(Richmond, VA – June 27, 2022) — The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) is pleased to announce the winners of its eighth annual Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award: Patrick Fang, senior corporate counsel at Accenture in Arlington, Virginia, and Fawaz Bham, a partner in the Real Estate Practice Group at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Dallas.
Named for LCLD’s founder, the Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership of Alumni who have left a lasting impact on their legal communities and the profession at large. This is the highest honor in the more than 4000-member LCLD Alumni community.
Each year, nominees are submitted by LCLD Alumni and Members, with winners chosen by a committee of their peers. They are selected based on their influence and impact on the legal profession, and the advancement of LCLD’s mission.
Rick Palmore presented Fang and Bham with their awards at the LCLD Award Ceremony on June 24, 2022.
“Patrick and Fawaz have been steadfast in their commitment to making the legal community more diverse. Their efforts are inspiring, and they serve as role models for others in how to effectuate change,” said Robert Grey, president of LCLD.
An incredibly active member of the LCLD community, Fang has been a leader both within Accenture and beyond, working toward the advancement of diverse legal professionals by supporting recruitment and retention efforts and fostering a sense of community. For example, in the wake of the murder of eight Asian women in Atlanta in March 2021, Fang personally coordinated a forum where legal professionals identifying as Asian could have a safe space to discuss their concerns and share experiences. This became the foundation for creating Accenture’s Asian Legal Employee Resource Group shortly thereafter.
“It is an honor to receive this prestigious award and I want to thank LCLD and Accenture for working relentlessly toward creating a culture and environment that support diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels,” said Fang. “I look forward to continuing to honor Rick Palmore's legacy, LCLD's mission and Accenture's commitment to creating a more diverse legal profession by using my platform and voice to educate, inspire and influence other leaders to advance DE&I initiatives and to advocate for the future success of all diverse lawyers.”
Similarly, Bham is not only a rising star in the real estate world, having concluded more than $1.4 billion worth of real estate transactions in Texas and around the country in the last two years alone, but he has mobilized new initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession by devoting substantial time and producing actionable programs both inside and outside of his law firm. He has inspired law students to embrace their authentic selves and championed junior attorneys to leverage their innate strengths, fuel their passions and overcome obstacles to accomplish their goals.
Bham has also changed the pro bono landscape by innovating and leading several pro bono programs, including the Dallas-area small business workshops that began in 2014 and launching, designing and sustaining the virtual clinic platform now used by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, which was quickly created in 2020 as a response to the shuttering of 14 in-person legal clinics in the Dallas area due to the pandemic. Bham’s solution improved upon and virtually replicated the entire experience of an in-person legal clinic, resulting in a dramatic increase in access to legal justice for underserved segments of the population, cost and record efficiencies for legal non-profit organizations, and a significant expansion in the number of—and the frequency by which—attorneys from across Texas could volunteer. Since inception, the clinic has served more than 6,300 applicants and held over 100 clinics with the help of lawyers and staff from over 40 in-house legal departments, law firms and nonprofit organizations.
Bham was named one of the 20 Most Inspiring Leaders of 2020 by Dallas Business Journal and the 2021 Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Bar Association, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program for his pioneering and sustained pro bono accomplishments and community advocacy. Bham’s efforts to fulfill LCLD’s mission and serve the community are unmatched.
“I am beyond grateful and humbled to receive this award from one of the great role models of our time,” said Bham. “I pledge to continue to collaborate with my inspiring colleagues to build upon Rick’s work in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and deploying our talents to advance our legal profession and to help our communities.”
About Rick Palmore
Rick Palmore is one of the most influential lawyers of our time and a nationally recognized advocate for diversity in the legal industry whose vision and hard work propelled, among countless other achievements, the founding of LCLD. Today, Rick serves on the Board as Founding Chair Emeritus and as Vice Chair of the Strategy and Innovation Committee. He continues to inspire his fellow Members to push the frontiers of diversity and inclusion for the legal profession.
About the Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award
In 2015, the LCLD Alumni Executive Council created the Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award to honor the contributions of Rick Palmore to LCLD and to recognize LCLD Alumni whose vision, commitment and contributions have exemplified the mission of LCLD and the LCLD Alumni community. The Award also recognizes those who have had a lasting impact on LCLD and Alumni, specifically, and their communities, more generally.