Skip to main content

Diversity & Inclusion in Law Practice 2021


Speaker(s): Alan Dorantes, Alita T. Wingfield, Brad S. Karp, Crystal T. Williams, Ghita Schwarz, Hon. Benes Z. Aldana (Ret.), James B. O'Neal, Jason E. Hazlewood, Jean Lee, Lisa D. Love, Lorraine S. McGowen, Maria D. Melendez, N. Nate Saint Victor, Paula T. Edgar, Robert A. Marchman, Sandra S. Yamate, Sharon E. Jones, Thomas Kim, Tierra D. Piens, Vivia Chen
Recorded on: Jun. 29, 2021
PLI Program #: 304770

Alan Dorantes currently serves as Senior Corporate Counsel at T-Mobile.  Prior to joining T-Mobile in 2021, Alan served as Chief of Staff/General Counsel for Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization.  In that role, Alan served as a critical partner to the CEO and the Executive Office in the execution of strategic priorities.   He played a critical connective role with both internal and external stakeholders helping to build strong relationships and ensure effective communication. 

Prior to joining Feeding America, Alan served as an Assistant Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel of Human Resources at AT&T. In this role, Alan supported AT&T’s Chief Diversity Office and the corporate diversity and inclusion team. He also served as co-chair of the AT&T Legal Department’s Diversity and Inclusion committee and has served as a board member of the committee since its founding. Alan also was a member of AT&T’s Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Business Council.

Outside AT&T, Alan championed diversity as a member of the board of the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation. He helped organize and raise funds for the annual Amanecer luncheon, which funds scholarships for Hispanic law school students. He actively recruited attorneys with fundraising and advocacy skills to join the organization and develop activities to help stabilize and increase the pipeline for Hispanic attorneys to join the legal profession.

Alan also promoted legal diversity and inclusion programs nationally through organizations such as the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) where he sits on its Advisory Board. He also currently serves on the Executive Board of the SMU Dedman School of Law, where law school diversity remains a key issue and objective. Alan received his undergraduate and law degree from SMU.   Alan served on the board of The Arts Community Alliance (TACA), a Dallas-based non-profit providing financial resources to Dallas’ many arts organizations.  In 2019, Alan received the Texas General Counsel Forum’s Magna Stella Award for Diversity.  In 2020, Alan received the Association of Corporate Counsel/Texas Lawbook Senior Counsel of the Year for a Large Legal Department Award.


Alita T. Wingfield is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and the Head of Compliance Training.  Alita joined the firm in 2004 as a Director in the Legal and Compliance Division (LCD) and later served as the Head of Non-Market Risk at Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A., before returning to LCD to join Compliance.  She was named Vice President in 2005, Executive Director in 2011, and Managing Director in 2021.  Before joining Morgan Stanley, Alita was a litigation association in the New York City office of Paul Weiss. 

Alita is a Co-Chair of the Legal and Compliance Division Diversity and Inclusion Network and a member of the Division’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee.  The Network is committed to fostering inclusion and authenticity, building cultural competency and developing a pipeline both internally and externally. In recognition of her past diversity and inclusion efforts, Alita was awarded the 2013 New York City Bar Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award and the 2013 Corporate Counsel Women of Color Individual Star Diversity Award of Excellence.

Alita graduated from Spelman College, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Political Science in 1994.  She also holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law, cum laude and also obtained a LL.M. in Trial Advocacy, cum laude, from Temple University Beasley School of Law.  She resides in Burlington, NJ with her husband, Eddie, and their four children.

Alita is currently a Trustee and Chair of the Committee on Trustees at Doane Academy - a pre-K through 12 Episcopal independent school - where two of her four children are students. 


Crystal Williams is currently Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary at Eli Lilly and Company and has been with Eli Lilly for nearly eight years. In this role, she manages the Audit and Ethics and Compliance committees of the Eli Lilly Board of Directors and counsels the business and other support functions on disclosure requirements pursuant to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. Prior to this role, Crystal was the Global Brand Counsel in Eli Lilly’s Bio-Medicines Business Unit, counseling the neuroscience and cardiovascular sales and marketing leadership responsible for establishing and carrying out U.S. and/or global brand and marketing strategies. Prior to working at Eli Lilly, Crystal worked at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in litigation, focusing on food and drug law and policy.

Crystal received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and her law degree from Duke University School of Law. Throughout her career she has been actively involved in several civic and professional organizations, including has been a board member for Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Heritage Place, and Indiana Fair Chance.


