Yes, It's News When Big Law Elects a Black Leader

, The American Lawyer

   | 4 Comments

Let's get real: Being a black leader of a top firm is Y-U-G-E.

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  • Ellisen

    Hi Alex. Delighted you are so passionate about these issues. Please note that this is a short interview and hence does not provide every view or thought I have on every subject. It is an important part of Irell & Manella‘s history that it was founded by two amazing Jewish lawyers that, despite their skills and success, were precluded from joining the big New York firms. Indeed, it is that history that has led to the strength of our diversity and inclusion efforts at the firm over time and surely a large part of why diverse attorneys from many backgrounds have been able to thrive here. Surely, no discrimination I have faced could compare to what those before me experienced. I thought that particular point came through loud and clear in the interview where I referenced what my father experienced in Norfolk and the black partners who struggled to lay the path that I walked more easily than they. Granted, there is much more that can and should be said, and proper respects given, to the giants of prior generations on whose shoulders I (and I presume you) stand and to whom we should be eternally grateful. No short interview could capture those experiences.

  • Tiredoffolks

    Give me a break, Alex....

  • Alex Wright

    He is ignorant of the century of issues with outsiders that preceded him. No firm -- ever -- went pout of their way to hire Jews, Irish, Italians, etc. No law school ever set up diversity departments to hire those ethnic undesirables. What did they do? They set up their own firms. Is this guy so blind that he doesn‘t realize that the firms he is citing were, nearly all, set up by rejected Jews and Irish and Italians and Poles? Nothing this guy has faced rises to the level of discrimination these other groups faced.

  • Cornell Leverette Moore

    Great article, he is an example of what we are if allowed to be ourselves and thrive and grow like everybody else. His story is like so many stories that we all can and could tell,53 years ago the same issues existed, we just have to keep on keeping on. Those of us that are in the practice cannot leave the bench nor the field devoid of success stories like this one, otherwise, we have toiled and worked in vain. Keep the stories and successes coming and one day maybe this will not be a YUGE deal until then I for one will not be satisfied Congratulations to the firm, I remember back in the day when Larry Manella was very highly respected in the Black community in Los Angeles for his assistance in financial matters regarding Bank of Finance a black bank in need of legal advice. Thanks

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