Racial Diversity

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King & Spalding recognizes that diverse talent is a strategic asset that allows for more effective client service. As part of our commitment to diversity, the firm engages in a number of efforts and initiatives to encourage and develop racial diversity within the firm and our community.

Awards & Recognition

In 2015, for the fourth time, King & Spalding received a Law Firm Diversity Recognition Award from Chevron Corporation for its commitment to promoting diversity in the legal field.

Atlanta partner Bobby Woo received the Inaugural Judge Alvin T. Wong Pioneer Award in 2014. The Pioneer Award was established by Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA)  to recognize the trailblazers among the Asian Pacific American attorneys in Georgia. 

Sam Matchett, Atlanta partner and Diversity Committee chair, is a founder and active member of Graduate and Professional Scholars, an organization devoted to creating and maintaining an academic environment that is conducive to the successful matriculation of historically underrepresented graduate and professional students through the University of Georgia.

The Gate City Bar Association has named Atlanta partner Sam Matchett to its Hall of Fame, the organization’s highest honor, for attorneys who have made significant contributions to the African-American community. In 2013, Ray Persons, a partner in Atlanta, was inducted into the Gate City Bar Association’s Hall of Fame.

Ray Persons was inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society whose member-ship is limited to less than one-half of 1 percent of American lawyers. Mr. Persons also received the Atlanta Bar Association’s 2010 Leadership Award, which is based on recipients’ contributions to the legal profession and to the community and he received the State Bar of Georgia’s 2010 Tradition of Excellence Award in the defense category.

Atlanta partner Ray Persons is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a law honor society with membership limited to six hundred trial lawyers and barristers drawn from the United States, Canada and England. At the time of his induction, he was the first African-American admitted from the South.

New York partner Wendy Waszmer is co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Partner Carmen Lawrence was Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s (MBBA’s) “Private Practitioner of the Year” 2014 recipient. The MBBA Private Practitioner award “recognizes an attorney who has demonstrated a superior ability to represent his or her clients zealously and effectively at the highest of levels.”

In its 2015 edition, Chambers Asia Pacific identified King & Spalding as one of the region’s elite law firms, recognizing seven of the firm’s practices as well as six lawyers (earning 12 individual recognitions), including partner Rahul Patel.

Thirty-eight King & Spalding practices and 126 of the firm’s lawyers earned individual rankings – 16 at the national level – in Chambers USA 2015. Among the diverse lawyers recognized were:

In The Legal 500 2015 guide to the leading law firms in Latin America, three King & Spalding practices and 12 lawyers, including Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez. Roberto Aguirre-Luiz, John Crespo and Vera De Brito de Gyarfas were counted among the region’s outstanding legal service providers.

2016, for the 16th consecutive year, Latin Lawyer identified King & Spalding as one of Latin America’s top business law firms in its Latin Lawyer 250 guide. Recognized as leaders in their fields were Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez, John Crespo, Alejandro Jara, Roberto Aguirre-Luiz, Vera De Brito de Gyarfas, and Adrian Talamantes.

Seven King & Spalding lawyers, including partners Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez, John Crespo, and Roberto Aguirre-Luiz were recognized as leaders in their fields in Chambers Latin America 2016. The firm’s international arbitration, corporate/M&A and projects practices also were recognized.

Leadership in the Legal Community

Atlanta partner Harold Franklin is president of the 6,000-member Atlanta Bar Association.

Washington, D.C., partner Gary Grindler serves as a member of the board of trustees for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Houston senior associate Juliet McBride was selected for the State Bar of Texas 2014-2015 leadership class. One of the main goals of the leadership program is to increase the state bar diversity, and only a limited number of attorneys are nominated to participate.

Sam Choy, Atlanta Partner, is a member of the State Bar of Georgia Law Practice Management Committee and a member of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association Board of Directors. Sam was also the Key Note Speaker at the 2015 Korean-American Young Professions Night, Sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Atlanta and the Korean American Coalition, Atlanta Chapter where he spoke on the “Importance of Professional Development”.