Ghita Schwarz is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She works on racial justice, immigrants' rights, and government misconduct and transparency. Her current cases include Make the Road New York v. Cuccinelli and Make the Road New York v. Pompeo, challenging the Trump Administration's "public charge" rule; D.J.C.V. et al. v. United States, seeking damages for suffering endured by immigrant families separated at the border; and numerous Freedom of Information Act cases.  Ghita's past work includes Aguilar v. ICE, fighting ICE's practice of warrantless home raids, Hassan v. City of New York, challenging the NYPD's discriminatory program of surveilling Muslims; and United States and Vulcan Society v. City of New York, challenging long-term employment discrimination by the New York City Fire Department.  Prior to coming to the Center for Constitutional Rights, she worked at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Door Legal Services Center, and Legal Services for New York City. Ghita graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School. 


James B. O’Neal is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Legal Outreach, Inc., an early-intervention, law-related, college preparatory and pipeline-to-diversity organization established in 1983.  An attorney and a 1982 graduate of Harvard Law School, he has devoted his entire professional life to developing programs that change the educational trajectory of minority youth from underserved communities in New York City.  Legal Outreach uses the law as a catalyst for inspiring minority youth to strive for academic excellence and higher education.  Over ninety-nine percent of the organization’s graduates completing the four-year program have matriculated to college with 68% attending schools ranked by Barron’s College Profiles as the nation’s most and highly competitive institutions of higher learning. Legal Outreach was recognized by Root Cause as one of New York City’s Highest Performing College Access and Success Organizations.  The organization has also received diversity awards from the ABA, the NYSBA, and the NYCBA for its work in building the pipeline to the legal profession.


Jason Hazlewood is the Managing Partner of the Pittsburgh office and a partner in the firm’s Global Commercial Disputes Group. His practice focuses on both complex commercial litigation and financial services litigation, including numerous class actions related to both. Jason has handled matters involving diverse areas of litigation, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, complex business disputes, securities litigation, and vast array of general commercial litigation. He has advised Fortune 500 companies, global financial institutions, corporate directors, foreign issuers, and various other corporate entities.

For two years, Jason served as in-house counsel for a large financial institution, managing and defending a significant portfolio of mortgage-related litigation which has given him a unique perspective of the rigors and pressures on in-house counsel that enables him to provide ultra-responsive client service.

He performed all functions of an in-house counsel, including overseeing more than 300 matters, developing strategy and settlement recommendations, supervising outside counsel, and advising client decision-makers. In addition, Jason managed a team of lawyers at Reed Smith providing similar in-house functions. Upon returning to Reed Smith, Jason managed a large portfolio of those same cases as outside counsel for the same client.


Jean Lee is the President and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), a national organization focused on hiring, promoting and retaining women and diverse attorneys by providing cutting-edge research, best practices and training.

Prior to joining MCCA, Ms. Lee served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at JP Morgan Chase & Co. where she worked on consumer litigation and regulatory matters.  Before joining JP Morgan Chase & Co. in 2011, Ms. Lee worked on litigation matters at a boutique litigation firm in New York City and started her career as a law clerk to the Honorable John J. Hughes, United States Magistrate Judge (retired), in the District of New Jersey.

She graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Politics and Psychology and a M.S.W. in Social Work.  Ms. Lee received her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, where she was a Senior Editor of the Rutgers Law Record.

Ms. Lee served on Asian American Bar Association of New York’s Board of Directors from 2010 to 2016 and as its President in 2012. In 2014, the Council of Urban Professionals recognized Ms. Lee as a Catalyst: Change Agent | Law and in 2015, she was recognized as a Trailblazer by the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York.  Currently, she serves on the Select Committee for the Legends in Law Award for the Burton Foundation.


Lisa D. Love is a Partner of Love and Long, L.L.P., a boutique law firm with offices located in New York City, Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey. In her practice, Lisa concentrates in project finance, public finance, real estate development, corporate governance, commercial lending, dispute resolution, municipal and corporate finance, government contracts, equity investments, licensing, technology transfers, public private partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, maritime, antitrust, and securities.  Lisa represents Federal and state public agencies, Fortune 100 companies, middle market businesses and non-profit corporations.  Previously, under Lisa’s direction, Love and Long represented the U.S. Maritime Administration, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Commodities Future Trading Commission. Currently, Lisa is spearheading Love and Long’s representation of a major port authority in upgrades to its airport facilities and a state agency in its expansion of the state’s renewable power capabilities.  Lisa also serves as the General Counsel to the African American Museum In Philadelphia.

Lisa is fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration and the American College of Investment Counsel. She is also an arbitrator and mediator with the Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators, the American Arbitration Association, and the Center for Conflict Resolution and Prevention Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. Lisa is Co-Chair of the New York City Region of the American Bar Association Women In Dispute Resolution (WIDR) and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, the Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American ADR Inn of Court, ArbitralWomen, Arbitrators of African Descent, the National Bar Association (NBA) – Dispute Resolution Section, Women Owned Law, the Women Lawyers Division of the NBA, and the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms.

Lisa is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Northeastern University and is a member of the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and District of Columbia bars.  In 2018, Lisa attended Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiations and was recognized as “Best Negotiator.”


Lorraine S. McGowen is a restructuring partner at Orrick, a leading global law firm focused on serving the financial, energy & infrastructure and tech sectors.   One of IFLR1000’s Leading Lawyers, she is a seasoned legal practitioner and business advisor involved in the most complex transactions where parties are seeking to maximize recoveries or reduce liabilities.

She is a member of Orrick’s Management Committee and Partner in Charge,  Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.  Lorraine also co-leads Orrick's Automotive Technology & Mobility Group.

Recent engagements include representing Toyota (one of the largest creditors with more than $7 billion in claims) in the highly complex global restructuring of Takata Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of automotive safety systems, including airbags; representing financial institutions in connection with Puerto Rico’s $70 billion restructuring; representing VMware in connection with the assumption of its vendor contracts and enforcement of its claims in the chapter 11 reorganization of  Windstream and its subsidiaries; and representing several alternative energy PPA counterparties in connection with the assumption of their power purchase agreements and enforcement of their claims in the PG&E chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

As a leading D&I advocate, McGowen creates programs for the legal profession and the community.  She has been recognized as an MCCA Rainmaker, Savoy’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2018 and 2015, and Savoy’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America   and received the National Bar Association’s Outstanding Woman at a Majority Firm, NYC Bar Association’s Diversity Champion Award and Legal Outreach’s Pipeline to Diversity Champion Award.

McGowen received her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

 

 

 


María D. Meléndez is Sidley Austin LLP’s Chief Diversity Officer.  As CDO, she leads Sidley’s efforts to further advance and increase diversity and inclusion across the firm’s 20 global offices, and within the legal profession as a whole.  María, together with eight other global full-time D&I professionals, works closely with the firm’s Management and Executive Committees and two partner-led diversity-related committees:  The Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women.  Together this core group, in partnership with other firm leadership and our lawyers, works to strengthen and advance the firm’s D&I goals. 

A frequent speaker on issues surrounding equity and fairness, María is dedicated to bolstering the framework of policy and practices that have advanced Sidley’s recognition as a top law firm for women and lawyers of diverse backgrounds.  She is a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals and proudly serves on the boards of The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the Advisory Board of the Institute For Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

Prior to becoming Sidley’s Chief Diversity Officer, María was a partner in Sidley’s Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice and has more than 25 years of experience in the litigation and arbitration of high-stakes commercial disputes, representing global clients in state and federal courts throughout the United States and before arbitral tribunals.  Over the years, strong leadership and success in representing clients have earned her acknowledgement from various industry groups, including being named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation from 2017 through 2019.  She was also elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2019.


Ms. Jones is a diversity consultant who specializes in providing diversity/inclusion consulting and training to law firms, professional services firms, corporations, not for profits and other types of organizations. She is the President of Jones Diversity, Inc.  Her firm’s broad range of services enable the organization to fully utilize, retain and promote diverse employees into leadership roles and to build diverse and inclusive workplace cultures and communities. She has served as the Interim Founding Director for the Center for Diversity Innovation at the University at Buffalo which focused on research in diversity and inclusion and bringing those best practices to employers in all sectors.

Ms. Jones has practiced law and been a community leader over a 25-year career, including positions as a federal prosecutor, with major law firms and with Fortune 500 Corporations.  She has been highly successful as a litigator, a counselor, an educator and a problem-solver regarding extremely complex and sensitive matters. From 1985-1989, Ms. Jones served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, based in Chicago, where she conducted federal grand jury investigations and trials in high profile white-collar criminal cases.        In private law practice, she was a partner at Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert & Matz and Senior Counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in Los Angeles.

