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Chambers Diversity Awards USA 2016

The inaugural Chambers Diversity Awards, USA 2016 this June was a storming success. After four years of the hugely successful Chambers Women in Law Awards, the Diversity Awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate the achievements of lawyers from non-traditional backgrounds and shine a spotlight on the firms and individuals affecting positive change in the profession. With 14 seminars held, and over four years of extensive research on diversity in the USA, the awards represent both the culmination of our research and an exciting new chapter in our aim for global diversity and equal opportunities in the legal profession.

Winning a Chambers Diversity Award sets a remarkably high precedent, and marks an internationally-recognised achievement of excellence in furthering the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. We firmly believe that, by raising awareness and empowering the people committed to bringing about change, together we can start a new chapter with equal opportunities for everyone.

Keynote Speaker

Shannon Minter, Esq.
Legal Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Shannon Price Minter, Esq., is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Minter was lead counsel for same-sex couples in the landmark California marriage equality case which held that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry and that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation are inherently discriminatory and subject to the highest level of constitutional scrutiny. Minter was also NCLR’s lead attorney in Christian Legal Society v. Hastings, a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding student group policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2015, he was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, interviewing and recommending people to the President for appointment as White House Fellows. Minter has also been named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer. In 2008, he was named among six Lawyers of the Year by Lawyers USA and among California’s Top 100 Lawyers by the legal publication The Daily Journal. He also received the 2008 Dan Bradley Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association for outstanding work in marriage cases and was the recipient of the Cornell Law School Exemplary Public Service Award. In 2005, Minter was one of 18 people to receive the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” award. 

Guest Presenter

S. Jeanine Conley
Shareholder
Littler Mendelson P.C.

S. Jeanine Conley, an experienced trial lawyer, has represented many of the nation’s leading companies in employment-related disputes and workplace investigations. She has also represented clients before a variety of government agencies, both at the state and federal levels. Jeanine further provides daily advice and counsel to clients on employment, compliance and regulatory issues that arise from hiring to termination. She regularly conducts employment training for clients in numerous industries and particularly the manufacturing, retail, financial services and media and entertainment industries.

Jeanine Conley is a shining example of a true diversity champion who is opening many doors and creating new pathways for both minorities and women. Jeanine was the inaugural recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Minority Lawyers’ award at the Chambers Women in Law Awards: USA 2015. She recently became a fellow in the 2015 class of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and won the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s ‘2016 Private Practitioner of the Year Award’.

Find details of the winners from last year, and all previous years, here.


Methodology:
The awards shortlist will be based on our Chambers Diversity research as well as submissions from, and on behalf of, nominees. We will be highlighting the work of trailblazers and thought leaders who are creating lifelong, diverse pathways in the legal profession by affecting positive change across all strands of diversity.


The Winners

PRIVATE PRACTICE

Individual awards:

Future Leader – LGBT Equality

Lisa L. Beane – Robins Kaplan LLP
Daniel J. Franklin – O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Adam A. Sofen – Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Winner: Adam A. Sofen – Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Future Leader – Minority Lawyers

Katrina Baker – Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Judy Man Ni Mok – Morrison & Foerster LLP
Sharita M. Whitaker – Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP

Winner: Sharita Whitaker – Smith Anderson Blount

Future Leader – Gender Diversity

Melissa M. Crespo – Morrison & Foerster LLP
Rosario C. Doriott Domínguez – Baker & Hostetler LLP
Eva Spahn – Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Winner: Rosario C. Doriott Domínguez – Baker & Hostetler LLP

LGBT Equality Lawyer of the Year

Omar J. Alaniz – Baker Botts LLP
Randy Bullard - Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Dan  Clivner – Sidley Austin LLP
Dennis Hranitzky – Dechert LLP
Lisa A. Linsky – McDermott Will & Emery LLP
William J. Weiss – Goodwin Procter LLP

Winner: Lisa A. Linsky - McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Minority Lawyer of the Year

