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People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Making Strides: A Banner Year for Women at WilmerHale Over the past three years, WilmerHale has steadily increased the percentage of women partners promoted. Starting in 2012, WilmerHale will join a small minority of AmLaw 100 firms with a woman serving as Co-Managing Partner. But that’s not all. Read Full Story FiRm NewS & eveNtS Q & A with Pedro Medrano Get your calendars Pedro Medrano shares with us some insight into the ready! Click here man behind the lawyer – from his favorite food and his ultimate dinner guest to his inspiration for coming to learn about to work everyday. upcoming events read full story in which you can get involved. “Out” in the Workplace Firm Client Plays Role in Successful Former Washington DC Summer Associate Jason Beekman hosts Senior Associate Zaid Zaid at Cornell Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell Law School to discuss what it means to be gay in more details today’s workplace and gives advice on finding a work environment that supports the LGBT community. NAPABA Conference Update read full story more details Partner Kim Parker Named AALDEF Celebrates the New Year to “45 under 45” List of Leading The “Year of the Rabbit” was kicked off as attorneys women Lawyers from WilmerHale’s New York office attended AALDEF’s more details Lunar New Year gala. read full story For more information, visit the Diversity Committee on WHweb. Click here to learn about our Diversity Initiatives. People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Making Strides: A Banner Year for Women at WilmerHale Starting in 2012, WilmerHale will join a minority of AmLaw 100 firms with a woman serving as a co-managing partner. In November 2010, we announced the election of our first woman co-managing partner, Susan Murley, who will begin her three-year term on January 1, 2012. Susan is currently chair of the Transactional Department, which comprises 11 practice groups with lawyers in eight offices. She was promoted to partner in 1994, and previously served as chair of the Firm’s Corporate Department. She was assistant managing partner at Hale and Dorr at the time of the merger with Wilmer Cutler Pickering and has served on the Management Committee since that time. Susan has taken an active role within the Women’s Leadership Initiative as well. When asked about the Firm’s support of its women lawyers, she reflected, “we want to lead the efforts in the profession to understand why it is women leave the practice of law and how best to promote the advancement and retention of women.” Retaining and promoting women is critical to the future success of the Firm and WilmerHale continues to work hard to ensure that women attorneys are given the support, tools and experiences they need to attain their professional goals. The percentage of women at WilmerHale promoted to partner has increased steadily since January 2009. In 2009 and 2010, 40% and 56%, respectively, of our partner promotions were women. In 2011, 73% of our partner promotions were women (8 of the 11 attorneys promoted). Recently elevated IP partner in Palo Alto, Evelyn Mak, credits both her formal mentors as well as her many informal mentors across the Firm in both the IP Department and IP Litigation Practice Group for her professional success. Evelyn said, “My many mentors have been incredibly supportive of me. They have all helped shape my career. The Firm’s open door policy and the real-time feedback I have received over the years have helped me reach the milestone of partnership.” Evelyn also credits the Firm culture of “everyone counts” as she feels that each person on her case teams is very important to WilmerHale’s success. As she put Susan Murley it, “I have been very fortunate to be staffed on a wide variety of cases with different partners across the offices and have thus been given the opportunity to develop and grow as an attorney. And now I have also had the opportunity to work with great teams of other counsel, associates, paralegals and secretaries whom I can count on and trust. It feels great to see it come together full circle.” main page previous page | 2 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Making Strides: A Banner Year for Women at WilmerHale (continued from page 2) Through the efforts of a group of women partners, counsel, associates, senior administrators and support from the Firm’s Management Committee, the WilmerHale Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) was established to promote the retention and advancement of our women lawyers. Last year, WLI programs included: Panel discussions with Firm partners, networking events and trainings on topics such as career navigation, communication skills, negotiation skills and business development; Welcome receptions, lunches and dinners across the Firm for summer and fall associates; External events with female lawyers working as general counsel focused on the importance of mentoring to career development; Attendance