We invite you to expand your DEI palette through our “Exploring the Art of Inclusion” initiative, where we highlight opportunities to dismantle barriers to inclusion and further advancement throughout the talent lifecycle — and how we can collectively make a concrete difference in the journey toward belonging for all. The talent lifecycle involves six stages: attract, integrate, develop, engage & retain, advance, and transition. At every one of these stages, integrating DEI best practices is core to ensuring equitable systems and processes, and creating an inclusive culture.
Explore our hub to learn what Goodwin is doing to examine and improve our work processes, structures, mindsets and beliefs, and behaviors throughout the talent lifecycle. We are continually updating this page, so check back in for the latest insights.
Attracting Talent in An Equitable Way
When potential candidates, summer associates, or interns are exposed to the Goodwin brand, they should feel empowered to be themselves. Differences are invited, and we work to ensure that everyone feels valued.
Finding Fellowship and Forging Pathways
Read how Sydney Simmons, a Summer 2022 Goodwin 1L Diversity Fellow, spent three weeks of her 1L program working with firm client Cerevel Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and supported pushing the boundaries for both novel therapies and first-generation lawyers.
About Goodwin’s Diversity Fellowships
Our 1L and 2L Diversity Fellowship programs are designed to promote diversity at Goodwin and in the legal profession by providing opportunities for law students from historically excluded groups.
Transitioning Careers Through Inclusion
When our employees decide to move on from Goodwin, we make sure they not only have a smooth transition process but also stay connected to the firm. Our Alumni Community keeps former employees abreast of the latest firm happenings and provides ongoing learning and professional resources in an inclusive environment that values our individual differences.
Listen to stories from our alumni about their Goodwin experiences, what they are up to now, and how they have navigated their careers to this point.
Listen to Danielle Reyes, Partner and Co-Chair of Goodwin's ESG & Impact Practice, talk about what has been the biggest change at the firm after being in-house for so many years, what career advice she would give a new lawyer, and what role mentorship has for women and BIPOC individuals.
Alumni Bridges: The Goodwin Alumni Spotlight Podcast Series Transcript
Danielle Reyes, Partner & Co-chair, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) & Impact Practice, Goodwin Procter LLP
Veronica Paricio, Manager, Strategic Alumni Engagement and Client Relations, Goodwin Procter LLP
Veronica Paricio: Hello, and welcome to the Goodwin Alumni Spotlight Podcast Series, Alumni Bridges, where we catch up with some of our dynamic alumni from around the world and hear about what they've been up to recently. In today's episode, we'll be speaking with Danielle Reyes, who is a partner in the firm's Financial Industry group. She also serves as a co-chair of the firm's ESG and Impact practice, and is one of our boomerang alumni. Welcome, Danielle. We're so excited to have you here today to talk to us about your career, where you are now, how you got here, and we're really excited to have you here.
Danielle Reyes: Well, thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk to you.
Veronica Paricio: Sure. Thank you. So, what did you find to be the biggest difference between being the client and then being at a firm? What was that experience like for you having been on both sides now?
Danielle Reyes: That's a great question. I think some of the things are the same. I had clients and I have clients now in my firm role, and you also have clients in-house. When you are in that sort of a role, they're just different types of clients, and it's really one client, but you've got lots of people asking you questions within that client. In that sense, it's not very different, but it is different also being able to access multiple different outside council firms depending on your needs. So, that part is kind of nice, and one of the biggest shocks I will say going in-house was learning that legal advice from outside council is often just taken under advisement. It's not necessarily followed. The whole time I was here the first time, I just assumed that my legal advice was being followed and that's just not necessarily the case. So, that was very eye-opening, and I think has really helped me coming back in being able to think about how to deliver practical advice that is actionable, that is realistic, et cetera.
Veronica Paricio: Great. So, when you came back to Goodwin after so many years, what would you say has been the biggest change? How has the firm changed over those nine years that you are away?
