean-American partner in the firm’s New York office and the first Asian-American man elected to the partnership from that office’s associate ranks. He is also Lieutenant Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, United States Army Reserves. He currently serves as President of the Asian-American Bar Association of New York where he spearheads a number of programs to support Asian-American lawyers.

Natalie Pierce, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson P.C.

Natalie Pierce is a Shareholder at Littler Mendelson P.C. She is also co-chair of the firm’s Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation Practice. Natalie is co-chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and has created a program to support higher-level and high-performing women, minorities and LGBT+ associates. She is also an active board member for multiple non-profit organisations.

Minority Lawyer of the Year: Lifetime Achievement Award

Joseph K. West, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Duane Morris LLP

Joseph K. West is Duane Morris’ Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer as well as a partner in the firm's Trial Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Partners Board. Joseph has helped establish the first of its kind law firm diversity and inclusion consulting practice at the firm, which has been cited for its innovative approach to crafting sustainable diversity and inclusion programs and solutions for corporate entities. He is a D&I heavyweight in the legal profession and a real trailblazer.

Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Joseph Sorkin, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Joseph Sorkin is a Litigation Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He is chair of the New York office’s Pro Bono Committee. Joseph is a leading pro bono advocate and has dedicated over 700 hours to pro bono clients in 2018 alone. He has recently been working on a pro bono case relating to Bolivia human rights litigation. Joseph is a stalwart advocate and worthy winner.

Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: Lifetime Achievement

Harold Hirshman, Senior Counsel, Dentons

Harold Hirshman is Senior Counsel in Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. He has remained a committed pro bono advocate throughout most of his almost 50-year career. Over the course of the last ten years, he has dedicated almost 6,500 hours to pro bono matters. Specifically, Harold has been working tirelessly to address the inhumane conditions and treatment in the provision of mental and physical health care in Illinois. He is a dynamic leader and role model.

Highly commended: Kimberly Scott - Principal, Miller Canfield P.L.C

Outstanding Ally award

Ross Moskowitz, Partner, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Ross Moskowitz is a Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. He is an active ally to all the firm’s diversity groups and, in particular, Ross led the creation of the firm’s Health & Wellness Group stemming from Ross’ own practice of meditation in his daily life. The group has helped the firm take a public stand against mental health stigma.

Barry Wolf, Executive Partner and Chair of the Management Committee, Weil, Gotshal and Manges

Barry Wolf is Weil, Gotshal and Manges’ Executive Partner and Chair of the Management Committee, but to many he is known as Weil’s Ally-in-Chief! Barry oversees two of the firm’s mentoring circles and introduced the firm’s annual mandatory diversity training workshops which launched in 2011.

Highly commended: Lisa N. Collins - Partner, Baker & Hosteler LLP

Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession

Jolie Havens, Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Jolie Havens is a Partner in Vorys’ Columbus office. She was appointed as the first female chair of the Vorys Diversity & Inclusion Committee in 2017 and has recently also been named chief diversity and inclusion officer at the firm. Under her leadership, the firm’s D&I efforts have reached new ground-breaking heights with a large increase in women, LGBT+ and minority lawyers at every level.

Highly commended: Kellie Lerner - Partner, Robins Kaplan LLP

Pro Bono Program of the Year

Ropes & Gray

Over the past year, Ropes & Gray attorneys and staff have dedicated approximately 160,000 pro bono hours to pressing humanitarian crises and social challenges at the local, regional, national, and global level, such as representing immigrants on the Mexico-Texas border and advising transgender individuals on an array of legal issues.

Most Pioneering Firm for Female Lawyers

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight is certainly paving the way for gender equality and the progression of female lawyers. With 56% female junior lawyers, 48% female associates and 25% of the firm’s partners being female, the firm’s innovative approach to supporting their rising stars, adopting the Mansfield Rule and assisting working parents has helped create a truly inclusive work culture.

Highly commended: Dechert LLP

Corporate Social Responsibility Firm of the Year

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson is passionate about increasing the representation of diverse attorneys in the legal profession. They recently formed an innovative partnership with the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Recipients are young African Americans of outstanding promise who are offered academic scholarships, service opportunities and leadership experiences. During the ten-week long summer program, the Scholar works directly alongside Steptoe’s diverse lawyers.

Most Inclusive Firm for LGBT+ Lawyers

Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP

WeilPride, the Firm’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group has taken part in over 60 targeted diversity recruiting events last year, creating a pipeline for LGBT+ talent. The firm frequently works with Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ+ immigrant rights organization, providing advice and legal services to thousands of LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants seeking refuge, fair treatment and freedom in the United States.

Most Inclusive Firm for Minority Lawyers

Hogan Lovells LLP

Hogan Lovells actively cultivates its pipeline of diverse talent, doing the hard work of transforming its policies, programs, practices and processes to ensure that it is able to recruit, develop and advance its minority lawyers. 61% of US associates and law Clerks are diverse at Hogan Lovells. This number is 63% for US counsel and 36% of partners. The firm has adopted the Mansfield Rule and continues to create a culture of inclusivity.

Highly commended: Sequor Law

Outstanding D&I Program

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis was one of the inaugural signatories to the ABA’s Pledge on Lawyer Well-Being. The firm launched its internal program, THRIVE and hired their first-ever Director of Employee Well-being. The firm offers employees a regular educational programming focused on how to design lives of meaning and fulfilment.

Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion

White & Case

White & Case’s Global Diversity Initiative implements best practices in providing appropriate hiring, training and professional development opportunities for all White & Case partners and employees. The initiative spans their global network and covers all strands of diversity. The firm has set out a five-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and is well on its way to achieving its targets.

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View the Chambers D&I USA 2019 - Shortlists