We are committed to building a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. Our leadership is actively involved in managing our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and fostering a culture that creates opportunities for everyone. We apply this same level of commitment in promoting the well-being of our lawyers and professional staff and in serving our communities.
While we celebrate what makes us unique, there is one thing that unites us all: We Are Morgan Lewis.
Pro Bono at Morgan Lewis
Morgan Lewis is committed to serving the public good. Our innovative, award-winning pro bono practice spans all of our offices around the globe. Each year, we provide more than 1,800 pro bono clients with the highest possible level of service. Our primary focus is on helping economically disadvantaged individuals and families in the communities where we live and work. We also provide legal services to nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations whose mission is to serve vulnerable individuals and communities. Our lawyers use their time and skills to ensure access to justice for people who otherwise could not afford it.
Morgan Lewis has long treated pro bono hours as billable, and we recognize and reward lawyers who have achieved success in their pro bono representations. We expect every eligible lawyer to contribute at least 20 hours to pro bono representations annually, and we are proud to say that our participation rates in recent years have been perfect or near perfect. In fact, while we expect 20 pro bono hours per lawyer, our lawyers average closer to 65 hours per year, further exemplifying the firm’s commitment to pro bono.
Diversity & Inclusion at Morgan Lewis
At Morgan Lewis, diversity is not just a concept we talk about in theory; it is an asset we cultivate. Substantial work has gone into implementing numerous internal and external initiatives that address the issue of discrimination systemically and specifically within the law firm space. These initiatives also aim to advance racial, ethnic, gender, and LGBTQ+ diversity throughout our firm and the industry.
Diversity, inclusion, and equality are deeply rooted values at Morgan Lewis that become more embedded in the firm’s culture with each passing year. The October 2019 start of Firm Chair Jami McKeon’s second five-year term means we are again the world’s largest law firm led by a woman, and will be woman-led for a decade.
We understand that culture cascades from the top and that attracting, championing, and promoting our diverse lawyers is vital to lasting and visible equality. This earnest focus on advancing diverse lawyers has led to recognizable changes in the makeup of our leadership ranks—41% of the firm’s Advisory Board is diverse, more than 33% of our firmwide practice leaders are diverse, and nearly 30% of our office managing partners are women. Our philosophy is to show—not tell—how we promote and celebrate diversity.
We also have made measurable progress in the recruitment and promotion of diverse lawyers. Our 2019 partnership class is 67% diverse. Our 2020 summer associate class is composed of 63% persons of color and/or individuals who self-identify as LGBTQ+—up from 51% in 2019 and 45% in 2018. It is our most diverse summer class in the firm’s 147-year history.
Recognizing the increased need to foster community and engagement amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we launched an internal D&I Leadership Series for our diverse associates. Hosted by our D&I team, this monthly webinar features some of the firm’s most prominent diverse partners who share their experiences in navigating Big Law as diverse individuals—particularly during times of crisis and economic downturn—and offer advice to associates on how to remain proactive and engaged during these difficult times.