A blog about recruiting happenings, summer experiences, diversity initiatives, and everything else in-between.

Big Win at Nationals Park!

Posted in Recruiting, Summer Associates, Summer Program Events

Last week, more than 60 Wiley Rein attorneys and summer associates enjoyed a gorgeous night at the Nationals’ ballpark and a big win against the Cincinnati Reds. Our summer associates and attorneys enthusiastically cheered on the home team as they scored 13 runs against the Reds’ 4.

This annual event of the summer program is a great way for summer associates and attorneys alike to take a break, relax, and get to know one another better, while enjoying some delicious ballpark fare.

It was an exciting game for everyone and especially for a few of our summer associates who had never attended a Nationals game before! The night was hard to beat, as Ted Brackemyre, a 2016 summer associate, said:

“I was definitely spoiled in my first trip to Nationals Park – between the great weather, food, and company, I am not sure how my next game could match Thursday night.”

Go Nats!



(Left to right): Summer Associates Hume Ross, Lindy Bathurst, Ken Daines, Sarah Hansen, and Yvette Sokei

(Left to right): 2016 Summer Associates Hume Ross, Lindy Bathurst, Ken Daines, Sarah Hansen, and Yvette Sokei.

Row 1 (left to right) Kara Sacilotto, Shawn Donovan, Ted Brackemyre. Row 2 (left to right) Nate Lovett and Jeremy Broggi.  Also pictured is Jeremy’s wife Chesed

Row 1 (left to right) Kara Sacilotto, Shawn Donovan, Ted Brackemyre. Row 2 (left to right) Nate Lovett and Jeremy Broggi. Also pictured is Jeremy’s wife Chesed.













N Street Village Luncheon

Posted in Community Service, Diversity & Inclusion

On Thursday, June 9, Wiley Rein had the honor of being a lead sponsor for N Street Village’s 10th annual Empowerment Luncheon. Even more exciting was the announcement from keynote speaker Oprah Winfrey that she would be pledging $1 million to the nonprofit organization.

N Street Village is known for its focus on providing both emergency and long-term services to homeless and low-income women in Washington, DC. Since its creation in 1972, N Street Village has assisted thousands of women who struggle with homelessness, poverty, and health problems by providing housing, medical care, mental health and addiction recovery programs, and peer mentorship programs. Oprah acknowledged this in her speech, saying:

“In life, we all want to know: Do you hear me? Do you see me? Everyone who works at N Street Village understands that principle. They know that every woman who comes through those doors wants to be seen, heard, and to know that her life matters.”

Wiley Rein has strong ties to N Street Village; Managing Partner Peter Shields chairs the Board of Directors and was a lead sponsor of the luncheon, and many of our attorneys have dedicated countless hours and resources to support the organization. The firm’s relationship with N Street Village is a key part of the firm’s commitment to community service—which, along with our fundraising and pro bono efforts, has had a significant impact on more than 450 different nonprofit organizations. As a result, the firm was named No. 2 on the Washington Business Journal’s 2015 Corporate Philanthropy list for mid-size companies.

Along with Petermany others from Wiley Rein attended the event, including Rachel Alexander, Kim Ashmore, Shawn Chang, Claire Evans, B’anca Glenn, Chris Huther, Kathy Kirby, Kevin Muhlendorf, Kay Nash, Nick Peterson, Dot Powell-Woodson, Neal Seth, Dan Standish, and Kay Tatum.

More coverage of the event can be found at Market Wired, The Washington Post, and FOX 5.

Kickoff to the 2016 Summer Program

Posted in Mentor/Mentee, Recruiting, Summer Associates, Summer Program Events

On Monday, May 23, the firm welcomed the 2016 Summer Class, whose members will be with us for the next 10 weeks. The first few days were filled with orientation, which gave the summer associates a taste of the firm’s culture, structure, committees, and departments. Additionally, Brett Shumate and Dwayne Sam, both members of the firm’s Appellate, Litigation, and Telecom, Media and Technology practices, led a Legal Writing Workshop to help the summers prepare for their first assignment.

There were also numerous social activities that allowed the summer associates an opportunity to interact with attorneys from across all practice areas. They enjoyed lunch with their mentors, attended a Meet & Greet reception with delicious treats from four area food trucks, and went to a welcome dinner at the Ritz-Carlton with members of the firm’s Recruiting and Management Committees. The week concluded with a breakfast with their mentors and the chairs of the Recruiting Committee.