at national conferences related to the advancement of women, including the Women Rainmakers Roundtable, the National Association of Women Judges Conference and the American Bar Association Women in Law Leadership Conference; Supporting national women’s organizations and local bar associations through dues and sponsorships; and Maintaining internal and external websites that highlight the achievements of the Firm’s female attorneys. WilmerHale’s commitment to supporting the retention and advancement of women has been recognized through industry accolades, including selection in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as a “firm of choice” for women in the Working Mother Magazine & Flex-Time Lawyers survey of “Best Law Firms for Women” and selected for the third consecutive year as one of the Top Ten Family Friendly Firms by Yale Law Women. We look forward to the success the WLI and women attorneys will have in the new year and extend our congratulations to the newly elected Partners and our Co-Managing Partner elect. main page previous page | 3 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Q&A with Pedro Medrano Pedro A. Medrano joined the Firm’s Washington, DC office in the fall of 2003 as an associate. Shortly thereafter, he transferred to the New York office where he has been practicing since 2004. Pedro is now Counsel at the Firm and practices as a member of both the Firm’s Litigation Department (Investigations and Criminal Litigation practice group) and Securities Department (Securities Litigation and Enforcement). He has also been a very active member of the New York Diversity Committee. Pedro’s commitment to the law and to public service is longstanding. He served as a Combat Medic in the United States Army Reserve, and as Fellow in the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, where he taught constitutional law to public high school students in the District of Columbia. Prior to attending law school at American University Washington College of Law, Pedro studied Criminal Justice and Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. At WilmerHale, his commitment to public service has continued to grow. Clockwise from top left: Medrano’s grandmother, great-grandparents In the interview below, we took a few and great-great-grandmother in Los Yungas, La Paz, Bolivia (date unknown); moments to turn the tables on this litigator Sergeant Medrano atop a US Army mobile artillery unit at Camp Ripley, and cross examine Pedro. Here he shares Minnesota in 2001; Medrano with fiancé Monica in Whistler, Canada in 2009; and a photograph taken by Medrano in La Paz, Bolivia of a parade with us some insight into the man behind of schoolchildren dancing Tinku, a Bolivian folk dance. the lawyer from his favorite foods and his ultimate dinner guests to his inspiration for coming to work everyday. My favorite music artist is… Biggie Smalls (RIP), if we are talking about hip-hop music. My interest in music has changed a lot over the years, but my favorite genres are hip-hop and reggae from the 1980s and 1990s. Listening to this music takes me back to when my brother Ivan (DJ Lo) transformed our basement into a virtual music studio by mixing and scratching the latest hits on the “wheels of steel.” main page previous page | 4 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Q&A with Pedro Medrano (continued from page 4) My favorite sports team is… the New York Knicks. We haven’t been good for a long time, but things are looking up now that Isiah Thomas is gone and Amar’e Stoudemire is playing like a man possessed. The best movie I’ve seen in the last year is… The Fighter, which is based on the boxing career of “Irish” Micky Ward and his older brother and trainer Dicky Eklund. It’s a good drama and the acting is excellent. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale both received Golden Globe nominations for their roles (Bale won Best Supporting Actor), and the film was nominated for Best Picture. The most interesting book I’ve read lately is… Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. My favorite food is… chairo, a delicious Andean soup made with beef, carrots, herbs, potatoes and freeze-dried potatoes called chuño. A close second is a hot, crisp Sicilian pizza slice from Lillian’s Pizzeria, my neighborhood pizzeria located in Forest Hills, Queens. The reason I come to work everyday is… to become a better lawyer. A WilmerHale partner once sat me down to explain a litigation pointer, and he told me that you never stop learning something new in the practice of law. This is so true, and ever since I joined the Firm in 2003, I’ve learned a great deal. I’m very thankful for all of the guidance and support my colleagues have shown me over the years, and each day I try to repay their faith in me by helping our clients as best as I can. If I weren’t doing this, I would probably be… in law enforcement or the military. I actually came very close to joining the New York City Police Department prior to starting law school and was in the US Army Reserve for