NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2022

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP - McLean, Virginia

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Ms.
Diversity Chair First Name Stacie
Diversity Chair Last Name Yee

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Ms.
Diversity Contact First Name Rosa
Diversity Contact Last Name Walker
Link to your organization's diversity website

Recruitment methods

Which of the following methods do you use to increase the presence and retention of under-represented groups? (Check all that apply) Diversity job fairs
Outreach to law student groups
Formal mentoring efforts
Recruit at schools with large minority populations
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Pillsbury is committed to increasing the recruitment, retention, development, and advancement of women, diverse attorneys and those from groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession. The firm has many successful policies and programs that have made a difference and consistently assists the firm in its commitment.

Our progress is a result of the firm's unwavering commitment to exceptional performance, diversity and inclusion. We have a long history of diversity leadership; not only were we one of the first law firms to admit women into the partnership, but we were also the first AmLaw 100 firm to be led by a woman. In maintaining that tradition, over the years, the firm has been recognized as among the best in class by, National Association of Female Executives, Working Mother Media, Human Rights Campaign, and several other benchmarking organizations.

  • Ranked #1 in Yale Law Women’s 2021 list for Racial Justice Contributions, 2020 Top Firms for Inclusion Initiatives,
  • 2021 Law 360 Diversity Snapshot, named one of the top 30 firms (large firms) for diversity
  • WILEF (Women in Law Empowerment Forum) 2020 Gold Standard
  • One of only three law firms named Top Company for Executive Women by National Association for Female Executives
  • 2021 Disability Equality Index, names a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion
  • One of two law firms on Seramount (formerly Diversity Best Practices) 2021 Inclusion Index
  • 2021 Top -20 law firm for LGBTQ+ Individuals by Vault
  • Working Mother Media’s 100 Best Companies for Working Women for 14 years
  • Working Mother Media’s Best Law Firms for Women for 13 years. In 2019, the Firm was inducted into its Hall of Fame after making the list for more than ten consecutive years.
  • 100 percent score on Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for LGBT equality since 2006
  • Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification, including Mansfield Certification Plus status, meaning the Firm has successfully reached at least 30% underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of the firm’s current leadership roles.

Hiring Practices and Retention

Last year Pillsbury examined its hiring efforts and methods with a focus on increasing the recruitment of diverse lateral attorneys. The hiring partners, section leaders and departments across the firm are intentional about providing new hires with tools necessary for successful integration into the firm, which may include providing mentorship and training programs. As for law students, the firm’s first 1L Diverse Summer Program in 2021 had eight participants and our overall 2L Summer Program was 55% ethnically diverse and 60% overall diverse.

Pillsbury’s Board has two commissioned standing committees, the Board Committee on the Advancement of Women Attorneys and the Board Committee on the Advancement of Diverse Attorneys, which are tasked with finding solutions that increase retention and create more opportunities for women and diverse attorneys to advance to partnership.

The firm has earned Mansfield Rule 4.0 Plus certification, which signifies that we have not only affirmatively considered at least 30% women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys and attorneys with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and senior lateral positions, but have filled significant roles at Pillsbury with at least 30% of Mansfield diverse candidates.


Pillsbury sponsors pro bono fellowship programs as part of our mission to serve our communities. Over the years, the Pillsbury Foundation has underwritten more than a dozen two-year fellowships with donations totaling more than $1 million. Over 80% of our fellows have continued their legal careers in public interest law.

  • The Equal Justice Works Fellowship is a post-graduate program that helps law school graduates launch public interest careers.
  • The Mid-Level Fellowship is awarded to Pillsbury associates and allows the fellow to devote 50% of their billable hours on high-impact pro bono work.
  • The Pillsbury Social Impact Fellowship provides a first-year associate the opportunity to practice for a year in a public interest position and then join the firm with his or her class.

In addition to these pro bono focused fellowships, in 2021 the firm introduced its Pillsbury’s 1L Fellowship for Advancing Diversity in the Profession. The Fellowship allows 1L students to Summer at the firm, participate in the LCLD 1L development program, and each 1L invited and accepts to return as a 2L is granted $15K to defer the cost of law school. Fellows who return for their 2L Summer will receive an additional $25K if an offer to join the firm as a First Year is extended and accepted.

By investing firm resources into these fellowships, Pillsbury creates opportunities to change lives and communities for the better.

Community Impact

Pillsbury fosters diversity, inclusion, and equity through recruiting, mentoring, development, and retention programs, as well as partnering with clients on diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition to efforts within the firm, we understand that lawyers and law firms have an important role to play in helping secure civil rights and equal justice for all. We take that role seriously.

$11 Million Commitment to Equal Justice

In 2020, Pillsbury issued a Commitment to Equal Justice---a public pledge to invest an additional $11 million over three years to advance civil rights and equal justice for all.  Numerous Pillsbury attorneys and employees have volunteered to perform meaningful civil justice and criminal justice Pro Bono work in support of the firm’s overall commitment, and the firm is targeting financial contributions to meaningful organizations that support equal justice, criminal justice, and criminal reform.  We have undertaken a firmwide Pro Bono effort—involving both attorneys and professional staff—to promote equity in the criminal justice system, including work with multiple Innocence Project member organizations.

Black-Owned Startup Support Lab (BOSS)

As part of this commitment, Pillsbury initiated its BOSS (Black-Owned Startup Support) Lab program to support and promote Black-owned startup companies.  By June 2021, more than 20 companies/new clients had joined the BOSS Lab, which is well on its way to a goal of nurturing at least 50 startups.  Each new black-owned startup receives at least $20,000 in Pillsbury services, as the firm helps to grow startup companies led by Black founders.

