MAY 17, 2019 – Chambers USA has named three lawyers from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP as finalists for its 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The winners will be announced at an event June 6 in San Francisco.
The lawyers, and the award category for which they've been shortlisted, are:
- John LeCrone - LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year
- Portia Moore - Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession
- Laura Turczanski - Future Leader: Gender Diversity
In 2017, LeCrone led the establishment of DWT's LGBTQ+ affinity group, focusing his attention and energy into building a community where other lawyers could feel welcomed and supported. Since that launch, the group has become an important and energized resource for its members and the firm at large. Late last year, LeCrone organized the first firmwide LGBTQ+ "Coming Out" event, in which every LGBTQ+-identified attorney at the firm from across the country was invited to a networking event at a West Hollywood cocktail bar, joined by local in-house entertainment counsel, potential clients, and law students from the greater Los Angeles area. Building on that success, LeCrone is organizing a similar event at the firm's New York office in 2019. LeCrone's work has also included creating an internal mentorship program, connecting with outside LGBTQ+ organizations, and offering scholarships to LGBTQ+ law students to strengthen the firm's pipeline of LGBTQ+ talent. LeCrone previously served for six years on the firm's lead decision-making body, the executive committee, and for nearly a decade as vice chair of the firm's Employment Services Group.
Moore was firmwide chair of Diversity & Inclusion at Davis Wright Tremaine from 2015 to 2018. During that time she spearheaded multiple initiatives that significantly influenced the firm's culture and its ability to attract and retain lawyers of different backgrounds. Moore challenged the firm to bring a diversity and inclusion lens to all institutional processes, from hiring to evaluation, compensation, and promotions. Among other successes, her advocacy led to the expansion of the firm's 1L Diversity Scholarship Program to additional offices and the hiring of the firm's first diversity-focused recruitment manager; the development of four Women's Summits around the firm, providing a platform for women attorneys to address—openly and honestly—questions and concerns about practicing law at a large firm; and the establishment of annual retreats and meetups for minority attorneys. These programs continue to this day.
In 2018, Moore was recognized with the firm's Edward J. Davis Diversity & Mentorship Award, given to a partner who has made exceptional efforts to advance diversity and mentorship of all attorneys. She continues to serve on the firm's Diversity Executive Council and is also a longtime board member of the Loren Miller Bar Association, the nation's oldest minority bar and largest organization of African-American attorneys.
Turczanski spearheaded creation and adoption of the firm's new Parental Leave Transition Program. Piloted in 2018, the program provides attorneys taking parental leave with support from a designated partner and a designated peer. The partner helps to transition work prior to a leave, keeps the attorney integrated with the firm during a leave, and helps ensure the attorney returns with the right amount and type of work. The designated peer acts as a confidante to discuss challenges, act as a sounding board, and provide guidance and support. The program, which Turczanski conceived based on her own experience returning to work after a second child, has contributed to retaining women attorneys at DWT.
Turczanski has also initiated monthly meetings for the women attorneys in her practice group. These serve as an opportunity for female associates to connect and form stronger relationships with female partners who can serve as role models, champions, and mentors. She participates as well in the firm's Women Affinity Group Peer Mentoring Circles, a monthly meetup of DWT women attorneys focused on goal creation, accountability, and support.
Davis Wright Tremaine is widely recognized for the strength and success of its diversity commitment. Law360 named the firm one of the country's best for women and minority attorneys and Microsoft recently honored the firm as the top performer in the company's Law Firm Diversity Program.
About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is a national law firm with more than 550 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.dwt.com.