Danielle Reyes: The biggest change I would say is the size. It's much bigger now than it was before, and I think Boston was by far the biggest office. None of the other offices came even close. You know, it's still a big office, but I think it's much more global and it's much less sort of almost solely focused on Boston than it was before. I think it is a lot more diverse as well. Rob Insolia, the current chair, has his mission to make the firm the most inclusive firm in the industry, and you can tell. The numbers are a lot different than they were before, and the programming is just really top notch. The diversity, equity, and inclusion programming and team. The fact that there's a whole robust team that exists, that's a huge difference as well. And they're very impactful. The programming is great, and that's been really encouraging to see as well.
Veronica Paricio: Great. Was there one thing that you missed most about the firm?
Danielle Reyes: You know, I missed practicing law with nice people. I definitely worked with lots of nice people when I was in-house, but by the time I became a pretty senior person, I was not practicing law very much at all. I had a team under me. Some of them were lawyers, some of them were not, so, I was dealing with lots of non-legal issues and there were, you know, lawyers who were on my team that did a lot of the day-to-day work, and I was overseeing them and dealing with personnel issues and things like that, so, that's one of the things I really enjoyed about coming back.
Veronica Paricio: In terms of advice you've had, you know, a couple of different opportunities. What advice would you give to a new attorney who is thinking about what career they should pursue? Do you have any advice on that front or any personal experience in terms of how you found all the different jobs you've had?
Danielle Reyes: Yeah, starting off in big law is a great thing to do. It's a great way to learn. It is very fast-paced learning, and it is unique in that sense, and I would never discourage anyone from starting off in big law. I think it was good that I did that at the beginning. I just did what everyone else was doing in terms of finding my first job. I did on-campus interviewing and kind of went from there. My in-house job, I just got a call out of the blue from a headhunter who thought I might have a connection to Texas, which I do — born and raised Texan — and her client that she was recruiting for, it's based in San Antonio. And, so, that's why she kind of randomly reached out to me, so, no, I didn't do anything proactively to find that job, and I would say, that is a pretty standard way to find a job. At least it was at the time, things may have changed since then, but at the time, getting a call out of the blue from a headhunter was very common. And then, coming back, I just kept in touch and that's kind of, my biggest advice is to keep in touch with the people that you like and don't wanna lose touch with for whatever reason just because you like them as a person, you want to stay friends, or they're in your general line of work, even though maybe they're a firm lawyer and you wanna go in house or you want to do something that's not legal at all. Networks are really important, and they could leave, they could go pursue an opportunity that becomes somehow relevant to you in a way that you could never have guessed. So, yeah, cherish the relationships that you pick up along the way that you enjoy. I'm not saying to be a fake friend or anything like that, but if you're, if you genuinely like someone, there's no reason not to try to keep up the relationship, but it does take work, especially if you don't live in the same town anymore, for example, but you know, it's well worth the time to put a tickler on your calendar or something, reach out to "so-and-so" every few months. I think it's really important.
Veronica Paricio: Great. I'm going to switch over now to some more personal questions to get some more insights on Danielle, the person. So, what do you like to do when you're not working?
Danielle Reyes: I have a nine-year-old, and he keeps me very busy. We have a little farm. This is one of the benefits of living in Texas. We have a little farm that's about, it's less than an hour drive from our house in town, and we have bees. So, I have 13 beehives. I did a beekeeping apprenticeship during the pandemic, and so, now, I have my little apiary.
Veronica Paricio: That's amazing!
Danielle Reyes: I like to go out there and just relax and take care of the bees. And my son's very interested in wildlife science, so he likes walking around and observing all of the animals and animal tracks and things like that.
Veronica Paricio: Right. Oh, that sounds amazing. Well, nature thanks you for that. We all thank you for doing that.
Danielle Reyes: Yeah, that's fun.
Veronica Paricio: So, I saw that, you know, you were involved with the American Bar Association, LCLD.
Danielle Reyes: Mm-hmm.
Veronica Paricio: And I was wondering if you yourself have had a mentor going through your legal career or have you been a mentor to others or what the role of mentorship has in the legal industry, particularly for women or BIPOC individuals. Do you have any insights on that you'd be interested in sharing?
