Our first Asian-American partner served as president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, was founder and first president of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts and served on the Governance Commission of the American Bar Association.
In 2004, Goodwin Procter successfully recruited Wayne Budd to return to the firm. Considered one of the nation’s foremost African-American attorneys, Wayne brings years of law firm, corporate and government experience to Goodwin Procter and to our Diversity Committee. Appointed by President George H.W. Bush, Wayne served as Associate Attorney General of the United States, the third-ranking position at the U.S. Department of Justice. In this position he oversaw the DOJ’s Civil Rights, Environmental, Tax, Civil and Anti-Trust Divisions, as well as the Bureau of Prisons. He was also appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Prior to returning to Goodwin Procter, where he was a partner in the mid-’90s, Wayne served as General Counsel for John Hancock Financial Services and as Group President-New England, Bell Atlantic (now Verizon).
Goodwin Procter has committed to sponsoring and working with Legal Outreach in connection with its Summer Law Internship program. This program prepares urban youths from underserved communities in New York City to compete at high academic levels. The purpose of the summer program is to place motivated ninth-grade students from underserved communities into law firms and corporations for the purpose of exposing them to professional practices.
We have provided significant support to the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA) and the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Association. Our involvement with the MBLA dates back to its incorporation in the early 1970s, when one of our partners was among its founders. He subsequently became president of the MBLA and was the first partner from a major law firm to serve in that role.
One of our Asian-American partners has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, serving as one of two minority-at-large representatives, while an African-American partner has served as a member of the House of Delegates. Members of the firm have also served on various other American Bar Association commissions, committees and advisory councils, including the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Association’s Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity and the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession.
Goodwin Procter has a long history of promoting and supporting women in leadership roles – both within our firm and in the business community. We were among the first AmLaw 100 law firm to have a woman, Regina M. Pisa, serving as chairman and managing partner. Regina has been serving in this capacity since being elected by the firm’s partnership in 1998. Women currently lead our Consumer Financial Services, Energy, ERISA, IP Transactions, and Trusts & Estate Planning Practices, and also serve as our Chief Marketing and Chief Human Resources Officers.
We sponsor and support – and our lawyers serve as members of, counsel to and on the boards of – business and trade groups and nonprofits dedicated to helping women achieve professional success. These organizations include Aspire, Center for Women & Enterprise, Commonwealth Institute, International Women’s Forum, Massachusetts Women’s Forum, New England Women in Real Estate, New York Catalyst Awards, Simmons School of Management Leadership Conference, Springboard, Women’s Bar Association, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, and Women’s Financial Services Network.
Our association with the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA) was inaugurated with a donation to support MAHA’s efforts to persuade more Hispanics to pursue careers in law. That support also assisted in the development of MAHA’s infrastructure. One of our partners is an active participant in MAHA, as well as in the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Goodwin Procter is a founding member and active participant in the Boston Lawyers Group (formerly the Boston Law Firm Group), providing program space and financial support. The organization is known nationally for its efforts in the recruitment and retention of minority attorneys at major Boston law firms.
Goodwin Procter was one of the first major Boston-based law firms to elect an African-American associate to its partnership. As a partner at the firm, he was elected president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and president of the Boston Bar Association. In celebration of the latter event, the firm established the Richard A. Soden Law and Justice Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to Boston public school graduates interested in pursuing careers in law and community service.
Goodwin Procter is an active participant in The Boston Fellows Program, a program designed to increase participation by persons of color in the business and social fabric of the city of Boston. The Fellows Program was established by The Partnership, Inc., an organization of civic and business leaders. One of our partners served as chair of its board of directors. Over 25 of the firm’s associates have served as fellows and many participate in the program’s alumni organization.
Several of our partners have served as president of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM); one served as president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA); and another served as the northeast regional governor for NAPABA.
Goodwin Procter recently hosted Keys to Success, a presentation to all firm attorneys which featured a panel of distinguished general counsels of color. In what was the first in a series of presentations designed to promote diversity by bringing outside perspectives to the firm, the panel, which featured general counsel from Partners Healthcare System, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Atlas Venture, talked about their experiences and shared insights on how to develop skills, build relationships and overcome challenges. The event was followed by the firm’s annual diversity dinner for all attorneys and summer associates of color, the Diversity Committee and the distinguished panelists.
Our recent sponsorships have included the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation Inaugural Gala Banquet, at which Goodwin Procter partner Paul Lee was honored for helping establish the NAPABA Partners Community Law Fellowship; the Second Annual National South Asian Bar Association Convention; the Northeast Black Law Students Association Regional Convention; the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association at Harvard University’s National Asian Pacific American Conference on Law and Public Policy; the Boston Lawyers Group Annual Mentor Program Dinner; Aspire’s Asian American Women’s Event; the Boston College Law Students of Color Retreat; and Asian Diversity Inc.’s Fourth Annual Asian Diversity Career Expo.