Media: Press Releases | 25 February 2021
Washington D.C., 25 February 2021 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells celebrated Black History Month yesterday by hosting its Living History event, with key influential speakers discussing the role of Black lawyers in times of crisis and about using the law as a tool for changemaking.
Led by the firm’s global crisis leadership practice head, Lillian S. Hardy, the event featured speakers included Professor of Law and Dean of the Howard University School of Law Danielle Holley-Walker, New York University School of Law Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law Melissa Murray, and Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl A. Racine. Opening and concluding remarks were offered by CEO Miguel Zaldivar.
In addition to highlighting their accomplishments as influential changemakers, the panel focused on the uniqueness of the Black experience that facilitates innovative leadership in times of crisis. The panelists also discussed their hopes for the future of our country and the investments they are making in the Black lawyers of the future. Lillian S. Hardy, commented: “At the core of Black leadership is legacy-building. Many Black leaders view themselves as part of a holistic ecosystem to cultivate future Black leaders.”
Addressing the importance of commemorating these leaders at this critical inflection point in history, Lillian added: “Black History Month traditionally focuses on commemorating Black people by shining a spotlight on how we have overcome the obstacles of racism and discrimination and in paying tribute to those who were able to achieve great things regardless of circumstance. We were honored to have with us three living legends who, through their leadership, are transforming the present and are offering a model we can all follow to create a more equitable future for everyone. From our featured guests to the Black leaders in our ranks, we are driven to fulfill our ancestors’ wildest dreams.”
CEO Miguel Zaldivar said: “Delivering on our commitments to diversity and inclusion is of primary importance to me personally and to the firm. As I reflected on the importance of these conversations, I was struck by the unique importance each panelist has to Hogan Lovells, our history, and our goals. As we learn and are inspired by the panelists at our event yesterday, I want us to be proud of Hogan Lovells’ legacy. This is the firm that welcomed famed trial lawyer Vincent H. Cohen, Sr. here, one of the first Black partners in a major law firm in D.C. That trailblazing spirit lives on in each of our Black lawyers at the firm, including our moderator, Lillian Hardy, our One Americas Collaboration and Client Engagement Partner and lead of our crisis leadership practice.”
Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and Responsible Business is a key strategic priority for the firm. The firm last year introduced a global goal for racial and ethnic minority partners*, which we are diligently working to achieve by 2025. It further implemented D&I billable hour credit for U.S. and EMEA lawyers, an initiative being implemented globally, to provide recognition to our underrepresented lawyers for the D&I actions they disproportionately undertake for the benefit of the firm and to incentivize all our people to take actions that enhance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the firm.
*Global racial & ethnic minority goals comprise the U.S. and UK only owing to legal restrictions.
Additional information on our panelists is outlined below:
Attorney General Karl A. Racine – Attorney General of the District of Columbia
Attorney General Karl Racine was sworn in as the District of Columbia’s first elected Attorney General in 2015 and was reelected to a second term in 2018. As the chief legal officer for the District of Columbia, Attorney General Racine relies on his 25 years of legal and leadership experience to advise the mayor and District agencies, defend the city in court, and use the law to advance the public interest.
Dean Danielle Holley-Walker – Professor of Law and Dean of Howard University Law School
Dean Holley-Walker’s ongoing research agenda deals with the governance of public schools, and diversity in the legal profession. She has published articles on issues of civil rights and education, including recent articles on No Child Left Behind, charter school policy, desegregation plans, and affirmative action in higher education. She earned a B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Harvard University. After law school, she clerked for Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She also practiced civil litigation at Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining the Howard faculty, she was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina.
Professor Melissa Murray – Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, Faculty Director, Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network
Professor Melissa Murray is a leading expert in family law, constitutional law, and reproductive rights and justice. Murray’s award-winning research focuses on the legal regulation of intimate life and encompasses such topics as the regulation of sex and sexuality, marriage and its alternatives, the marriage equality debate, the legal recognition of caregiving, and reproductive rights and justice Prior to joining NYU, Professor Murray served as interim dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Professor Murray graduated from the University of Virginia and Yale Law School, and following law school, clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the US District Court for the District of Connecticut. She is a leading expert in family law, constitutional law, and reproductive rights and justice.