Danielle Reyes: Yes. I've had lots of mentors at various points in my career. A lot of them have been just really good bosses that weren't in, technically in a mentor role, but they served as such during my time with them, and since. And that goes back to the point I was making earlier about maintaining relationships, especially with good bosses. So, you know, I have former bosses that are still mentors to me now, and I've got lots of mentees, both formal and informal, mostly informal. I really find that just talking to somebody for a few minutes can really have a huge impact on their day, which might have a huge impact on their decisions, like major life decisions. So, I always try to make time to talk to people who need to talk. It doesn't matter if I'm their mentor or not, and usually that ends up turning into this sort of informal mentor-mentee relationship.
Veronica Paricio: Right? Great. And as co-chair for ESG group, what do you wish people knew more about this, you know, more recent practice that has emerged?
Danielle Reyes: Mm-hmm. That's a great question. So, I think there's a misconception that when we say "ESG and Impact," we're talking about philanthropy, and, we are talking about philanthropy in the sense that is one component of the larger ESG and Impact practice, but there are lots of other things we're talking about, including for our clients who don't think that they particularly care about ESG. The regulatory developments are such that they have to care about ESG. For example, if they're public companies, they have to make disclosures that fall within the ESG category. You know, the market is also moving rapidly toward not just looking for financial returns at any cost, but wanting to feel good about knowing exactly what the costs are to get those financial returns. It's becoming more and more mainstream. So, it's important to all kind of very wide spectrum of clients, all the way from the purely for-profit large public companies, all the way to our, you know, non-profits, foundations and the like, and everything in the middle.
Veronica Paricio: Right. Great. Well, Danielle, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today and tell us about your experiences. We really appreciate the insights and advice and stories that you shared with us. Thank you so much.
Danielle Reyes: No, thank you. It's been nice chatting with you. Thank you for having me.
Listen to Nithya Das, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer at Olo, talk about how working at Goodwin prepared her to move in-house, what it is like being an in-house lawyer and corporate operational leader at the same time, and the impactful work she has been able to partake in to make a true difference.
Alumni Bridges: The Goodwin Alumni Spotlight Podcast Series Transcript
Nithya Das, COO & Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Olo
Theresa DeLoach, Managing Director, Strategic Alumni Engagement and Client Relations, Goodwin Procter LLP
Theresa DeLoach: Hello and welcome to the Goodwin Alumni Spotlight Podcast Series, Alumni Bridges, where we catch up with some of our dynamic alumni from around the world and hear what they've been up to recently. In today's episode, we'll be speaking with Nithya Das, who now serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at Olo. We thank you for joining us as we hear more about Nithya's story. Welcome, Nithya.
Nithya Das: Hi Theresa. Thank you so much for having me today. I'm so honored to be featured on your alumni podcast.
Theresa DeLoach: Absolutely. You were at Goodwin for almost six years before transitioning in-house. What made you decide to go in-house?
Nithya Das: When I was a Goodwin, I spent part of my time working on launching the Founder's Workbench and working in the Tech group. And at some point over the course of being an associate, decided that I felt like an opportunity to be closer to the business would be more exciting. I wanted to move out of the straight and narrow of the billing environment and the law firm.
Theresa DeLoach: Mm-hmm.
Nithya Das: I had read an article by Whitney Johnson about personal disruption called "Disrupt Yourself," and Whitney talks about how zigzagging career paths are a way to put yourself out there and take a little bit of calculated career risk.
For me, moving in-house was a calculated career risk and a chance to just create more opportunities.
Theresa DeLoach: Wow. I love that. I'll have to look up that article. How did working a Goodwin prepare you to move in-house?
Nithya Das: When I was at Goodwin, I was in the Business Law Department and the way it was structured, at least back then, was that they had an ongoing corporate team for different corporate clients. And one of the great benefits of that was that I actually got to stay on with some of my clients for several years working with them through things like IPOs, M&A, ongoing work that came up. And that meant that I really got a chance to know the business. I got to know the general counsels, if they had one, and I got to know the management team.
I learned not only how to be an expert across a lot of different areas, but how to be an outside general counsel. That was the model and that's the role that the firm plays for a lot of companies. When I moved in-house, it felt like a pretty seamless transition because as an in-house lawyer, you have to be prepared to take on, whatever happens to hit the fan that day.