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

Last year, Pillsbury was a founding member, along with a number of other law firms, in the launch of the “Law Firm Antiracism Alliance” (LFAA).  Through the LFAA, Pillsbury and our member law firms commit to utilizing law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and promotes racial equity.

Sustainability Actions

Pillsbury has a deep sense of responsibility to environmental stewardship. Through our firmwide Sustainability initiative we have supported local offices toward greener business practices. Some of our core targets and accomplishments include: (i) reducing greenhouse gas emissions by offering employees alternatives to commuting by car. Our program has been awarded a Green Business Award by the Washington Business Journal and a Diamond Award by San Diego Association of Governments for "ongoing commitment" to traffic reduction; (ii) increasing energy efficiency by maintaining an Energy Management Plan that is customized for each office; (iii) reducing waste, consuming less and recycling by moving to an electronic-only records system and making double-sided printing the default when it is necessary to print; and (iv) purchasing goods and services with lighter environmental impact by maintaining "green" kitchens and using sustainable and recycled materials. The design approach we took in our Houston office garnered recognition for sustainability and energy efficiency from a chapter of the American Society for Interior Designers. Our Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC offices are also in LEED-certified and/or Energy Star buildings. 

Pillsbury’s other work-life resources and benefits include parental leave policies (20 weeks of paid leave, available also to fathers and adoptive parents); a phase-back program from new parent leave (a reduced schedule for the first 60 days for attorneys returning from new parent leave); a partner liaison (a point of contact throughout leave who helps the lawyer reintegrate and ramp up work levels upon return); and family benefits (providing new parents and caregivers for elderly or disabled family members access to resources for finding and hiring child and elder care). New mothers have lactation accommodations at work.

Non-discrimination policy

Pillsbury is an equal opportunity employer, affirmatively seeking diversity in its workforce and making employment decisions on the basis of merit. The firm prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics, marital status, family status, sex, gender identity and expression, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.

Additionally, the firm adopted a non-discrimination policy for charitable giving that states the firm “respects, values and welcomes diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in the communities we serve.  We do not contribute to non-religious organizations that discriminate, or permit their local chapters or affiliates to discriminate, on any basis prohibited by our non-discrimination policy.”

Diversity fellowships or scholarships

Does your organization or office sponsor/offer a Diversity Fellowship or Scholarship? Yes
If yes, is the program open to 1L
Please provide a brief description of the program

In 2021, the firm introduced its Pillsbury’s 1L Fellowship for Advancing Diversity in the Profession. The Fellowship allows 1L students to Summer at the firm, participate in the LCLD 1L development program, and each 1L invited and accepts to return as a 2L is granted $15K to defer the cost of law school. Fellows who return for their 2L Summer will receive an additional $25K if an offer to join the firm as a First Year is extended and accepted.

By investing firm resources into these fellowships, Pillsbury creates opportunities to change lives and communities for the better.

In addition to the 1L Fellowship of Advancing Diversity, Pillsbury also supports the California Bar Foundation's Diversity Scholarship. This scholarship financially supports first-year California law students with the goal of furthering diversity in the legal profession. Diversity includes a broad array of backgrounds and life experiences, including students from groups or with skills or attributes that are underrepresented in the legal profession, and specifically including students from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Rising first-year law students are invited to apply by the beginning of the summer prior to commencing their first semester of law school.

The Diversity Scholarship provides $10,000 in restricted funding intended to cover costs associated with attending law school, i.e. tuition, fees, books and related educational expenses.

Affinity group information

Does your organization or office have affinity groups? Yes
If yes, please describe your affinity groups below

Our affinity groups are the Attorneys of Color Network, Women’s Impact Network, Pillsbury Pride, First, and M.E.R.G

Attorneys of Color Network.  The AOC Network’s mission is to foster professional and personal success for attorneys of ethnic diversity in an accepting environment that embraces differences and promotes equality for everyone to excel.  Presently, among other things, the Network is focused on providing customized training and development resources for Network members. 

DiverseAbilities.  DiverseAbilities is an ERG with a mission to serve as a resource and an advocate for employees with disabilities, and their colleagues and family members, in order to foster a cooperative, accessible, and supportive work environment.  DiverseAbilities increases awareness and education across the Firm about important health and mental conditions that affect us, our families and society; promotes community involvement; and serves as an internal resource and network for members and allies. 

First.  The mission of this newly-formed ERG is to connect first-generation professionals; offer them space to share their experiences, ask questions and learn from each other; and help them successfully navigate the law firm work environment and achieve their professional goals. 

Military (Veteran) Employee Resources Group.  MERG is an open membership organization that celebrates and supports past and present service members and their families.  The group works to raise awareness of veterans’ issues and advance veterans’ rights while integrating the experience, values and expertise gleaned from military service into the fabric and culture of the firm.  MERG supports transitioning service members and veterans alike with career development and benefit assistance programs and is part of the firm’s broader commitment to recruiting, retaining and recognizing veterans and their families. 

Pillsbury Pride.  Pillsbury Pride is an ERG focusing on issues relevant to the LGBTQ+ community.  Open to everyone, the group includes attorneys and staff members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allies. 

 Womens Impact Network (WIN). Last, but certainly far from least, WIN provides women attorneys with a variety of opportunities for professional development and supportive networking.  WIN regularly sponsors firmwide and local office programs on networking, leadership and work-life balance, including the popular Women’s Leadership Development programs attended by dozens of Pillsbury clients and attorneys.