eight years. Go Army! HOOAH! My favorite thing about the city in which I work is… the cultural diversity. I grew up in Queens, New York—the most diverse borough of New York City—with people from all over the world. To put this into perspective, my childhood friends were all first-generation Americans from the Philippines, Armenia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Haiti, Japan, India, Colombia, Mexico, Guyana, Korea and Saudi Arabia. I grew up thinking this was normal, but having visited other parts of the United States, I now know how fortunate I was to be exposed to different cultures at such a young age. People might be surprised to learn that I… once paid a shaman in Bolivia to bless the outcome of my bar exam. You may not believe in such things, but I’m licensed, right? main page previous page | 5 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Q&A with Pedro Medrano (continued from page 5) If I could live anywhere else, it would be… somewhere in South America. I don’t know exactly where yet, but Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are high on my list. The best vacation I ever had was… a trip to Bolivia in 2003, after taking the bar exam. Prior to this trip, I hadn’t returned to Bolivia in 15 years, so it was wonderful to reconnect with family and to see places and things that my parents had told me so much about. One day, while exploring La Paz, I stumbled across a parade of schoolchildren performing folkloric dances in full costume. Watching them dance with incredible joy and intensity made me so proud of my culture. The historical figure who intrigues me the most is… Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My greatest accomplishment (personal or professional) is… convincing my then-girlfriend Monica that accepting my marriage proposal would be a good thing … for both of us. I first met Monica in San Francisco at the Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention, where I interviewed her at the career fair. Two years later, I bumped into her at the same convention in Puerto Rico, and asked her to dance. We danced all night and have been inseparable ever since. The title of my autobiography would be… Rock Steady, which is the name of my favorite Army running cadence, and how I would describe my attitude (on most days). The actor I would cast to play me in a movie is… Benjamin Bratt. People have told me that we look alike. I tend to agree, except I wear glasses and he’s less handsome (though people haven’t told me this). If I could have dinner with five people, they would be… my grandparents. My mother’s parents passed away before I was born, so I don’t know much about them. My grandmother on my mother’s side is the little girl with the hat in the picture; my great-grandmother is behind her; my great-great-grandmother is the woman in black; and my great-grandfather is the smooth-looking guy in the back. They are all surrounded by village people, or campesinos, from whom my grandmother learned Aymara, the language spoken by indigenous people in the Andes. My grandfather on my father’s side was a tailor and a veteran of the war between Bolivia and Paraguay (the Chaco War). I met him during his only visit to New York. I remember we went to McDonald’s and he ordered a Big Mac. Upon close inspection of his sandwich, he told me he’d been cheated because his sandwich had only three pieces of bread. Naturally, whenever I eat a Big Mac, I think of him. I can’t pick just one other person for this dinner, so I’m going to cheat and include my entire family. I’ve actually dreamt of this dinner before, and in my dream I see a family so happy to be together at last. main page previous page | 6 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 “Out” in the Workplace On Thursday, February 10, Zaid A. Zaid, a Washington senior associate in the Litigation/Controversy Department, spoke on a panel that WilmerHale co-hosted along with White and Case LLP at Cornell Law School about being gay in the work place. The panel was conceived and organized by Jason Beekman, a 2010 summer associate in WilmerHale’s Washington office. Beekman is president emeritus for Lambda, Cornell Law’s LGBT student group. Beekman described why he was inspired to organize this program: “When I started interviewing for legal positions, I contemplated stripping my resume of all my LGBT involvements. Thankfully, I spoke with some wonderful Cornell alumni who encouraged me to be honest and forthright from the get go. I wanted to provide a similar opportunity for my fellow LGBT Cornellians to get advice from young openly gay attorneys. In addition to advice on the recruiting side of things, I wanted to provide my peers with advice on choosing employment, seeking out LGBT affinity groups within their particular job environment, and maintaining involvement with important LGBT issues through pro bono opportunities, ABA committees, and nonprofit boards.” Zaid spoke with law students of all levels about his experiences being gay in the workplace at WilmerHale, and his approach