Maryland Law Alum And Chief Diversity Officer Lynnette Espy-Williams On Honing Your Craft, Finding A Champion, And Changing Cities

“May you see your dreams allowed / Before you see them from a cloud.” — Wale

L Espy-Williams Headshot
Lynnette D. Espy-Williams

This month, Cozen O’Connor announced its appointment of Lynnette D. Espy-Williams as its first Chief Diversity Officer.

Espy-Williams has had quite a career with the firm and will most definitely leave a footprint on its diversity and inclusion efforts going forward. After graduating from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2006, Espy-Williams served as a judicial intern to former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

She started her career at Cozen O’Connor as a contract attorney, then was promoted to an associate, became a partner in 2013, and was appointed as a Vice Chair, Office Managing Partner in 2015. Needless to say, her career advancement has been quite impressive.

This week, Lynnette D. Espy-Williams was gracious to spend some time with us and share her thoughts on moving from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., advice for those just starting out on their career journeys, and strategies for finding mentors and sponsors in the workplace.

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Perkins Coie Chief Diversity Officer Theresa Cropper On Community Organizing, Working With Stevie Wonder, And Diversifying The Legal Profession

“Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.” — Public Enemy

Theresa Cropper
Theresa Cropper

This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Theresa Cropper, the Chief Diversity Officer for Perkins Coie, LLP. She has a plethora of experience in community organizing as well as diversity and inclusion initiatives.

After spending 14 years at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law focused on improving D&I amongst law students, she moved into Biglaw to improve D&I amongst attorneys. In 2015, she was named to the Hall of Fame of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA).

Cropper’s energy is contagious and she has a wonderful sense of storytelling. Her history with some of the greats including Dr. Martin Luther King, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Stevie Wonder is captivating. I was truly inspired by her ability to recite history along with her optimism for our future.

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