McGuireWoods partner Jackie Stone’s reputation as a diversity and inclusion groundbreaker has long been known throughout McGuireWoods, and on Oct. 3 at
the National Women in Law Awards in Washington, D.C., it was recognized
on a larger scale when she was honored with a prestigious Lifetime
Achievement Award. Presented by Corporate Counsel and InsideCounsel, leading ALM publications devoted to coverage of the
in-house community, Jackie was one of only six women to receive the honor.
The first female African-American partner in a major law firm in Virginia,
Stone created and chaired the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee
and played a key role launching the firm’s Diversity Action Council (DAC).
As hiring partner for more than 20 years, she also recruited many diverse
lawyers, including Jon Harmon — now McGuireWoods’ chairman and the only
African-American leader of an Am Law 100 firm.
The D&I Committee focuses on identifying, attracting and retaining
diverse talent. It helps incorporate inclusiveness in the firm’s
professional development, supports retention through its lawyer networks
and mentors diverse lawyers.
“It’s the more individual, hands-on opportunities that we have to take
advantage of,” Stone said. “If you help one person, then they are going to
mentor the next person and on and on. That’s going to make the difference.”
Stone herself has mentored countless law students and lawyers who have
joined McGuireWoods, and has counseled GCs, in-house lawyers, judges,
community and elected leaders, and many others in pursuing their careers.
The DAC holds firm leadership accountable for promoting and developing
diverse attorneys by ensuring all firm resources are effectively deployed
to further their careers. Every month, DAC members meet to rigorously
assess each department’s progress in advancing D&I.
Stone’s achievements also paved the way for the firm’s continuing D&I
innovations. Developed by the DAC and the firm’s in-house data analytics
team, McGuireWoods recently created a custom diversity dashboard to
systematically identify opportunities for recruiting, developing, promoting
and retaining diverse lawyers, as well as track the firm’s long-term
progress, ensuring accountability. This ensures diversity isn’t measured
just once a year; it’s woven in to day-to-day operations.
The firm also partners with clients to improve diversity and inclusion and
promote collective goals, such as ensuring more opportunities for women and
diverse lawyers to lead and work on matters the firm handles for clients as
“Jackie is an exceptional attorney and a trailblazer for women and diverse
lawyers, as well as a mentor to me and countless others who have built
successful careers at McGuireWoods,” said Harmon. “We are a stronger firm
because of her skills and leadership, and we are proud that she has
received this well-deserved accolade.”