while in law school to organizing his resume, selecting firms, and interviewing with potential employers. He encouraged students to identify themselves as LGBT individuals when they apply to firms, as well as when they begin their summer or start as an associate. Student questions ranged from the kind of LGBT-themed programs that WilmerHale sponsors to the types of cases that the firm is involved Zaid Zaid and Jason Beekman in relating to the LGBT community. Beekman received very positive feedback on the program. “The candid and conversational nature of the program provided a great opportunity to ask questions that many said they never felt comfortable to ask. One of my friends in particular decided not to come out during recruitment and spent her entire summer associate experience closeted. After speaking with Zaid, she has decided to come out and join her firm’s LGBT affinity group.” Many of the students noted that it is important for them to know that firms to which they apply are committed to LGBT associates and the LGBT community. Beekman noted “One of the major reasons I chose to accept my offer at WilmerHale was the Firm’s strong diversity programs and its commitment to the LGBT community. I had an absolutely wonderful experience at WilmerHale this summer and cannot wait to return to the Firm as an associate.” main page previous page | 7 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 AALDEF Celebrates the New Year On Tuesday, February 8, members of the New York office and guests celebrated the Year of the Rabbit, the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, at the annual Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) Lunar New Year Gala which took place at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers in New York City. WilmerHale’s own Bill Lee served as a Benefit Committee Co-Chair, as did former WilmerHale partner, John Payton, now with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. This year’s Justice in Action award recipients included A.B. Cruz, III who serves as Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary for Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. Back: Joseph Yu, Henry Chen, Ronnie Lin, Sarah Mohr and Lillian Kimura, a civil rights advocate and former president Front: Elizabeth Derbes, Laura Asserfea, Tetyana Gaponenko, Denise Leong of the Japanese American Citizens League. The evening was emceed (an EPA attorney and friend of Ronnie Lin) by two faces familiar to morning news fans. Juju Chang, news anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America served as one of the co-hosts for the evening. Alongside Ms. Chang was Sree Sreenivasan who currently serves as the Dean of Student Affairs for the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and has previously been seen on local New York City news stations as a tech reporter and “Tech Guru.” Attendees from the New York office included: Litigation/Controversy associates Joseph Yu, Henry Chen, Sarah Mohr and Tetyana Gaponenko; Litigation/Controversy senior associate Ronnie Lin, Securities associate Laura Asserfea, and Securities partner and Diversity Committee Co-Chair Elizabeth Derbes. AALDEF did not disappoint as everyone in attendance enjoyed the night with colleagues, peers, and friends and engaging speakers. Henry Chen, Elizabeth Derbes, Laura Asserfea, And thus begins the countdown to 2012, the Year of the Dragon. Tetyana Gaponenko main page previous page | 8 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Get your calendars ready! Learn how to get involved in upcoming events. Boston On April 1st, WilmerHale will sponsor the Santa Clara On March 4-5th, WilmerHale will sponsor Harvard University SOL APALSA 30th Anniversary Banquet. BLSA’s 28th Annual Spring Conference. This event will The event will take place at the Dynasty Restaurant take place on campus at Harvard University. in San Jose from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. On April 7th, WilmerHale will sponsor “Lawyers for washington Transgender Rights,” a cocktail party, held by the On March 17th, WilmerHale will sponsor the Asian Pacific Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. This event American Bar Association’s Educational Fund 18th Annual will take place at Club Café, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Benefit Dinner. This event will take place at the National Press Club from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Los Angeles On March 3rd, WilmerHale will sponsor/attend On March 23rd, WilmerHale will sponsor the GW Law the Implicit Bias Conference. The conference will take School Chapter of Lambda Law’s Fifth Annual LGBT and place at UCLA. Allied Law Student Networking Reception. This event will take place at GW Law School from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. On March 11th, WilmerHale will sponsor the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles On April 1st, WilmerHale will sponsor/host the National 13th Annual Installation Dinner. Conference for Vietnamese American Attorney’s