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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.

Read about what makes Winston a great place for diverse lawyers and talent in our Careers blog.

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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:
Greg Weston and Taj Clayton, Co-Chairs

Latina/o Lawyer Alliance at Winston:
Paul Goulet and Laura Franco, Co-Chairs

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

Winston PRIDE:
David Sakowitz and Jennifer Golinveaux, 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
The Winston & Strawn LLP Diversity Scholarship is an award for first and second-year law students, which is designed to increase diversity within our firm and the legal profession. Selected students will receive a summer associate position in one of our U.S. offices and be eligible for an award of up to $25,000 payable in installments to help offset the expense of their legal education. We are currently accepting applications for rising 2L students.

2L Applicants - To receive the entire award, the student must:

  • Accept an offer to participate in Winston & Strawn’s summer associate program;
  • Successfully complete the 2L summer associate program; and
  • Receive and accept an offer to join Winston & Strawn as an associate

1L Applicants - To receive the entire award, the student must:

  • Accept an offer to participate in Winston & Strawn’s 1L summer associate program;
  • Successfully complete the 1L summer associate program and receive an offer to return for the 2L summer;
  • Return for a minimum of six weeks at the beginning of the 2L summer; and
  • Receive and accept an offer to join Winston & Strawn as an associate

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
  • Member of a historically underrepresented group in the legal profession, including law students who are members of racial and/or ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ, or are differently-abled

To apply for the Winston & Strawn Diversity Scholarship, please submit an application along with your resume, law school transcript, and a brief personal statement discussing your qualifications and commitment to promoting diversity in the legal profession or why diversity and inclusion is important to you (500 words or less).  All applications must be submitted by September 1, 2019, for rising 2L applicants.

Scholarship applicants who attend a law school at which Winston & Strawn conducts on-campus interviews should also sign up to see us on campus. For all other scholarship applicants, your completed application will also serve as your application to our 2020 summer program. Each applicant must sign-in with the following information:

To Register:  Click Here***
Username:  DGuest
Password:  D$Schol&r


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 Winston's diversity and inclusion program or to request a copy of the diversity data for our London office, please contact Sylvia James, Winston & Strawn’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion.

Thought Leadership