People of Color

Broadening our horizons. From our partner-led Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, which works to ensure career advancement for attorneys of color, to our truly meaningful fellowships provided to outstanding law students of color, Goodwin supports a dynamic set of racial and ethnic diversity initiatives. In addition to reflecting our firm’s core values, these initiatives are part of a strategic business approach to help Goodwin attract top legal talent and to serve our clients more effectively.

Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CRED)

Goodwin’s CRED is a partner-led, firm-wide initiative focused on identifying and implementing opportunities to promote diversity within our firm. The Committee has a presence in every Goodwin office. The Committee is chaired by partner Roberto Braceras, former head of the Litigation Department in the firm’s Boston office, and includes other partners, associates, and key firm administrators. 

The goals of the committee are to:

  • Attract and retain highly talented law students and attorneys of color
  • Support attorneys of color through strategic professional development and mentorship and sponsorship programs
  • Help the firm as a community become increasingly culturally aware and appreciative of diversity of thought and background
  • Leverage our diversity to strengthen our competitiveness in markets for clients and top talent
  • Organize key cultural celebrations as well as a firm-wide diversity retreat, local office panel discussions and social gatherings with partners of color and other firm leaders.

Sponsorships and Accolades

A policy of diversity and equal access to justice is important. But policies are only as good as the actions they inspire. Goodwin sponsors programs and events that are catalysts in the legal community. Our goal is to make the practice of law and the justice system more accessible and accountable. 

 The following is a representative list of our firm memberships and recent sponsorships:

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) Gala
  • National Asian Pacific Bar Association (NAPABA)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
  • American Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Award
  • Hispanic Bar Association of D.C. Equal Justice Awards
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area (APABA-DC)
  • Boston Bar Association Beacon Award
  • Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA)
  • Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM)
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA)
  • South Asian Association of Greater Boston (SABA – GB)
  • Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA)

Several Goodwin attorneys have been recognized for their commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession. Recent accolades include:

  • Retired partner Paul Lee, past president of both the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), was awarded the 2013 Boston Bar Association Beacon Award for Diversity & Inclusion. Mr. Lee was the 2007 winner of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Spirit of Excellence Award for his ongoing commitment to diversity.
  • Of counsel Richard Soden, a former Goodwin partner and past president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA), was awarded the ABA’s Spirit of Excellence Award in 2009 for his extensive work promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
  • Wayne Budd, a former partner and current senior counsel - and also former president of the MBLA, was named one of the 2012 Honorees of Excellence in the Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Mr. Budd was honored for “Excellence in Diversity.”
  • Counsel Abim Thomas was named President of the MBLA in 2013.

Goodwin Public Interest Fellowships

The Goodwin Public Interest Fellowships offer financial awards to students of color who work in public interest positions the summer after their first year of law school. Selected fellows are guaranteed a “straight-to-callback” interview with the Goodwin office of their choice in the fall interviewing season during their second year of law school. Fellows are also invited to participate in some of the firm’s summer associate events during their fellowship summer. 

Posse Foundation

Goodwin is proud to partner with the Posse Foundation, an organization which provides high-achieving high school students with full-tuition scholarships to elite universities in supportive, multicultural teams, or “posses.” With a phenomenal graduation rate of 90 percent, many Posse graduates continue on to law school and other successful professional pursuits. Goodwin is a Posse Career Partner. We hire summer interns through the foundation and have successfully recruited two Posse Scholars into our case assistant/paralegal program.

Boston Lawyers Group Mentor Program

Goodwin attorneys have enthusiastically participated in the Boston Lawyers Group mentor program for first-year law students of color in the Boston area for several years. Goodwin is a founding member of the Boston Lawyers Group, an organization dedicated to fostering inclusiveness at Boston-area legal employers. The program is designed to provide first-year law students of color with the opportunity to develop a one-on-one relationship with a practicing attorney from one of the member organizations. Goodwin has hosted the mentor-mentee kickoff event for many years.

Legal Outreach

For several years, Goodwin’s New York office has partnered with Legal Outreach, Inc., a nonprofit organization that prepares youth from underserved communities in New York City to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs. Goodwin participates in the Summer Law Internship Program, through which Goodwin hosts minority high school students as interns and provides them with training programs and mentoring to introduce them to life as a lawyer and to encourage them to pursue higher education.

Get in Touch

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Laura Rees Acosta

Director, Diversity + Inclusion
Professional Staff
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Roberto M. Braceras

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Sabrina M. Rose-Smith

Chair, CRED@Goodwin