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Diversity & Inclusion

At Winston & Strawn, diversity and inclusion are critically important. Our practice is global, and we believe our firm should reflect the diverse world we serve. Diverse and inclusive teams create a stronger organization and produce the best results for our clients.

Our vision is to cultivate a culture where all talented contributors—regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin—can have and can see a path to long-term success.

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“Diversity and inclusion at every level–partner, associate, or staff–is critical to the firm’s mission of developing and delivering the highest quality legal services.”
Tom Fitzgerald, Winston & Strawn chairman

Recent Diversity & Inclusion Highlights

  • We instituted a firmwide strategic plan that places greater diversity and inclusion among its ten key goals and named Kobi Kennedy Brinson chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
  • We achieved Mansfield Certified Plus status for 2018, demonstrating our firm’s commitment to increasing diversity in our leadership ranks. Modeled after the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” the Mansfield Rule measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions.
  • We launched a one-year Diverse Associate Sponsorship Program, which pairs high-potential minority and LGBTQ mid-level and senior associates with sponsors from the firm’s Executive Committee. The sponsors are tasked with providing the associates with career advancing advice and opportunities.
  • In May 2016, we announced a new gender-neutral Parental Leave Program that provides attorneys with 20 weeks of paid parental leave—without distinctions based on gender or primary/secondary caregiver status—to care for and bond with their newborn and newly adopted children. We also launched a Parental Leave Transition Support Program that includes a Parental Leave Liaison, reduced hours targets during “ramp-down” and “ramp-up” periods, and confidential coaching services for attorneys who are new parents. 
  • We awarded 2018 Law Preview scholarships to ten diverse 1L students attending the University of Chicago law school.

Read about our additional diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives.

Affinity Groups

Winston’s Affinity Groups play a critical role in the hiring, advancement, retention, and promotion of women and minorities throughout the firm. These groups serve as a platform for networking, mentorship, professional development, and empowerment at all levels. 

Black Lawyers Network:
Sam Mendenhall and Greg Weston, Co-Chairs

Latina/o Lawyer Alliance at Winston:
Steve Flores and Laura Franco, Co-Chairs

Winston Asian Leadership Initiative:
Warren Loui and Jovial Wong, Co-Chairs

Winston PRIDE:
Thomas Patrick Lane and David Sakowitz, Co-Chairs

Women’s Leadership Initiative:
Paula Hinton, Chair 


Diversity Scholarship Program

Winston & Strawn believes in taking an active role in diversifying the law school pipeline. Since 2004, one of our initiatives has involved offering scholarships to diverse law school students. Learn more about our 2019 scholarship recipients.

2019 Diversity Scholarship Program
Winston & Strawn is offering several scholarships to diverse law school students who join the 2019 summer program in one of our domestic offices following the conclusion of their second year of law school. Each scholarship will be paid during the students’ third year of law school to help defray the cost of law school tuition and related expenses. Scholarship amounts will not be less than $10,000. 

In selecting the scholarship recipients, Winston & Strawn will consider the students’:

  • Interest in practicing law after graduation in one of Winston’s U.S. offices (currently, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.)
  • Law school and undergraduate record, including academic achievements and involvement in extracurricular activities
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity in the legal profession

Applications for the 2019 Winston & Strawn Diversity Scholarship were due by September 1, 2018. Please check back soon for scholarship announcements.

Women in Leadership

We recognize the importance of diversity at the highest levels of the firm. There are currently seven women on our 27-member Executive Committee. Los Angeles Partner Laura Petroff has co-chaired our firm’s Partner Compensation Committee for many years. Nancy Gerrie is co-chair of our Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice. And we are proud to say that 33 percent of our U.S. offices are led by women: Linda Coberly in Chicago, Eva Davis in Los Angeles, and Kathi Vidal in Silicon Valley. 

Learn more about Winston’s commitment to secure equal rights for women through ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Watch Winston’s Chairman Tom Fitzgerald discuss the firm’s commitment to diversity by clicking the image below.

For more information on diversity, contact Sylvia James, Winston & Strawn’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion.

If you would like a copy of the diversity data for the London office, please contact Winston & Strawn’s Diversity Manager by clicking here.

Thought Leadership