In the corporate sector, Ms. Jones managed litigation matters worldwide for Abbott Laboratories, as well as advising senior management in matters of crisis management and in fashioning creative solutions to highly complex business issues.  Most recently, Ms. Jones acted as Senior Counsel at SBC Communications (now AT &T).                   

Ms. Jones was Counsel of Record in the amicus curiae brief filed in the United States Supreme Court in 2003 by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago in Grutter v. Bollinger and the University of Michigan in support of diversity in higher education.

She is the author of “Mastering the Game:  Career Strategies for Success” which provides the unwritten rules for career success for women and diverse professionals (May 2018).

Ms. Jones is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.


Nate Saint Victor is an executive level advisor with over 19 years of experience within the financial and legal services sectors with substantive experience in analyzing structural dynamics and innovation barriers and implementing strategies for growth and change.  Nate has a proven track record of developing best practices, communicating to stakeholders, and serving in leadership roles.

Nate is General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer at Engine No. 1.  Engine No. 1 is an investment firm purpose-built to create long-term value by driving positive impact through active ownership.  Previously, Nate was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, where he provided legal counsel focused on its prime brokerage, securities lending and fund administration businesses.  Previous to that role, Nate counseled the wealth management division on broker-dealer and investment advisory issues with a focus on research, development and distribution of alternative investments and sat on private fund adviser boards of directors and as a member of internal risk committees.  Nate started his legal career in the Investment Management Group at Davis Polk.

Nate has served on multiple industry groups, including the SIFMA Prime Brokerage Securities Lending Committee, Alternative Investments Roundtable, Investment Adviser/Broker-Dealer Task Force, and Investment Advisory Committee as well as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board Business Model Working Group.  Nate regularly speaks, and has written, on topics related to securities laws, diversity, ethics and professional development.

Nate recently completed a term on the Board of Directors for the New York City Bar Association, where he chaired the Audit and Nomination Committees and previously Co-Chaired the ABCNY’s Diversity Committee. Nate mobilizes resources to promote innovation and change, including through his leadership positions with the Alliance of Securities and Financial Educators (ASAFE), the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP), Legal Outreach, My Brother’s Keeper My Sister’s Keeper, the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) and Orrick’s Diversity Advisory Board.

Nate is Chair Emeritus of the Morgan Stanley Legal and Compliance Division Diversity & Inclusion Committee, a 2018 Savoy Most Influential Black Attorney, 2017 Metropolitan Black Bar Association “Trailblazer of the Year,” 2015 CUP Catalyst Change Agent in Law, and 2009 CUP Fellow.  Nate also enjoys mentoring and was recognized by Legal Outreach as an “Elder of the Village,” the organization’s highest honor.

Nate graduated from Duke University, where he co-founded the Duke Business and Investment Clubs, and Georgetown Law, where he served on the Journal for Gender and the Law, the award-winning Frederick Douglass Moot Court team and as President of the Black Law Student Association. 

 

 


Paula T. Edgar, Esq. is an attorney and CEO of PGE Consulting Group LLC, a strategy firm that provides diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and professional development solutions for organizations.

Paula is a highly sought after speaker and facilitator across industries. She conducts live and virtual workshops, keynote speeches, and provides executive coaching and customized training on topics including unconscious/implicit bias, anti-racism, inclusive leadership, and workplace sexual harassment. Paula’s professional development expertise includes mentor/sponsor best practices, personal branding, networking, and business development.

Paula has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Bloomberg Law, Essence Magazine, and Business Insider.

Paula is active in numerous organizations including her current role as Treasurer and past President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA), New York State’s largest Black bar association, and serving as President of its charitable arm, Friends of the MBBA, Inc. 

Paula served as a founding partner of Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC and as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at New York Law School. Additionally, Paula practiced employment and workplace discrimination law for the Law Enforcement Division of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. 

Paula received her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University (Fullerton) and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

Paula has been recognized by The Network Journal Magazine as a “40 Under Forty” Achievement Awardee, a Ms. JD “Woman of Inspiration”, and a “Rising Star'' by A Better Chance.  She has also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Black Law Students Association at CUNY Law School and the Ruth Whitehead Whaley Service Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA).

Stay up to date with Paula at paulaedgar.com, Linkedin, and on Twitter (@PaulaEdgar)


Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. She spent the preceding ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, Sandra was a litigator in Chicago for ten years.