It’s hard to believe the first week is already over, but we’re looking forward to this week as Practice Area Presentations will begin!


Wiley Rein Supports Street Law for Third Consecutive Year

Posted in Community Events, Community Service, Diversity & Inclusion, Firm Wide Events, Outreach

Yesterday marked the conclusion of the firm’s third year sponsoring the National Association for Law Placement (NALP)/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, an initiative that encourages high school students to pursue careers in the legal industry. The program aims to increase diversity in the legal profession by teaching high school students about legal concepts and introducing them to career opportunities within the legal industry.

Through Wiley Rein’s participation, attorneys visited The Academies at Anacostia last week to teach senior high school students about contracts law. On April26, the students returned to the firm for a one-day law conference, where they participated in interactive workshops, including a mock trial and simulated negotiation. The conference concluded with a lunch where attorneys and staff spoke openly with students about their careers, education, and professional backgrounds.NALP (3)

Floyd Chapman, Peyton Curdts, Mary Sylvia, and Kurt DeSoto attended the Annual Street Law Celebration Dinner held last night at The Fairmont. It was the perfect way to conclude this year’s efforts, and we look forward to keeping in touch with these bright students and supporting Street Law’s initiatives in the future.

Thank you to Stephanie Bell, Robert Benton, Louisa Brooks, Floyd Chapman, Laura El-Sabaawi, Cynthia Galvez, Derick Holt, Rachel Hunnicutt, Colleen King, Madi Lottenbach, Greg Masters, Brandon Moss, Kendra Norwood, Brian Pandya, Bennett Ross, Katy Ross, Dwayne Sam, Kat Scott, Mary Sylvia, and Jennifer Williams for the time they devoted to this fantastic program!

A press release on Wiley ReinNALP (7)‘s involvement may be found here.

Wiley Rein – One of the Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys

Posted in Diversity & Inclusion, Women's Forum

Wiley Rein is very proud to be on Law360’s 2016 list of “The 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys”—and one of only six firms in the Washington, DC area to make this year’s list.

Wiley Rein is committed to recruiting and retaining female attorneys through a variety of programs and networking events, and values women in important leadership roles (for example, a woman serves as either a chair or co-chair of nearly every firm committee). Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee (chaired by Anna Gomez and co-chaired by Floyd Chapman and Mary Sylvia) works to enhance the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts in recruiting and advancing minority and women attorneys through outreach, mentoring, and a robust professional development program.

Additionally, our Women’s Forum (led by Rachel A. Alexander, Laura El-Sabaawi, and Rachel Hunnicutt), an affinity group for female attorneys, is a resource and asset to the entire firm and focuses on professional and business development with an emphasis on women’s initiatives. Programming ranges from informal lunches with member spotlights to client and speaker events. All summer associates are encouraged to participate in any of the firm’s affinity group activities throughout their summer at Wiley Rein.

Law360 named firms to the list based on four factors: The percentage of partners, both equity and non-equity, who are women; the percentage of non-partners who are women; the split between the firm’s female partner percentage and female non-partner percentage; and the number of female attorneys at the firm. Law360 pointed out that “for the firms that nabbed spots on the list, the number of women at all levels of the firm shows that firm leaders are finding some new ways to open doors and increase diversity.”

We look forward to continuing to support women, and their success and satisfaction will remain a top priority at Wiley Rein.

George Washington University LAMBDA Law Networking Reception

Posted in Diversity & Inclusion, Law School Outreach & Events

Last week, Wiley Rein was one of only three firms to sponsor the George Washington University Lambda Law Diversity Networking Reception at the highest level. Held at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Center, the event has become one of the most distinguished diversity receptions for area law students, law firms, and government and nonprofit organizations. It provides a wonderful opportunity for professionals and students to network before on-campus interviews begin.

“The event, as in prior years, was very well attended, especially by 1Ls from GW and elsewhere,” commented Mike Gridley, of counsel in our Insurance Practice. “We were able to chat with lots of students and had a wonderful time!”

Thank you to Shawn Chang, Mike Gridley, Rachel Hunnicutt, Joe Kakesh, and Nicole Richardson for attending. We look forward to supporting again next year!