Annual Conference. The Welcome Reception for this event will On April 6th, WilmerHale will sponsor the LAALRA take place at Arent Fox LLP. Diversity Networking Event. The conference will take place at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles On May 13th, WilmerHale will sponsor/host the GW BLSA’s from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 33rd Annual Patricia Roberts Harris Banquet. This event will take place at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel from Palo Alto 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. On March 11th, WilmerHale will sponsor/attend the For more information on events please contact: BALIF 31st Annual Dinner and Awards Gala entitled Boston: Lara Freishtat at email@example.com BAILIF Celebrates the Art of Equality. The event will LA: Martinelle Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org take place at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Palo Alto: Martinelle Cole at email@example.com NY: Kristin Hagestad at firstname.lastname@example.org On March 24th, WilmerHale will sponsor the Washington: Tanya Massey at email@example.com Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award Reception. The reception will take place at the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. main page previous page | 9 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Notable & Quotable: more reasons we’re proud to work for wilmerHale. Firm Client Plays Role WilmerHale sent six attorneys to the convention, representing the Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, DC in Successful Repeal offices. Based on this group’s feedback, NAPABA met its goal of inspiration. “The convention reminded us of how of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell far Asian Pacific Americans have come as a group. In 1898, it was questionable whether a child born in the U.S., WilmerHale client, Center for American Progress played of Chinese parents, even deserved to be a U.S. citizen,” a critical role in the successful legislative effort to repeal says Shirley Cantin and Yin Zhou, both Litigation associates the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, which has been on the books in the Boston office. “Now, NAPABA is celebrating Judge since 1993. With passage of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Cantil-Sakauye’s nomination to Chief Justice of the Tell, gays and lesbians will be able to serve openly in the California Supreme Court, the first Asian Pacific American military. For the past 18 months, the Firm has assisted to head a state’s high court.” the Center for American Progress by helping to craft the legislative language that ultimately attracted enough votes NAPABA’s nationwide membership includes attorneys, to pass both houses of Congress, and engaging with the judges, law professors and law students and represents White House, Department of Defense, Department of Justice the interests of approximately 63 local bar associations and key Senate offices. Click here to read more. and over 40,000 attorneys. Some 1,700 Asian Pacific American legal professionals attended the convention which offered both networking and educational opportunities inspired: NAPABA via panels, workshops and general events. Topics include an international law symposium, a panel about social Conference Update advocacy for children who enter the U.S. illegally without a guardian and the variety of ways Asian Pacific Americans In November 2010, The National Asian Pacific American can advance in the legal industry. Bar Association (NAPABA), held their 22nd Annual Convention in Los Angeles, titled “Inspire.” The convention NAPABA strives is to provide a national voice for the needs showcased the different ways people are inspired by the law, and interests of the Asian Pacific American legal community and by the achievements of Asian Pacific American lawyers, and help to foster an environment for professional in their roles as lawyers, leaders anda volunteers within the development, advocacy, legal scholarship and community communities in which they practice and live. By showcasing involvement. The 2011 convention will be held in Atlanta, these achievements, the conference further inspired people Georgia. And as Shirley and Yin both stated, they are already to strive for excellence and give back to their communities. looking forward to it. main page previous page | 10 | next page People, Perspectives and Press A Diversity Committee Quarterly Publication | Winter 2011 Notable & Quotable: more reasons we’re proud to work for wilmerHale. Partner Kim Parker Named to “45 under 45” List of Leading women Lawyers WilmerHale partner Kimberly Parker was named one of the 45 leading women lawyers under 45 years of age in the January 2011 issue of The American Lawyer. This issue of the magazine profiles each of the 45 women and recognized their significant achievements at a notably young age. Click here to read more. main page previous page | 11 | next page
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