Theresa DeLoach: Mm-hmm.
Nithya Das: And that's really what my Goodwin training and combination of that ongoing corporate team structure prepared me for.
Theresa DeLoach: Nice. So, how would you describe what it's like being a Chief Legal Officer and Chief Operating Officer, if you will, at the same time at an organization?
Nithya Das: Well, one thing that I've loved about my role as the COO and CLO is just the ability to connect the dots. As a chief legal officer or an in-house lawyer, one of the really unique things about the position is that you're oftentimes in the know on a lot of things that are happening at the company. You're squarely in the flow of information because you touch everything that happens with the board, with the management team, with the financials and the finance team, you're involved in people and culture. And so, you get this broad purview across the company. And so now being in the COO position and having a lot of those teams reporting up into me, it's an exciting seat to sit in because I have an opportunity to just, again, have that holistic perspective across the company to help create outcomes, to connect the dots. That's a pretty unique role for the COO, but also a unique role that as a chief legal officer, you get to sit in.
Again, oftentimes in the legal seat, you can sort of use that role as an opportunity to create really meaningful outcomes for the company and for the people who work at the company for its shareholders. Some examples of work that you can do like that in the legal seat that I've been fortunate enough to participate in are launching things like our donor advised fund (DAF) as part of the IPO process, both at Olo and at my last company, AppNexus. I helped to stand up our DEI strategy. I've helped to launch our corporate social responsibility and ESG initiatives.
And so, there's this really unique opportunity to carve out what I refer to as doing good while doing well. Again, being in the legal seat, you're pretty uniquely positioned to help create some of that change.
Theresa DeLoach: That's amazing. What a way to make an impact! I love to hear the ways, and I don't think people often think about that, that as they navigate these roles, that they can still take the time to be impactful and push ahead initiatives that really matter to them.
Nithya Das: As lawyers, we're uniquely positioned to understand both the work that's required to execute on something like setting up a DAF fund and putting in pre IPO shares. But we also have a unique relationship with the board and with the CEO and can use our access and our privilege to sponsor initiatives like that and be advocates for them.
Theresa DeLoach: Wow, that is impactful. I mean, you've had an amazing career. It's been sort of the ideal to watch somebody transition from an associate spot to then in-house and sort of navigating right on up to the chief legal officer seat at the table. What do you think has been sort of the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten to really help you get there?
Nithya Das: One piece of career advice that I received several years ago was when I was at AppNexus, I was put into a position of being the acting general counsel at AppNexus. And I remember at the time, I didn't know exactly how long I was going to be acting general counsel or if there was going to be an opportunity for me to become the eventual full-time or real GC, if you will.
And I remember at the time, there were two conversations that I had with John Egan from Goodwin that were really helpful pieces of advice to me in my career. The first was when he convinced me to just take a chance on being the acting general counsel as opposed to, maybe giving into a need to try to figure out all of the particulars. How long? What were the signs of success? What were the promotion criteria? He kind of talked me into just taking a chance, doing the acting GC role, and approaching it with the mindset of what's the worst that could happen. I'm the acting general counsel at a well-known New York startup for three, six months, and then move on to find something different and what's the best that could happen? I could become the general counsel.
So, I followed his advice and I became the general counsel, and then I became the Chief Legal Officer and the Chief People Officer, and then, ultimately, helped sell that company to AT&T and created really meaningful outcomes for lots of people at the company and for our investors. And so, that was really good advice to lean into the uncertainty and take a chance.
And the second piece of advice, he told me about some football player, Troy Aikman. If you want to win a Heisman, the best thing that you can do is find somebody who's won a Heisman before you and learn as much as you can from them.
Theresa DeLoach: Wow.
Nithya Das: So, he introduced me to two lawyers, one of whom was John Kelleher at HubSpot at the time, but John ended up being a tremendous mentor and advisor to me along the way, both from the tactical end of things such as sharing forms and documents with me, to the strategic end of things with helping me think through things like information sharing, policies and how to help institute a culture of transparency within a company.
Theresa DeLoach: Mm-hmm.