New York counsel Isabel Fernandez de la Cuesta is a member of the International Law Association’s Feminism and International Law Committee, which works on pertinent issues such as the status of international conventions on refugees and international conventions against sex slavery and trading, and similar issues.

Washington, D.C., partner Alan Dial is Vice Chair of Cartel & Criminal Practice Committee, American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law, the leading professional organization for antitrust and competition law, trade regulation, consumer protection and economics. Alan also served as a faculty member at the past three biennial International Cartel Workshop sponsored by the American Bar Association’s section of antitrust law and the International Bar Association in Vancouver, British Columbia, Rome, Italy and Tokyo, Japan.

Bobby Woo, Atlanta Partner is Co-Chair of Mass Tort Committee of National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Amelia Medina, Atlanta Associate, is the president-elect of the Junior Board of Directors of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Latin American Association.

Rebeca Ojeda, Atlanta Associate, is the treasurer of the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association.

Austin associate Myrna Salinas Baumann serves as a member of the board of directors for Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. She also is a member of the Rice University Next Generation Task Force, an alumni organization for the university.

Rob Hur, Washington, D.C, partner is a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of DC (APABA-DC) and serves on the Nominations Committee.

Atlanta associate Darrick McDuffie served as president of the Gate City Bar Association in 2015. The Gate City Bar is the oldest African American Bar Association in the state of Georgia. Darrick is also currently Chair of the Gate City Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gate City Bar.

Atlanta associate Darrick McDuffie was selected by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the top 40 litigation lawyers under 40 in Georgia in 2015, 2014 and 2013. Darrick was also named to the Lawyers of Color Southern Region 2014 Hot List.

Atlanta partner Ray Persons is on the board of The Law Pipeline Program, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of a law pipeline for metro Atlanta high school students. The organization supports these students through college and law school by encouraging an interest in law and promoting the development of the skills and values necessary for academic and professional success.

In 2015, Atlanta partner Bobby Woo gave a presentation on legal research to Bristol-Myers Squibb Diversity and Inclusion Summer Program. In 2014, he gave a presentation guiding 1L students on legal research at The Coca-Cola Company summer intern program and was subsequently invited to present to the Georgia State University Law School’s Asian American law students.

Bobby Woo, Atlanta Partner is Co-Chair of Mass Tort Committee of National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Harold Franklin, Atlanta Partner, is a member of the State Bar of Georgia Diversity Program standing committee.

Harold Franklin is the recipient of the 2016 Community Service Award from the State Bar of Georgia. He was also awarded the 2015 Man of Influence awards for the Atlanta Business League.

New York Counsel, Viren Mascarenhas, is co-chair of the International Courts Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association. He also is vice-chair of the International Arbitration Committee and a liaison to the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Mascarenhas is also a member of the Energy Committee of the New York Bar Association.

William Panlilio, Singapore Associate, is a member of the Editorial Board of the Minority Trial Lawyers Committee of the American Bar Association.

Rahul Patel, Atlanta Partner, was appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida and confirmed by the Florida Senate to the University of Florida Board of Trustees.

Charlotte Partner, Antonio Lewis, was a panelist at Duke University Law School’s Black History Month Panel.

Facts & Figures

As of January 1, 2016, our firm included 983 lawyers. Of these 30 are African-American lawyers, 48 are Asian lawyers, 29 are Hispanic lawyers and 14 are two or more races.

Rahul Patel, Atlanta partner, is a member of the firm’s 10-member Policy Committee. This committee is the firm’s primary governing body.

Larry Thompson, a former partner, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States and current General Counsel for PepsiCo, became the firm’s first African-American partner in 1986.

Hector Llorens was elected to the partnership in 1995 as the firm’s first Hispanic partner.

Bobby Woo was elected to the partnership in 2002 as the firm’s first Asian partner.

Grace Rodriguez was elected to partnership in 1999 as the firm’s first minority female partner.

Partner and Diversity Committee Chair
+1 404 572 2414

Director of Human Resources & Diversity
+1 404 572 4643