Director, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

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Wilson Sonsini is the premier legal advisor to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide. We represent companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multibillion-dollar global corporations, as well as the venture firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that finance and advise them. The firm has approximately 1,200 attorneys in 19 offices: 14 in the U.S., three in China, and two in Europe. Our broad spectrum of practices and entrepreneurial spirit allow our staff exceptional opportunities for professional achievement and career growth.

We commit to the principle that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core components of a thriving organization.  We incorporate DEI considerations into all talent management practices, including recruiting, hiring, work allocation, reviews, retention, and promotion.  Externally, we collaborate with law schools and on-campus groups to build a strong pipeline of diverse recruits, and we regularly partner with community organizations that promote DEI.  Through these efforts, we continue to foster a culture in which people of all backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences are encouraged and empowered to achieve their maximum potential.  We realize there is more for us to do as a firm, across the legal sector, and in our communities, and we are committed to doing the work at all levels to positively effect change.

We are seeking a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to work on a hybrid schedule in any of our US offices (Austin; Boston; Boulder; Los Angeles – Century City and Downtown; New York; Palo Alto; Salt Lake City; San Diego; San Francisco – One Market Plaza and SOMA; Seattle; Washington, DC; Wilmington), with occasional travel opportunities.

The successful candidate will report to the Senior Director, Professional Development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and will work closely with the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC), firm management, department and practice group leadership, talent management committees, and stakeholders across the firm to further develop our DEI strategy and initiatives.  They will manage a team of two DEI professionals and collaborate with the broader professional development team.

While we are posting this as a director-level role, we encourage senior manager and manager-level applicants to apply. We are open to considering strong candidates at different management levels. We would adjust the responsibilities, expectations, and compensation of the position accordingly.

Job responsibilities

  • Develop and implement strategic initiatives to promote DEI across the firm and to ensure a welcoming work environment where everyone is valued, included, and empowered to do their best work
  • Act as a trusted advisor to firm leadership to support the firm’s recruitment, inclusion, and retention of diverse talent
  • Work with the DEIC and firm leadership to prioritize, align, and execute DEI vision and objectives and deliver measurable results
  • Work closely with the Chief Operating Officer; the Senior Director, PD and DEI; senior management team; and administrative departments to accomplish the goals of the DEIC
  • Provide subject matter expertise on internal and external DEI best practices
  • Develop analytical tools and methods to measure the effectiveness of the DEI strategy, including tracking demographics, trends and statistics at the firm and in the legal industry
  • Maintain key relationships with professional and community organizations and serve as a firm ambassador
  • Manage our process for responding to industry surveys and client diversity requests and collaborate with our marketing team, finance team, partners, and DEI team to complete these
  • Elevate the firm’s brand as a leader in DEI through personal engagement with clients and the DEI legal community
  • Further develop our brand as a leader in DEI in the sector via effective internal and external communication
  • Partner with our recruiting teams to identify and implement strategic opportunities to develop our diversity pipeline and establish best practices to recruit diverse talent
  • Partner with internal affinity groups to develop each group’s goals and to create relevant, engaging programing to connect and support diverse talent across the firm
  • Develop and deliver presentations on our diversity strategy and design and deliver training on mitigating bias and other relevant topics
  • Stay current with regulatory and policy developments affecting DEI and industry best practices and bring relevant recommendations to the leadership team
  • Lead and participate in professional conferences; consult and advise senior staff on leading teams that reflect the firm’s values
  • Help cultivate inclusivity in a hybrid work environment
  • Manage diversity sponsorship and membership relationships with external organizations
  • Track diversity expenditures and prepare annual budget
  • Supervise and develop our team of DEI professionals


  • Bachelor’s degree required.  J.D. or master’s degree in business administration, leadership, organizational development, or human resources is preferred, though candidates with an equivalent combination of education, training, and other relevant experience will be considered
  • At least six years of relevant DEI experience, preferably in a law firm or other professional services firm
  • At least four years of supervisory experience

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Has created, implemented and measured impactful DEI strategies and programs that drive change
  • Has broad business acumen combined with deep functional knowledge of DEI best practices
  • Excellent communicator and collaborator, with the ability to confidently build strong relationships with people at all levels of seniority
  • Compelling written communicator and presenter able to harness different channels and media to influence stakeholders at all levels
  • Active listener able to connect with stakeholders, understand all viewpoints, and build consensus
  • Strong executive presence and gravitas with the ability to advise and influence senior leaders
  • Understanding of law firm management and operations
  • Demonstrated ability to project manage – meeting deadlines and providing high-quality deliverables for multiple, simultaneous projects
  • Known for being proactive, creative, analytical, and innovative
  • Demonstrated ability to diplomatically challenge the status quo and seek opportunities for continuous improvement
  • Thrives in a high expectation, fast-paced environment, while also able to connect empathetically with individuals
  • Exhibits sound judgment and discretion in handling confidential employee information and an awareness of privacy law requirements around sharing employee data

The primary location for this job posting is in Palo Alto, but other locations are also listed. The actual base pay offered will depend upon a variety of factors, including but not limited to the selected candidate’s qualifications, years of relevant experience, level of education, professional certifications and licenses, and work location. The anticipated pay range for this position is as follows:

San Francisco and Silicon Valley: $195,500 – $264,500 per year

Austin, Boston, Boulder, District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and Wilmington: $175,950 – $238,050 per year

Salt Lake City and all other locations: $156,400 – $211,600 per year

The compensation for this position may include a discretionary year-end merit bonus based on performance. We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits package.

Benefits information can be found here. Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

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