Background - Diversity 2017

Programs & Partnerships

Affinity Groups

To foster community-building within the firm, Crowell has affinity groups among the diverse groups within the firm. Affinity groups are led by partners, counsel and/or associates. Each group sets its own agenda and goals specific to the issues the community feels are most important to them. Groups meet to share concerns, discuss best practices and network. The Diversity Council collaborates with affinity groups to help create and enhance awareness among partners and associates.

The firm has five affinity groups:

  • African American attorneys
  • Asian American & Pacific Islander attorneys
  • Hispanic attorneys
  • LGBTQ attorneys
  • Balanced hours attorneys

Diversity Retreat

In 2017, the firm hosted its inaugural, firm-wide Diversity & Inclusion retreat, bringing together over 70 of our LGBTQ attorneys and attorneys of color for two days of business, professional, and networking development opportunities. Sessions focused on the importance of cultivating and fostering internal and external relationships, with programming devoted to building and differentiating your personal brand; cultivating masterful communications skills; and increasing cultural competency.

Through consistent engagement with our diverse talent, we continue to promote inclusiveness, inviting all members of the firm to bring their whole selves to the workplace. At Crowell & Moring, we value and respect all differences, knowing that diversity of both culture and thought ultimately makes us a stronger and better firm.

Speaker Series

The success of our in-house speaker series is a testament to our culture of collaboration and inclusion. The series, launched in 2005, is open to all attorneys and staff, and brings distinguished speakers to the firm to discuss and explore diverse points of view.

Speakers have included Georgetown professor and New York Times best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson; Min Jin Lee, a former lawyer and national bestselling Korean-American author; Professor Heath Fogg-Davis, a transgender associate professor at Temple University; Julissa Arce, writer, speaker, and social justice advocate and author, who achieved success on Wall Street as an undocumented immigrant; 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner and Yale Law Professor James Forman; Best-Selling Author, Joanne Lipman; Lenora Chu, journalist and author; Lenora Chu Judge Victoria Kolakowski, the first openly transgender trial judge in the US; and writer, speaker, and activist, Darnell Moore.

Darnell Moore Joanne Lipman

Darnell Moore with C&M partner Juan Arteaga
and counsel Preetha Chakrabarti

Joanne Lipman with C&M Attorneys and Professionals

Judge Kolakowski Lenora Chu

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Victoria Kolakowski
with C&M partner David McFarlane

Lenora Chu with C&M’s Jessica Fijolek and partner Michelle Gillette


Crowell & Moring recognizes the critical role that sponsors play in advancing high-potential talent. Through our commitment to sponsorship we can increase the representation of women and diverse lawyers at senior levels by:

  • Building and maintaining a strong pipeline of talent.
  • Promoting access to critical relationships across the business.
  • Broadening visibility.
  • Accelerating key development opportunities.
  • Encouraging application of intangible leadership success traits.

We became a leader in the legal industry with the launch of our innovative sponsorship pilot program in 2012, which was the first of its kind. We remain invested in this effort, and continue to provide learning and skill-building opportunities focused on creating an environment in which successful and durable sponsorship relationships can thrive.

One Village

In the fall of 2016, our Diversity Council launched our One Village initiative – a series of activities to implement our promise for diversity-based action and dialogue, as part of our commitment to and promotion of inclusion throughout the firm. Elements of One Village have included:

1. Diversity Dialogues – We have facilitated small group sessions with both lawyers and staff to create a safe forum for exploring how external issues may affect internal firm dynamics. The aim of these sessions is to create greater comfort in discussing diversity and inclusion related issues at work. These discussions also allow participants to self-reflect on their role in valuing differences and promoting a more inclusive firm culture. The firm successfully launched this program in all of its U.S. offices in 2017, and will continue to engage with our attorney and staff population on how to continue these conversations both formally and informally in the future.

2. Pro Bono Projects - In the spirit of encouraging and fostering public service activities, and to support what for many of us is a renewed commitment to helping vulnerable groups of people, the Diversity Council has coordinated with the Public Service Committee to continually identify a number of ongoing pro bono projects in all of our U.S. offices, for both attorneys and staff.

3. Thought Leadership – We have shared timely articles about the importance of inclusion in the workplace. A collection of those articles and videos can be found here



Since 2014, Crowell & Moring has been a member of Task Force for Talent Innovation (Task Force), which is the flagship project of the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), a think tank focused on global talent strategies and the retention and acceleration of talent across the divides of demographic difference including gender, generation, geography, sexual orientation, and culture. The mission of the Task Force is to respond to the challenges posed by the research and create action and impact.

In 2017 Crowell partnered with CTI on a study, Easing Racial Tension at Work, to measure the cost of remaining silent on race relations at work. In addition to analysis of this impact, the report also offers tactical ways to break it and quantifies the benefits of doing so. An infographic of the report's findings can be found here.

Easing Racial Tensions Infographic


Crowell & Moring is a long-standing member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), an organization of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. Since 2010, the firm has sponsored firm partners, associates, and/or summer associates in a variety of pipeline programs that provided leadership training and development for high-potential diverse talent.

Participants in the Fellows, Pathfinders, and 1L Scholars Programs are provided with career development, leadership training, and networking opportunities with an opportunity to interact with executives of member corporations, meet with potential clients, and strengthen relationships with existing clients.

Photo of Ellen Dwyer on In-House Counsel Panel

Crowell & Moring LLP partner Ellen Dwyer recently joined leaders from The Clorox Company, Harvard Law School, HP Inc., Microsoft,
and USAA, in a panel discussion at the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) Ninth Annual Meeting in Washington.

Attendees at the 2017 LCLD Pathfinder Meeting at Crowell & Moring; photo by Wilma Jackson, courtesy of LCLD