Nithya Das: That was just, really instrumental to me, the advice to try to find somebody like that who had won a Heisman Trophy.
Theresa DeLoach: Wow. Those are two really great pieces of advice for sure. What do you like to do for fun when you're not working?
Nithya Das: So, I live in Hoboken. I live here with my husband and my two daughters, one is 13 and the other is three. So, I am squarely in what I like to say, both ends of the parenting journey. We also have a seven-year-old Labradoodle, who's also a girl. So my poor husband is surrounded by lots of girls in our house, and there is no shortage of, uh, attitude and bossiness, I'm sure between the four of us.
I like to spend as much of my free time as I can with the kids and getting out with the family. I'm an avid Peloton cyclist, although I will admit, anybody who follows me on Peloton will probably pretty quickly be able to tell I'm also a Peloton multitasker, so I do a lot of emails online, shopping while I'm on the Peloton, which is maybe not advisable.
Oh, and then I love cooking. Cooking is really kind of my relaxation and favorite pastime.
Theresa DeLoach: Oh, wow. So, is there a job that you would do if you were not a lawyer?
Nithya Das: My 13-year-old is trying to convince me that I need to do a cooking TikTok and try to write a cookbook. So, actually a fun story about myself is that back in 2007 when I was at Goodwin, as much as I loved being a corporate lawyer, I've actually told my girlfriends who were also with me at Goodwin several times that I would be very likely to go back to a law firm, which blows their minds, but is true. I actually loved working at a law firm. I loved working at Goodwin, but I did feel when I was there that I needed to do something that was more of a creative outlet. And so I started a cooking blog back in 2007 called "Hungry Desi," and so it was a cooking blog dedicated to writing vegetarian and Indian modernized recipes and started doing food photography, because obviously, if you write a cooking blog, you have to have delicious looking food.
And so, that became kind of my creative outlet, and I kept up with it quite a lot, probably up until I became the official General Counsel at AppNexus. And then sort of took a little bit of a backseat, but we'll still do a lot of Instagramming and spamming my entire family with photos of everything that I've cooked during the day in the week.
Theresa DeLoach: I love it. Well, I agree with your daughter. You should look into doing just one TikTok, see how it goes. I think you have a strong chance to go viral. Because I know that people love, I personally love recipes, love to follow it, that sort of thing. So, if you put one out there, Goodwin Alumni, we will support you.
Nithya Das: I'm going to keep that on my post-career journey here.
Theresa DeLoach: Absolutely. Well, thank you, Nithya. It has been a pleasure to chat with you. We really appreciate you sharing your insights and all of what you've learned throughout your journey and how Goodwin has impacted you throughout the transition.
Nithya Das: Thank you so much. I love that you all have started the Goodwin Alumni Network and the series, and I'm so excited to participate in it and so thankful for you all for spotlighting me.
Integrating DEI Across Firm Culture
Talent management is critical beyond getting talent through the door. Once we hire candidates, we integrate them into our firm culture by raising awareness, building DEI competencies, and creating space for connection.
Toggle through the carousel to view photos of how we integrate DEI into Goodwin initiatives and happenings.
Developing the Next Generation of Decision-Makers
Finding professional fulfillment — and disrupting any barriers that may impede this — is a critical part of Goodwin’s core values. We help employees reach their fullest potential both professionally and personally through various initiatives that contribute to growing individual DEI competencies and goal setting.
Engaging & Retaining Diverse Talent
Job recognition, engagement, and satisfaction are important when trying to retain any employee, and particularly for employees from historically excluded populations. That is why we create avenues of engagement to affirm our talent’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Advancing Top Talent by Disrupting Bias
Building a diverse pipeline goes beyond helping applicants get hired; we must eliminate obstacles to advancement. We build inclusive talent systems with embedded mechanisms that help break down barriers and promote an equitable path toward advancement within the firm.
To learn more about DEI efforts at Goodwin, visit our webpage or get in touch with our team.
Yakiry AdalProfessional StaffManaging Director, Diversity, Equity + Inclusion
Carrie GilmanProfessional StaffDirector, DEI Client Development & Engagement