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Partner Doug Bland Participates on ‘Crowd Favorite’ Team at Diversity in Law Hackathon

For the second consecutive year, Vinson & Elkins participated in the 2018 Diversity in Law Hackathon, a competition aimed at increasing diversity in the legal industry.

V&E’s firmwide Hiring Partner Doug Bland participated on the team that won Crowd Favorite at the event. The Hackathon, developed by Diversity Lab, is a “Shark-Tank” style pitch competition that brings together legal department leaders, high-level law firm partners, expert advisors and law students from across the country to tackle pressing diversity and inclusion challenges. A total of nine teams gathered at Harvard Law School in June and pitched ideas in the first of two Diversity in Law Hackathon events this year.

After four months of development, Bland’s team presented its idea, “NextGen10,” a proposed program to address the leadership gap for women and people of color attaining top law firm and in-house positions. NextGen10 aims to bring together partnerships between law firms and their clients who will select diverse client relationship lawyers and provide them with additional tools and opportunities for future leadership.

The winning ideas from the Hackathon will be developed by Diversity Lab and piloted by participating law firms and legal departments. At the inaugural Women in Law Hackathon competition in 2016, the team that included V&E’s John Wander, co-chair of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice, generated the Mansfield Rule. Firms that elected to participate in the pilot Mansfield Rule certification program in 2017 agreed to affirmatively consider women and diverse lawyers for promotions, leadership positions and lateral openings.

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