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Women's Initiative

Building Trailblazing Legal Careers

Launched in 2000, our Women’s Initiative works with the highest levels of firm leadership, both men and women, to ensure the recruiting retention, development, and promotion of women attorneys at every level of the firm.

The Women’s Initiative works both firm-wide and at the office level to create and sustain a variety of programs that support our women – and ultimately benefit all of our lawyers – including business development training, mentoring programs, and family-friendly initiatives. Examples of women having a voice at V&E include Vice Chair Hilary Preston, several women who serve on our Management Committee and as Practice Group Leaders, and several women partners who serve in other leadership roles such as Office Managing Partners, Hiring Partners, and chair of key firm-wide committees.

Key Contacts

Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Allie McWilliams

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.

A wide variety of programs hosted and supported by V&E across offices helps our women to develop and connect with one another.

  • Business Development & Skills Training – A multitude of training programs are offered to teach the skills necessary to become an excellent lawyer and build and retain strong client relationships. You will have an opportunity to hear directly from our clients, firm partners, and leading experts in their fields.
  • Networking Events – Our Women’s Initiative hosts numerous events across offices for networking with firm leadership, clients, alums, and community leaders.
  • Mentoring Programs – Every successful lawyer has had a strong mentor, and we support formal and informal mentoring connections, including through mentoring circles, and sponsorship pairings.
  • Office-Specific Programs and Events – Topics for events include business development, public speaking, confidence, negotiating, self-defense training, yoga and mindfulness, generations in the workplace, and financial planning, to name a few.
  • External Conferences & Organizations – V&E supports and many of our lawyers attend outside conferences geared toward the success of women in law, such as Women Influence Power & Law, National Association of Women Lawyers, Women’s Energy Network, and Corporate Counsel Women of Color.
  • Community – We encourage our lawyers to carry their passion for serving others to our communities through volunteering, financial contributions, board service, and pro bono legal work. The firm and our women lawyers support Dress for Success, Human Rights Campaign, Communities in Schools, March of Dimes, and diverse bar associations, among others.

Vinson & Elkins provides our women lawyers with the resources needed to advance in their career while maintaining a fulfilling personal life. For our innovative programs and numerous benefits that we offer, Vinson & Elkins has been named several times as a Yale Law Women Top Ten Family Friendly Firm and a Best Law Firm for Women by Seramount (formerly known as Working Mother).Below are a few examples of our resources and benefits:

  • 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.

As V&E invests in our women lawyers, they serve as role models and mentors for pre-law and law students through a variety of internal and external programs. A number of the firm’s pipeline initiatives (V&E Scholarships, Law Preview Scholarships, and Diversity Fellowships), which increase diversity in the legal field, are inclusive of women. 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 lawyers are actively involved in numerous women’s bar associations and organizations. Examples include:

  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC)
  • Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 5.0
  • Houston Bar Association’s Gender Fairness Committee
  • OnRamp Fellowship Program
  • The Center for Women in Law
  • Women’s Bar Association of DC
  • Women, Influence & Power in Law Network
  • Women’s Energy Network
  • Women in Law Empowerment Forum – Gold Standard Certified (2021)
  • Seramount – Best Law Firms for Women List (2020)
  • Yale Law Women – Top 10 Family Friendly Firm (2019)
  • Hilary L. Preston
    Vice Chair - Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
    New York, Austin

    V&E’s Women’s Initiative has served not only to directly support our women lawyers, but also as a catalyst of firm-wide change for many of our initiatives and benefits. Through active mentoring and allyship, and by broadening opportunities, we seek to be a market leader for advancing women – which ultimately will fuel the continued success of our firm.

  • 1/4
    Lawyers and Allies Committed to Our Global Diversity Council
  • 9
    Years Named to 'Best Law Firms for Working Mothers' List
  • Top 10
    2019 Firms for Family friendliness