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An innovative and highly focused partnership that's making an impact

An innovative and highly focused partnership that's making an impact.

“This room right here, 34 Black men strong, is the future of the legal profession.”

Isaac Eloi
Black Men in Law Network

At White & Case, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our identity and a cornerstone of our business. The strength of our Firm comes from our unique global outlook and the diversity of our people. Today, our Firm is more diverse than ever, and our global Diversity and Inclusion team has made significant progress in connecting with future legal professionals from underrepresented communities.

Since 2015, as part of our Global Recruiting Task Force and Diversity Initiative Five-Year Strategic Plan, we observed market leading approaches to attracting diverse candidates and successfully connected with many, including Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women and those from the LGBT community. In 2018, we identified Black men in the UK as a community that would benefit from new bespoke events, experiences and learning opportunities to help potential talented candidates get to know our Firm and succeed in a career in the law.

Focus on Black men in the Law

Alan Holmes, EMEA Diversity Manager, explains that, “We decided to support a network which could more directly connect us to talented Black male students. Our aim is to help dispel the myths and overcome the barriers that Black men may face in their studies or working lives, and offer practical support and know-how as well as executive level mentorship and knowledge-sharing.” 

As of March 2019, White & Case is the premier sponsor and partner of the Black Men in Law (BML) network. According to BML Executive Team Member Isaac Eloi, the White & Case team, “rose to the challenge with aplomb and we are delighted to be partnering with them to bring more Black men into the law.” Through this partnership, our aim is to connect with Black men at every stage of their law career—from outreach activities in schools to an online video series for aspiring lawyers and mentorship for current legal professionals.

Black Men in Law dinner: insights and inspiration

Seth Mills, a graduate in Law and Politics from Leicester University attended a joint White & Case / Black Men in Law dinner recently and explained that hearing partner Joshua Siaw’s story made a real impact on him. “He explained his journey and the challenges he overcame to get to where he is today. It was truly inspiring to hear especially as a fellow Ghanaian who grew up in similar circumstances. It showed me that with hard work, commitment and resilience you can surpass your goals.”

Another dinner attendee, Daniel Odogwu, Masters student at Middlesex University, said that, “the highlight of the dinner for me was the level of comfort that I felt around other Black men in the same position as myself.” He also commented on how useful the event had been, saying that, “I was surprised by the amount of useful information I gained over a few hours, that I was unaware of for years prior to the event.”

For Seth, the evening was also a chance to find out more about working at White & Case, saying that he was intrigued to hear about, “how a particular trainee was able to leverage his diverse background and understanding of African culture to go the extra mile for a client who greatly appreciated his assistance…The event really highlighted that the Firm is a pioneer in many respects, is diverse and provides its trainees with a unique and broad mix of work and opportunities across several jurisdictions.”

Black Men in Law Network

Co-founded by Isaac Eloi and John Oladeji, the Black Men in Law Network exists to connect, inspire and support Black men who work in the legal profession and those that want to enter it.

Since its inception on 31 March 2018, the network has become home to over 100 Black male legal professionals and aspiring solicitors and barristers. In an effort to cater to very high demand, the executive team has expanded to include Kingsley Boateng, Theon Richards and Jordan Prince.

With previous events on developing career capital and demystifying mental health, the Network intends to push forward on making the legal profession a more inclusive place for Black men through conferences, speaking in schools, mentoring schemes, working with youth organisations and other functions. You can engage with the Network by following them on LinkedIn, Twitter or join their email mailing list.

Discover more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion