As we honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we look to his timeless teachings. Even if the midst of our country’s many challenges, there is reason for hope. People and organizations, both civic and business, responded to acts of racial violence with a new focus on reducing racial bias and inequality. Internal organizations, such as our Racial Justice Committee, improve awareness and help eradicate systemic bias. Our own Bill Coleman, through a lifetime focused on promoting civil rights, exemplified the positive change that lawyers can cause. As people whose professional lives are committed to the legal profession, we can all be part of continuing that tradition and creating new ways forward. As a firm, we recommit ourselves to advancing our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals—in fulfilling our jobs, in our interactions with others, in everything that we do. We can do more. And we will.

To help translate our longstanding O’Melveny values into action on this urgent cause, the firm’s Racial Justice Committee is advising firm leadership on issues of racial justice and equity, promoting an open dialogue and soliciting a range of viewpoints about challenges inside and outside the firm.

We are focused on identifying concrete actions we can take for addressing systemic racial and social injustice. The RJC is working closely with many of the firm’s existing committees and groups, including our Diversity & Inclusion, Pro Bono, Corporate Social Responsibility, Alumni, and Management teams, to coordinate internal and external engagements and actions.

So much work lies ahead, and the RJC has already launched several initiatives, including collaborative pro bono engagements and volunteer opportunities with outside organizations, exploring fellowship opportunities for our people, and expanding our training programs. The RJC has been instrumental in:

  • Coordinating three separate $25,000 donations by the firm to The Advancement Project, Color of Change, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund;
  • Securing the firm’s commitment as a founding member of the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance, a coalition of law firms committed to using the private legal community’s resources to promote racial equity;
  • Partnering with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to challenge the potential conflicts created by St. Louis prosecutors joining the police union and becoming members of the same bargaining unit; and
  • Collaborating with other major law firms to help achieve the repeal of New York’s Section 50-a, which had allowed law enforcement agencies to shield police disciplinary records, a victory for transparency that Governor Cuomo signed into law on June 12.

And because racial justice is everyone’s responsibility, we have encouraged all of our attorneys and staff to discuss these vital issues and coordinate efforts in our local offices, a process that is already underway across our firm.

We look forward to sharing more about our ongoing efforts as we continue to do our part to promote racial justice, equity, and empowerment.

Bradley J. Butwin   
O'Melveny & Myers LLP        
Sean Monroe    
Racial Justice      
Committee Chair       
Darin Snyder
Co-Partner-in-Charge of      
Diversity & Inclusion           
Jared F. Bartie
Co-Partner-in-Charge of        
Diversity & Inclusion    
Brett Williamson
Partner-in-Charge of
Pro Bono