FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) honored Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP with its prestigious Thomas L. Sager Award for the Southwest Region on February 15, 2012. The presentation took place at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and was attended by 140 people. Accepting the award on behalf of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP was Sylvia Mayer, Partner, from the Houston office.
The Thomas L. Sager Award is given to law firms that demonstrate sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys. It is named for MCCA board member and DuPont Company Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas L. Sager. It is presented to outstanding law firms at four Regional Networking Forums during the year. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP received the award for:
- A New Diversity Initiative called the Weil 1L Diversity Fellowship program for first year law students.
- Establishment of Professional development affinity groups to advance, retain, develop and attract diverse group of lawyers, as well as develop stronger bonds with their clients.
- In 2011, Weil announced a new program for LGBT employees, becoming one of only a handful of employers that offer a tax “gross-up” payment for employees whose same sex spouse or domestic partner is enrolled in the firm’s health benefits program.
Two other law firms were recognized as finalists during the Regional Network Forum: Ford & Harrison was honored for:
- The “Partners in Progress” Mentoring program, through which all new associates are a assigned a different partner mentor each year for the first three years of employment and all lateral associates are assigned a partner mentor for the first 12 calendar months of their employment.
- A Leadership Academy which pairs small groups of more junior partners with senior advisors – equity partners who currently hold leadership positions in the firm. The firm also provides each junior partner with an external executive coach to work on his or her individual development plan for the year.
Jackson Walker L.L.P. was recognized for:
- The Jackson Walker’s Women Initiative (jw²) which is dedicated to the recruitment, retention and promotion of women professionals.
- The firm has a 21 member attorney and staff diversity committee which meets quarterly and its six subcommittees work actively throughout the year. The committee spends 300+ hours each year furthering the firm’s diversity goals and initiatives.
“MCCA is pleased to acknowledge Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP with the Thomas L. Sager Award,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO. “They have gone beyond ‘having a diversity program’ by working to make inclusion part of their daily culture. Everyone is encouraged and enabled to work up to their full potential. This is an example the entire legal industry would do well to follow.”
The mission of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association is to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission by publishing research on achieving diversity and best practices in the legal profession, honoring innovative diversity programs with its Employer of Choice and Thomas L. Sager awards, and assisting diverse law students through the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Founded in 1997, MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and also has a southeast regional office in Atlanta, GA. For more information, please visit www.mcca.com.