2016 March Madness Charity Bracket Challenge

Posted in Associate Events, Community Events, Community Service, Firm Wide Events, Pro Bono

Last week, Wiley Rein kicked off its Sixth Annual March Madness Charity Bracket Challenge. This event is much anticipated throughout the year as it provides both attorneys and professional staff the opportunity to join in the excitement of March Madness while also supporting The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. Participants donate money to these organizations for each bracket they enter. At the conclusion of the March Madness games, the top three finishers receive prizes, including round-trip airline tickets!

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC) provides pro bono legal representation to individuals and groups seeking access to equal justice under law. Several of our attorneys are active members of the WLC, including Ted Howard, the firm’s Pro Bono Partner, who serves on its Board of Directors.

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia was created in 1932 with the goal of making justice real – in individual and systematic ways – for persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. In addition to providing direct representation, the organization helps clients avoid unnecessary legal entanglements through outreach and education.

The firm generously agreed to match all contributions, and we are excited to have raised nearly $9,000! We are happy to support two wonderful organizations and cannot wait to find out the results of the Bracket Challenge!

Street Law Kickoff

Posted in Community Events, Diversity & Inclusion, Outreach

On Friday, March 11, attorneys gathered for lunch to kick off the firm’s third year of participation in the NALP/ Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program. Street Law aims to increase diversity in the legal profession by introducing high school students to legal concepts and career opportunities within the legal industry. Our attorneys will teach classes to seniors at the Academies at Anacostia, and will also host a conference with interactive workshops to build upon the classroom lessons. Wiley Rein is the only DC firm that is a member of Street Law.

The kickoff provided an opportunity to hear from Christina Jackson, Director of Public Service Initiatives and Fellowships at NALP, and Justine Hipsky, the teacher at Anacostia whose class our attorneys will visit. Christina and Justine discussed the goals of Street Law and the impact the program has on the students, and offered advice on teaching best practices.

We look forward to meeting this year’s students in April!

What if I Say the Wrong Thing?

Posted in Diversity & Inclusion, Recruiting, Training Programs

This afternoon, Wiley Rein welcomed Vernā Myers, a renowned diversity and inclusion speaker, who led a discussion on bias that was attended by nearly 100 people. During her presentation—titled “What If I Say the Wrong Thing?”—Vernā explained how all individuals have their own “cultural lens” based on their backgrounds and experiences. Instead of shying away from “uncomfortable” conversations with people who may have a different lens, Vernā challenged attendees to expand their social and professional networks and learn from one another.

Vernā’s presentation on interrupting bias in ourselves and others was excellent,” commented Anna Gomez, chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “Her use of humor and personal stories was engaging and impactful, and the participants were earnest and thoughtful in their questions and interest. I am very proud that the firm was so well represented during the session, as it demonstrates a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion at Wiley Rein.”

Today’s event was the third in a series of presentations sponsored by the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Previous speakers have included Jane Pigott, who led a diversity and inclusion best practices workshop, and Lori Lorenzo, who discussed LGBT issues. The firm looks forward to offering continued educational opportunities in this sphere.

Thank you to all who attended and helped make the program a success!

Wiley Rein Proudly Supports APABA-DC Awards and Installation Gala

Posted in Bar Association Events, Diversity & Inclusion

Wiley Rein attorneys Shawn Chang, Edgar Class, Sonali Gunawardhana, Samantha Lee, George Petel, and Kay Tatum spent last Friday celebrating the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of DC (APABA-DC) at their Annual Awards and Installation Gala. A Wiley Rein client, two 2015 summer associates, and a spouse also attended the event, which was held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and drew hundreds of attorneys, government officials, judges, public interest organizations, and corporate counsel. Guests enjoyed a buffet of delicious Asian cuisine before watching the installation of the new board, hearing from several speakers, and honoring award recipients.

“As a first-time attendee of APABA-DC’s Annual Awards and Installation Gala, I found the event to be an outstanding forum for networking with other APA attorneys in the DC area,” remarked Shawn Chang, Of Counsel in the firm’s Public Policy Group. “It was a highly educational and informative event to discover, recognize, and appreciate the accomplishments of some the trailblazers within the APA legal community and think of ways to carry their legacy and contributions forward.”

Wiley Rein was one of only six organizations to serve as a top-level Platinum sponsor. The firm has proudly sponsored the gala for the past several years and looks forward to continuing its support.


Wiley Rein attorney Samantha Lee, 2015 Summer Associate Liz Lee, Wiley Rein attorney Shawn Chang, and 2015 Summer Associate Derrick Petit enjoy the APABA-DC Gala.