in•clude /inˈkloōd/ v. 1. Make part of a whole.

Over the course of our careers, we’ve come to appreciate how important varied life experiences are to successful leadership. Diverse backgrounds mean lawyers who understand clients’ evolving businesses from every angle. Different perspectives feed novel approaches to solving complex problems and delivering top-notch service.

Inclusive leaders lead from the front. They embrace differences and reinforce our commitment to recruit, mentor, and promote talented lawyers from all walks of life. That commitment enriches our client relationships in significant ways. It’s why we value colleagues who bring it all — their whole selves — to McGuireWoods.

We’ve made important progress in building a diverse community and an inclusive culture. It is not, however, enough. Not until everyone is included in a meaningful way, and not until everyone is contributing materially to our clients’ successes, will we be satisfied.

We know it won't be easy. But we will bring our whole selves to the effort.


Jon Harmon video


McGuireWoods has a history of hiring, developing, promoting and retaining lawyers of color, women and LGBT lawyers, and veterans. Continually establishing new initiatives and enhancing existing efforts, we focus on meaningful support for our diverse lawyers in their careers. The firm's lawyer networks are an example of how we support our attorneys in building communities within the firm. 


Lawyer networks



Two very active groups are charged with focusing on diversity and inclusion: the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the Diversity Action Council.

Established in 2006, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee — chaired by Baltimore partner and accomplished trial lawyer Ava Lias-Booker — focuses on identifying, attracting, and retaining diverse talent. The D&I Committee also helps incorporate inclusiveness in our professional development, supports retention through lawyer networks, strengthens our marketing and business development opportunities, mentors diverse lawyers, and ensures the firm is well represented at elite events and conferences.

Our Diversity Action Council, led by Managing Partner J. Tracy Walker IV, is the second leadership committee dedicated to advancing the firm’s strategic D&I goals. Formed in 2013, the DAC holds firm leadership accountable for promotion and development of our diverse attorneys by ensuring all firm resources are effectively deployed to further their careers. Every month, DAC members get together for a rigorous assessment of each department’s progress in advancing the firm’s diversity goals.

Such engagement and accountability, buttressed by tailored programs and training, has resulted in steady progress.


Ava LIas-Booker video


Diverse Lawyers

Diverse Lawyers

Diverse Leaders

Diverse Leaders



A key focus of the firm’s strategic plan, diversity and inclusion are essential to how we do business, informing how we RECRUIT, RETAIN, and PROMOTE lawyers to serve our clients. Our efforts are also supported by partnerships with clients and community members committed to advancing diversity in the legal profession. Working together, we can build a synergistic whole greater than the sum of its parts. That’s diversity in action.



Extending into more markets to reach diverse talent, with 42% of summer associates now racially/ethnically diverse.


Adopted for associate recruiting before the Mansfield Rule was announced, with diversity increasing to 60%.


Supporting Leadership Council on Legal Diversity programs including 1L Scholars, Fellows, Pathfinder, and Success in Law School Mentoring.


P2P Foundation sponsorship includes working with leading clients to mentor diverse law students and new lawyers.


Strengthening our community by connecting our client service teams with diverse lawyers with specific experience.


The Women's Leadership Development Forum helps our senior associates develop the networking and client service skills needed to advance to partnership.


Working with firm clients who share our passion for advancing the careers of diverse attorneys through industry-focused programs.


Diverse partners serving in key leadership positions as chairs, managing partners, and executive committee members.


Bringing together firm leadership and 120 diverse lawyers for two days of networking programs designed to advance their careers.


Providing financial and leadership support for participation in women and minority bar associations.


Connecting racially/ethnically diverse associates with experienced partners for career guidance, networking, and mentorship.

Download D&I Brochure


2006 Diversity & Inclusion Committee

2009 Diverse Lawyers Networks; D&I Annual Report; Founding LCLD Member

2013 Diversity Action Council

2014 Associates Engaging Leaders Program; D&I Excellence Award

2015 Rooney Rule Introduced for Recruiting; Women’s Leadership Development Forum

2017 Women in Private Equity & Finance Initiative; Diverse Mentoring Program; Diverse Supplier Program

2018 Diversity Dashboard/ Scorecard; Diverse Associate Leadership Program

Include Me!
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