Currently, Sandra serves on the boards of the National Judicial College, where she chairs the Nominations and Governance Committee, and the National Association of Women Lawyers, where she is part of the Advocacy and Survey Committees.  Sandra was a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she served as the first Central Region Governor and continues to serve on the Leadership Advisory Council. She is a former president of the Japanese American Service Committee, the oldest Asian American social service agency in the Midwest and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois. She is a former member of the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian American Institute, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education. She has written and spoken extensively on diversity in the legal profession and on multicultural children’s literature.

Sandra earned her AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her JD from Harvard Law School.

Sandra, her husband, Brian Witkowski, and their dogs, Cashew and Filbert, live in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.


Thomas Kim joined Thomson Reuters in 1999 as compliance and legal counsel. Since then, he has held a number of legal executive roles including as chief counsel for Reuters News, a business unit general counsel and as the company’s Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to assuming his current role as Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, Thomas led the overall separation of the $6 billion financial and risk data business (now known as Refinitiv) from Thomson Reuters. Prior to that, Thomas was the Managing Director of Thomson Reuters businesses in China, with P&L responsibility for a circa $130 million business.

Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Thomas was in private practice in San Francisco with the law firms Baker & McKenzie and Hancock, Rothert & Bunshoft (now Duane Morris). 

Throughout his career, Thomas has led diversity initiatives, having helped launch a reverse mentoring program and a global diversity advisory council at Thomson Reuters and the ASCEND Executive Network in New York to aid Asian Pacific Americans rise to the C-suite. Thomas sits on the Advisory Council of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance. Previously, Thomas was named one of the “Best Lawyers under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. As a leader, Thomas believes that purpose drives people and people drive profit.

Thomas obtained undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.


Tierra Piens, a Managing Associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, is a member of Orrick’s award-winning Employment Litigation group. She represents large corporations and emerging companies in high stakes employment litigation. 

Tierra also maintains a robust employment law counseling practice that includes helping her clients both develop and improve, their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and policies. She helps clients make meaningful changes to their approach to diversity while staying within the lines of the law. 

She devotes a portion of her practice to providing pro bono services to nonprofit organizations and low-income individuals. Tierra also serves in several leadership roles at Orrick, including as a leader of the Black Lawyers of Orrick affinity group.

Tierra received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.


Vivia Chen is a columnist at Bloomberg Law where she writes the “Unfiltered” column. A journalist with over 20 years of experience, she previously wrote the highly popular Careerist column at The American Lawyer.

Incisive, snappy and sometimes irreverent, Vivia’s writings offer an insider look at the business and culture of Big Law. She casts a wide net on subjects that touch lawyers’ careers and lives—including the scourge of billable hour, firm mismanagement, morale, and even fashion and style. Readers describe Vivia’s writing as “honest,” “infuriating,” and “fabulously grumpy.”

Vivia often writes about gender and race in the legal arena. She regularly challenges the profession to improve the promotion of women and lawyers of color in its ranks, calling out firms that fall short. Her column on the dearth of Black partners at one of the leading firms in the country (“Yes, Cravath Still Has Zero Black Partners”) generated wide discussion in the industry.

Vivia has received several honors for opinion writing, including awards from The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) and the Jesse H. Neal Awards. Moreover, the American Bar Association inducted The Careerist to its Blog Hall of Fame, and Business Insider named it one of the 15 most influential legal blogs. 

Lawyers of Color named Vivia to its "2020 Power List" that recognizes "the most influential minority attorneys in the nation."

Born in Taiwan and raised in Houston, Vivia is a graduate of Williams College and New York University School of Law.  She resides in New York City with her husband and two daughters.


Brad Karp has been the Chairman of Paul, Weiss since 2008. One of the country’s leading litigators and corporate advisers, Brad has successfully guided numerous Fortune 100 companies, global financial institutions and other companies and individuals through “bet the company” litigations, regulatory matters, internal investigations, and corporate crises. Prior to being named chairman, Brad chaired the firm’s Litigation Department. Brad has spent his entire career at Paul, Weiss, beginning as a summer associate.

Brad has received dozens of industry awards and recognitions. Brad has been selected as the “Attorney of the Year” by the New York Law Journal and by Lawdragon, the “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer and by Benchmark Litigation/Euromoney, and one of the most innovative lawyers in the United States by the Financial Times. Brad received the “Special Achievement Award” from the Financial Times in recognition of his legal achievements and leadership of Paul, Weiss. Brad has repeatedly been named by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the most influential people in the boardroom. The New York Law Journal awarded Brad its first-ever Impact Award, in recognition of Brad’s “significant and lasting impact on the legal community in New York.” Brad received the William Nelson Cromwell Award from the New York County Lawyers Association in recognition of his “unselfish service to the profession and the community.”

