I, Keith Fullenweider, personally commit to the following:
- I will use my voice and position in leadership to demonstrate my commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion at the highest level for underrepresented attorneys and business professionals in our Firm. Our commitment to these goals is grounded in our belief in the innate dignity of every attorney and business professional in our Firm and our commitment to culture in which all can flourish.
- I will continue to articulate and promote to our Practice Group Leaders and partners Vinson & Elkins’ DE&I Roadmap for the Future which encompasses four core strategies: Diversity Hiring (Entry & Lateral); Honest Dialogue and Communications; Continuous Education at all Levels; and Focused Engagement, Retention and Promotion.
- We will each serve on the Diversity Executive Committee, a subcommittee of the Management Committee, and meet with members of the Diversity Advisory Committee. This 15-member Committee—of both management committee members, partners and senior business professionals is responsible for the DE&I strategy, budget, metrics and accountability system for near and long-term diversity objectives.
- One or more of our Vice Chairs will serve as Chair of the Women’s Initiative Committee, responsible for office and firmwide strategy, metrics and initiatives that impact women attorneys.
- I will mentor underrepresented associates and ask members of the Management Committee to mentor underrepresented associates.
- I will empower and champion both our Chief Talent Officer and our Diversity Director to adopt policies and practices that foster inclusion.
- Our Firm will host two lunches; one will be with LCLD Leadership with General Counsel and select Partners and the second will be with current participants and past alumni.
- We will continue our support of our long-standing diversity pipeline initiatives for students – from high school to law school – to help diversify Vinson & Elkins and the legal profession including our flagship program at University of Texas at Austin School of Law supporting underrepresented law students.
- We will continue to build a diverse talent pipeline by focusing on meeting diversity entry-level and lateral hiring goals.
- We will continue to provide equal access to quality work assignments by holding our practice group leaders accountable to fair assignment of business development opportunities and work for our lawyers.
- We will engage our clients about the value of Vinson & Elkins’ DE&I efforts and initiatives and work to regularly find opportunities to highlight our underrepresented lawyers.
- We will seek to understand current challenges and opportunities through a firmwide engagement survey and our talent and diversity focus groups.
- We will seek to maintain our Mansfield Rule certification status for our U.S. offices with respect to candidates for lateral hiring, top leadership roles, equity partnership promotions and participation in client pitch meetings.
- We will maintain our commitment to the mentoring and professional development of our underrepresented lawyers.
- We will continue to support our Women’s Initiative and Women of Color Network, which operates at the firmwide and office level, to ensure the recruitment, retention, development, and promotion of women is supported and championed.
- We will continue to support our affinity groups, which offers our lawyers opportunities to build a strong sense of community, provide mentoring, and facilitate client relationships. Our active affinity groups includes: LGBTQ+, Black, Asian & Middle Eastern, Native American/Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Women of Color, Parents, and Veterans.
- We will work with our DE&I team to create clear goals and metrics that will encourage partners to engage in developing and mentoring our underrepresented attorneys, women, LGBTQ+ and disabled lawyers.
- We will work with our DE&I team to regularly monitor associate utilization to measure the effectiveness of our DE&I efforts. In particular, we will engage with Vinson & Elkins’ Talent/Diversity Leads to review the utilization data for our underrepresented lawyers with Practice Group leaders on a quarterly basis.
- We will continue to review and share with leadership diversity metrics as well as our qualitative diversity data, including those from stay interviews (i.e. check-in progress) and our exit interview process, to reduce attrition and increase promotion of our underrepresented lawyers.
Keith Fullenweider (Chair)
Jim Fox (Vice Chair)
Michael Holmes (Vice Chair)
Hilary Preston (Vice Chair)