Diversity & Inclusion
Weil has been consistently recognized as one of the global law firms most committed to diversity and inclusion, community, and pro bono work. In 2018 alone, 17 women from Weil received a total of 24 individual awards from prominent business and legal publications and we are very proud of this achievement! We currently have five very active affinity groups – for Asian, Black, Latino, LGBT, and Women attorneys, and we were the first firm to implement affinity groups. We engage all lawyers and staff in our inclusion efforts through our Upstander@Weil effort, which encourages everyone to move from a well-meaning bystander for diversity to an active Upstander, promoting greater inclusion for all groups.
Weil’s Taskforce on Women’s Engagement and Retention (TOWER), a committee of female and male partners from across the Firm, focused on the advancement and development of female attorneys globally, is currently piloting a Women’s Sponsorship and Leadership program to develop more female partners into Firm leadership positions globally.
Weil continues to rank among the “Best Places to Work” for members of the LGBTQ+ community with a perfect score of 100% on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). For the third year in a row, Weil was named “Best International Firm for Diversity” by Euromoney Legal Media Group as part of its Americas Women in Business Law Awards for 2018, where the Firm won a total of three awards, including Elizabeth Weiswasser’s award for “Outstanding Practitioner.” Additionally, Chambers USA named Technology and IP Transactions partner Charan Sandhu the “Minority Female Lawyer of the Year” as part of its 2018 Women in Law Awards.
Our entrepreneurial and inclusive culture makes for a work experience that is professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling. Weil is a place where so many talented lawyers from many kinds of backgrounds want to stay. We were the first New York firm to institute a firmwide diversity training program and a formal diversity policy (1984).
Social Responsibility – Community@Weil
Weil is one of the first law firms in the legal industry to implement a comprehensive community engagement program, including employee giving and volunteer opportunities for all U.S. and U.K. attorneys and administrative staff, taking place during and outside of work hours.
Weil’s Volunteer Time Off Program (VTO) provides U.S.-and London-based attorneys and administrative staff with an additional day of paid time off each year which can be used for volunteer service. VTO can be used in half or full day increments and must benefit an approved U.S.-based 501c3 organization.
Weil Pay It Forward (WPIF) is an inclusion and community engagement initiative that empowers associate and staff-led teams to leverage $1,000 of seed funding into lasting community impact. Since 2011, WPIF teams have supported over 500 programs educating and providing services to underserved communities globally.
Weil Gives encourages employees across the U.S. to contribute to charitable organizations over the course of the year. The Weil Foundation generously matches up to $25,000 annually for the office that has the greatest overall percentage participation in the Weil Gives program.
Pro bono – “Our Finest Hours”
In our award-winning pro bono practice, Weil attorneys work on a range of cases – everything from asylum matters to death penalty appeals to corporate advice for charitable organizations. In 2018, Weil represented the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association in a dispute with three towns in New Jersey relating to the establishment and preservation of eruvs – symbolic enclosures significant to people of Jewish faith. The New Jersey towns, Mahwah, Montvale and Upper Saddle River, have settled. These settlements protect and preserve the ability of the Plaintiffs and many observant Jewish families to enjoy the same religious freedom as so many others throughout Bergen and Rockland counties and beyond. Our representation in this case was featured in the New York Law Journal.
Weil maintains the goal that all lawyers at the firm perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year, and we are approaching 1 million pro bono hours since commencing our program. We received the “Best International Firm for Pro Bono Work” from Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2018 and the 2018 “Gideon Award” fromthe Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD).
Weil’s commitment to our pro bono program is an ingrained part of our culture, and we are pleased that many of our institutional clients share our commitment and actively work with us on initiatives in a number of areas, including criminal justice reform, human rights, community and economic development, children’s welfare, civil and constitutional rights, health and environmental issues, and asylum and immigration. It is in this spirit that we refer to time spent on pro bono work as “our finest hours.”
Our Firm is particularly proud of its externship programs that allow full-time associates the opportunity to work exclusively on pro bono matters with leading public service and charitable organizations for a period of several months. Partner organizations include Lawyers Alliance for New York, The Legal Aid Society Criminal Practice Program, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.