Brad speaks and writes frequently on business litigation, securities litigation and corporate governance. He has spoken at more than 600 conferences and has lectured at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School and The Federal Judicial Center. Brad has written more than 600 articles on business litigation and corporate governance issues. For the past 36 years, Brad has written a monthly column for the New York Law Journal, “Second Circuit Review,” which analyzes developments in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Brad is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

Brad frequently speaks out and writes about pressing issues of social justice. In 2020, Brad authored three op-eds concerning responses to the coronavirus pandemic: “We Need Obama, Bush and Clinton to Beat the Coronavirus” (March 2020, The American Lawyer); “The Legal Community Must Protect Workers and Small Businesses From Coronavirus Fallout” (March 2020, The American Lawyer); and “Protecting the Rule of Law in Times of Coronavirus” (April 2020, Bloomberg International). Brad is also active in the community, serving on more than 30 public interest, educational, cultural and charitable boards.

Brad is a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School and clerked for The Honorable Irving R. Kaufman, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


During his four years (since 2017) leading the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely attended college for judges, Benes Aldana has established a national reputation as a pioneer and force multiplier in the field of judicial education.

The College’s many accomplishments during his tenure include achieving record-shattering enrollment in 2020. This was driven by special online programming created in response to the coronavirus pandemic and to concerns about racial injustice that intensified after the police killing of George Floyd.

The College launched a first-of-its kind Judicial Academy for lawyers who aspire to become judges along with new courses on artificial intelligence, animal law, and other emerging topics. A Judicial Renaissance course, designed to be presented abroad annually, brings together judges from around the globe for wide-ranging study of the origins of law and justice.

In 2018, the College organized a national symposium in Washington, D.C., examining efforts to undermine the public’s faith in the courts and the news media. A second national symposium in the nation’s capital in early 2020 explored ways to identify and combat implicit bias in jury decisions.

Under a five-year strategic plan developed in his first year as president, fundraising has increased, as have collaborations with many other judicial and legal organizations such as the Conferences of Chief Justices, National Center for State Courts, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and American Board of Trial Advocates.

Prior to joining the College, Aldana had a distinguished 22-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard (retiring in the rank of Captain (O-6)) that included serving as the first Asian Pacific (Filipino) American chief trial judge in U.S. military history.

He is the ninth overall president or chief executive officer of the NJC, the first former military judge, and the second person of color to lead the College.

Born in Angeles City, Philippines, he and his brothers immigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old after his father, a member of the U.S. Navy, was stationed in Maryland. His family then moved to Oak Harbor, Washington, near Seattle.

Outside of his military service, he has been active in leadership of the American Bar Association, which helped launch the NJC in 1963. He was a member of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Board and the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360. He is a past chair of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. He also served as assembly speaker of the ABA Young Lawyers Division and was a member of the ABA House of Delegates.  He currently serves as a commissioner on the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and is the immediate past president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Judicial Council.

While stationed in Seattle, he served as president of the Asian Bar Association of Washington. He was a co-founding board member of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington, chair-elect of the Washington State Bar Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section, and he was the Washington State Supreme Court’s appointee to the Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee.

He is a 1991 cum laude graduate of Seattle University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. While in college he served as student body president and as a congressional intern on Capitol Hill. He received his Juris Doctor in 1994 from the University of Washington School of Law.


In January 2020, Robert Marchman was appointed to the new position of Senior Policy Advisor on Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. His responsibilities include advising the Office of the Chairman and OMWI Director on the development and implementation of strategies to promote diversity and inclusions both within the SEC and through external engagement with agency partners and market participants. In addition, Mr. Marchman assists the agency’s on-going efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in underserved portions of the investor community. In June 2010, Mr. Marchman joined Finra as Executive Vice President and Head of the Market Regulation Department’s Legal Group. He also assisted with the implementation of the organization’s diversity initiative and served as a member of Finra’s Executive Diversity Leadership Council.  Prior to joining Finra, Mr. Marchman headed the New York Stock Exchange Regulation’s Enforcement Division and Regulatory Risk Group as well as its Market Surveillance Division. Mr. Marchman also served as Chairman of NYSE Diversity Council from its inception in 1999 until his departure from the NYSE.  Mr. Marchman is a magna cum laude graduate of Allegheny College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In addition, Mr. Marchman attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.