MoFo's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Natalie Kernisant, welcomes Justin Dean, Managing Director at BCG Consulting, and Tina Gilbert, Managing Director at MLT, to the podcast to discuss two of the root causes of the lack of diversity in leadership within the legal and consulting industries.
As part of MoFo’s effort to commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Natalie Kernisant welcomes California Assemblyman David Chiu and MoFo Litigation Partner Bonnie Lau to the podcast to take a hard look at the recent rise in anti-Asian discrimination and how misinformation, fear, and racist political rhetoric tied to COVID-19’s origins in China have fueled hate and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across the country. They also explore America’s long history of anti-Asian hate and discrimination, the relationship between the AAPI community and other marginalized communities in this country, the need for broad based, community-led public safety initiatives, and how these issues affect members of the AAPI community in the professional space.
With a continued emphasis on creating diverse teams, law firms and corporations are not only asking how they can promote inclusivity, but also how they can attract and retain diverse team members. MoFo’s Privacy + Data Security Group is a successful case study of what such a commitment to diversity and inclusion can achieve, with 61% women and 25% of its lawyers identifying as diverse or LGBTQ+. In this episode of Diversity in Practice, Of Counsel Melissa Crespo speaks with her mentor and co-chair of MoFo’s Global Privacy + Data Security Group Miriam Wugmeister about why diversity in practice is important to them and to the group, why they have stayed in big law, and what concrete steps others can take to achieve a more diverse team.
In this episode of Diversity in Practice, Litigation Partner Alexis Amezcua is joined by her mentor, colleague, and friend, Trial Partner Arturo González, to discuss his career path, from working in the fields to Harvard Law to becoming MoFo’s first Latino partner. He also shares how he’s survived 35 years in Big Law, how much the legal landscape has evolved during that time, and why he feels it’s important to have more diverse representation in the courtroom, and beyond.
In the fifth and final episode of the Wetmore Fellow subseries, and in celebration of Black History Month, Los Angeles Corporate Associate and Fellow alumna Gina Banks hosts a discussion with San Francisco Litigation partner and Co-Chair of MoFo’s Global Employment & Labor Group Eric Akira Tate, and Washington D.C. IP Litigation partner, Diversity Strategy Committee Co-Chair and Co-Chair of MoFo’s Global IP Litigation Practice Mark Whitaker. The discussion centers around the firm’s longstanding commitment to combatting discrimination and injustice, how the impact of George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent protests it sparked across the world served as a call to action, and the myriad ways in which the firm answered that call. Eric and Mark also share their personal stories about the responsibility they felt not only as Black men, but as leaders of a firm dedicated to equity and inclusion, to actively engage in dialogue around racial equity.
In the fourth episode of the Wetmore Fellow subseries, San Francisco Litigation Associate and Fellow alumnus Tom Davidson hosts a discussion with New York Litigation partner and Women’s Strategy Committee Co-Chair Carrie H. Cohen, and Firm Chair Larren Nashelsky about how crucial transparency, responsibility and accountability are to any diversity and inclusion endeavors, and the impact of those factors on their decision to galvanize over 30 law firms to support their effort to encourage Governor Andrew Cuomo to repeal Section 50a of the Civil Rights Law.
MoFo’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Natalie Kernisant welcomes UC Davis School of Law Dean and Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies Kevin R. Johnson during this installment of the Diverse in Practice podcast. The discussion centers around the California Bar’s decision to lower the bar exam cut score, and what – if any - impact such a decision might have on diversity within the bar.
In the third episode of the Wetmore Fellow subseries, Los Angeles Litigation Associate and Fellow alumna Mia Akers hosts a discussion with New York Litigation partner and chair of the Morrison & Foerster Foundation Jamie Levitt, and Palo Alto IP Litigation partner and vice-chair of MoFo’s Pro Bono Services Committee Colette Mayer about how quickly the Foundation and the firm’s lawyers answered the call to serve those populations for whom the social and economic toll of the pandemic is most severe.
In the second episode of the Wetmore Fellow subseries, San Francisco Litigation Associate and Fellow alumni Ryan Romain hosts a discussion with MoFo Director of Associate Development and Women’s Initiatives Janet Herman and Boston Finance partner Joe O’Donnell about how the firm quickly developed multiple resources in support of working parents during the shelter-in-place mandates and in the wake of the George Floyd killing.
Natalie Kernisant, Director of D+I, speaks with MoFo litigation associate and former SEO summer Camila Tapernoux and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Director Van Ann Bui about their own unique career paths and why it is critically important for organizations to reimage their talent acquisition practices, with an eye toward removing any unnecessary barriers to inclusive recruiting.
In this episode of Diversity in Practice, Natalie Kernisant, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, sits down with MoFo partner and Women’s Strategy Committee co-chair, Stacey Sprenkel and the founder of Krishtel Coaching, Rudhir Krishtel to discuss mental health and the importance of self-care and well-being in the legal profession.
In part one of this special Wetmore Fellow subseries, Fellow Adam Smith hosts a discussion with MoFo Partner David Newman and Attorney Recruiting Director Nicole Wanzer about how the firm navigated a virtual work environment while continuing to serve and support our clients and summers. Fellows Kacyn Fujii, Erica Pena, and SEO Fellow, Oliver Green, later join the conversation to discuss their experience as summer associates.
In part two of this Diversity in Practice podcast series on speaking to kids about race, we continue our conversation with the founders of Raising Compassionate Leaders, Denica Gordon-Mandel and Christina Johnson. In this session, the speakers discuss the unnerving situation of having to have “The Talk” with young children of color about the possibility of being singled out, simply because of the color of their skin.
In part one of this Diversity in Practice podcast discussion on speaking to your kids about race, MoFo’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Natalie Kernisant and Director of Attorney Development and Women’s Initiatives Janet Stone Herman are joined by the founders of Raising Compassionate Leaders, Denica Gordon-Mandel and Christina Johnson.
In part two of our Diverse in Practice podcast discussion on allyship, MoFo’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Natalie Kernisant sits down with partner and ally Dario de Martino to discuss how his cultural identity and background have contributed to his practice, and why he feels that it is more important than ever to become an active participant in advocating for marginalized groups.
In the first episode of our new Diversity in Practice podcast series, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Natalie Kernisant sits down with Terra Winston of Next Step Partners to discuss what steps we can take toward being an effective ally and how allyship differs from mentorship and other forms of advocacy.