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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Committed to Equality

With purposeful involvement from the highest levels of leadership across our firm, V&E’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are focused on meaningful solutions that allow us to attract, retain, and promote the best and brightest lawyers and business professionals and to create the conditions where all at V&E can thrive.

As one of the world’s leading law firms, it is critical to our long-term success to provide opportunities and advancement for our attorneys and business professionals, and to support these efforts within the broader legal community. We are committed to identifying and eliminating barriers to full inclusion of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, and physical and mental ability, to create a culture of belonging and understanding that allows people to feel valued, connected, supported, and successful. This culture will further strengthen our firm, enabling us to prosper from the competitive strengths that diverse and inclusive teams provide, including deeper insights, better decision making, and enhanced client solutions.

Our efforts focus on attracting, developing, retaining, and promoting the best lawyers and business professionals, including those who come from historically underrepresented backgrounds. We strive to actively blend DE&I into all aspects of firm life — our structures, processes, programs, initiatives, and conversations — through intentional relationship building; allyship; education and training; and outreach and collaboration with clients, law schools, and the community. Our firm leaders at every level are committed to making these efforts successful, including holding ourselves accountable by setting meaningful goals and regularly monitoring our progress.

The Diversity Executive Committee is a sub-committee of the firm’s Management Committee and is responsible for the success of the firm’s DE&I efforts. Our Chair and Vice Chairs of the firm are joined by several other partners in key leadership roles and senior business professional leaders. This committee guides the firm’s strategy, metric and ensures accountability across the firm.

Keith Fullenweider, Chair
Jim Fox, Vice Chair
Michael Holmes, Vice Chair
Hilary Preston, Vice Chair
Manuel G. Berrelez, Partner
Lina Dimachkieh, Partner
Matt Dobbins, Partner
Patrick Gadson, Partner
Deborah Martin Owens, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
David Oelman, Partner
Bailey Pham, Partner
Hy Pomerance, Chief Talent Officer
Quentin Smith, Partner
Julie Tran, Senior Director of Talent Management

Talent/Diversity Lead Partners are embedded within practice groups in each office. They actively monitor equitable work opportunities, facilitate constructive feedback, and oversee associate development. Each practice group also has a representative who sits on our Practice Group Talent/Diversity Team, which is responsible for developing practice group action plans for the experience, development, and retention of diverse associates.

The Diversity Advisory Committee is a group made up of counsel and associate representatives from each of our race and ethnicity-based and LGBTQ+ affinity groups. The Committee provides input on strategy and initiatives, and guides our affinity groups.

Our affinity groups offer an opportunity to build a stronger sense of community across practices and offices, provide mentoring opportunities, and facilitate business development efforts. Our affinity groups include Asian & Middle Eastern, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ+, Military & Veterans, Women of Color, and Working Parents.

Our internal conferences for our lawyers of color and LGBTQ+ lawyers offer unique opportunities to build relationships that are vital to success. Our recent event included more than 50 firm leadership partners who participated in constructive dialogues, led roundtables, and participated in networking opportunities.

V&E provides numerous scholarships, fellowships, internships, sponsorships, and mentorship in support of its commitment to build a more diverse and inclusive firm and legal profession. V&E is the founding sponsor of The University of Texas School of Law Pipeline Program. We also participate in external programs, such as Seizing Every Opportunity (SEO) and the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program, which places 1L women of color with a law firm and in-house split-summer opportunity. Learn more about V&E’s scholarships and fellowships here.

V&E offers a variety of programs, resources, benefits, and initiatives to advance our lawyer’s careers while maintaining a fulfilling personal life. Below are a few examples:

  • Gender-Neutral Parental Leave – Up to 18 weeks of fully paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • New Parent Mentoring Program – All expecting parents (male and female) are offered an experienced mentor to help guide them through personal and professional considerations related to being a new parent.
  • Post-Family Leave Phase-In – A three-month phase-in period is encouraged to help primary caregiver transition back into work.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements and Remote Work – Lawyers are able to propose a formal reduced-hours schedule, and all lawyers have the ability to work remotely when needed to balance client and personal commitments.
  • Family-Friendly Events – Each year across our offices, we have several events – including client events – geared toward families and children.
  • Back-Up Child and Elder Care – V&E offers subsidized back-up child and elder care providers – in-home, and through nearby facilities.

V&E lawyers are actively involved in numerous affinity bar associations and diversity organizations. Examples include:

  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC)
  • Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 5.0
  • Hispanic Bar Association
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
  • Lambda Legal
  • Law Firm Antiracism Alliance
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)
  • Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys
  • Metropolitan Black Bar
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • National LGBTQ+ Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP)
  • The Center for Women in Law
  • Women’s Bar Association of DC
  • Bloomberg Law – DEI Framework Member Firm (2021)
  • Human Rights Campaign – “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality (2021)
  • Lambda Legal – Partner in Equality Award and National Sponsor (2020-21)
  • Law Firm Antiracism Alliance – Founding Member

Key Contacts

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Deborah Martin Owens
Senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist
Evelyn Molina
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator
Alana Hudley
  • Diversity Scholarships & Fellowships

    To aid in fueling the diversity pipeline, V&E is actively involved in a variety of external programs and offers V&E-sponsored financial support for students from high school seniors to rising second-year law students in the U.S.

    Learn More
  • Diversity Recruitment & Outreach

    Vinson & Elkins maintains a culture that nurtures diverse interests, backgrounds, and perspectives that enables us to develop exceptional attorneys. Our participation in diversity-focused career fairs and recruiting programs allows us to identify top notch legal talent.

Diversity Statistics

  • 730+
    Diversity Fellowship and Scholarships Awarded Since 1990
  • 100%
    Perfect Score, 2022 CEI ‘Best Place to Work’ for LGBTQ Equality
  • 41%
    of our 2022 Summer Associates are students of color