Fernando A. Bohorquez Jr. – Baker & Hostetler LLP
Michael A. Brown – Miles & Stockbridge PC
Dale W. Lum – Sidley Austin LLP
Obrea O. Poindexter – Morrison & Foerster LLP
Ellisen Shelton Turner – Irell & Manella LLP
Timothy A. Wilkins – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP

Winner: Timothy A. Wilkins – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP

Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year

Allison H. Altersohn – King & Spalding LLP
Sheryl L. Axelrod – The Axelrod Firm
Laurin B. Kleiman - Sidley Austin LLP
Andrea S. Kramer - McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Robyn R. Polashuk – Covington & Burling LLP
My Chi To – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Winner: Laurin B. Kleiman – Sidley Austin LLP

Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Lauren E. Aguiar – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Ava Benach – Benach Collopy, LLP
Lisa W. Borden – Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Harold C. Hirshman – Dentons US LLP
Wendy B. Reilly – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Amy Warr – Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP

Winner: Wendy B. Reilly – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Firm awards:

Most Inclusive Firm for LGBT Lawyers

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Robins Kaplan LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Winner: Robins Kaplan LLP

Most Inclusive Firm for Minority Lawyers

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Rivero Mestre LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Winner: Hogan Lovells US LLP

Most Pioneering Firm for Female Lawyers

Barran Liebman LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP

Winner: Sidley Austin LLP

Most Innovative Program for Employee Health and Well-being

Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo
Salazar Jackson LLP

Winner: Salazar Jackson LLP

Pro Bono Program of the Year

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Dechert LLP
Dentons US LLP
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Winner: Ropes & Gray LLP

Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion

Crowell & Moring LLP
FordHarrison LLP
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Winner: Greenberg Traurig LLP

IN-HOUSE

Individual awards:

Future Leader – LGBT Equality

Seth Blinder – MasterCard
Andrew Ward – KPMG LLP

Winner: Andrew Ward – KPMG LLP

Future Leader – Minority Lawyers

Danielle Ducre Rawls – Ditech Financial LLC
Travis Torrence – Jiffy Lube International Inc/Shell Oil Company

Winner: Travis Torrence – Jiffy Lube International Inc/Shell Oil Company

Future Leader – Gender Diversity

Jennifer M. Lorentz – Emerson
Yaneris M. Rosa – Honeywell International, Inc.

Winner: Yaneris M. Rosa – Honeywell International, Inc.

LGBT Equality Lawyer of the Year

Michael Bishop – AT&T Intellectual Property Corporation
H. Gwen Marcus – Showtime Networks Inc.
James J. McNasby – Marsh, LLC

Winner: Michael Bishop – AT&T Intellectual Property Corporation

Minority Lawyer of the Year

Jennifer Jaskolka – Xcel Energy, Inc.
Don H. Liu – Xerox Corporation
John Mbiti – Credit Suisse
Phyllis Golden Morey – Ingersoll Rand, Inc.
Julia A. Simon – Mary Kay, Inc.

Winner: Don H. Liu – Xerox Corporation

Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year

Carrie J. Hightman – NiSource, Inc.
Violeta Longino – Accor Hotels
Diane Weiss – PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Winner: Violeta Longino – Accor Hotels

Corporate Social Responsibility Lawyer of the Year

Alex Dimitrief – General Electric Company
Susan Levy – Northern Trust
Chelley E. Talbert – NBC Universal
Marc Vockell – Dell

Winner: Susan Levy – Northern Trust

Company Awards:

Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year

Dell
Southern California Edison Law Dept.

Winner: Dell

Outstanding Company for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion

Duke Energy
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company
MetLife
Prudential Financial
Toyota Motor, North America Inc.

Winner: Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company

Oustanding Contribution Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession (Private Practice)

Hilarie Bass – Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Sheila Boston – Kaye Scholer LLP
Dennis Hopkins – Perkins Coie LLP
Kenzo Kawanabe – Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Winner: Sheila Boston – Kaye Scholer LLP

Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession (In-House)

Stacey Friedman – JPMorgan Chase & Co
Robert Kamerschen – Aaron’s, Inc.
Karen Roberts – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Winner: Karen Roberts – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.