The past several years have brought unprecedented change to our lives, workplaces, and communities. With this have also come an increased set of expectations from attorneys and corporate clients alike on what law firms must do and accomplish to advance DE&I in the workplace. As more and more companies have become committed to DE&I, they in turn, expect their business partners to be.

This inaugural conversation of the Foley Hoag Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Thought Leadership Series: Client Perspectives on DE&I, convened a group of DE&I thought leaders from across our clients' industries for a robust, collaborative conversation highlighting their insights on this topic, including their challenges and successes. Our goal was to promote open dialogue, greater visibility, and understanding of DE&I issues impacting the legal community and the clients we serve, and share best practices across multiple industries.

Highlights of the discussion included:

  • The DE&I questions in-house counsel seek answers to – and the role formal surveys, RFIs and RFPs play in the discussion – while selecting outside counsel for their organizations' highest profile transactions and matters
  • How can clients and law firms collaborate on common goals? New ideas for advancing equity in the workplace and beyond, including why DE&I work is an ongoing, evolving, and shared commitment and responsibility
  • Structured and organic efforts to advance DE&I from the lenses of multiple industries
  • Recent lessons learned and actionable next steps you can bring to your organizations to help drive new and established DE&I initiatives forward


  • Rosa Nunez, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Foley Hoag LLP (Moderator)
  • Samita Ali-Khan, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP
  • Adam Harmon, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.
  • Michael Lara, Senior Programs Specialist - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Boston Red Sox
  • Dawn Perry, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts