The New York City Bar's Enhance Diversity Committee presented the inaugural Diversity Champion Award at the Third Annual Diversity Conference last month. The award recognizes the critical role individuals have played in initiating and sustaining change within their organizations and the overall New York legal community.
The 2006 Diversity Champion Award winners are: the Hon. Daniel M. Donovan Jr., District Attorney, Richmond County; William Malpica, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP, and Elizabeth D. Moore, Nixon Peabody LLP.
Upon taking office as Richmond County District Attorney in 2004, Mr. Donovan made it his mission to raise the standards of the office to better reflect the Staten Island community he represents. When he arrived, there were no attorneys on staff that spoke a language other than English. His first two hires were fluent Spanish-speaking women (now there are three), and subsequently he has added Korean, Hindi, Italian, and Chinese speakers. Over one-third of Donovan's new assistant district attorneys have been racial-ethnic minorities.
Mr. Malpica, as an associate only seven years out of law school, has made a lasting impact on the diversity of the New York legal community in his short career. He has focused not only on increasing diversity in his own firm, but also helped racial/ethnic minority students succeed in law school and beyond. One example of a program Malpica spearheaded is the Annual Minority Law Student Leadership Summit, which is now in its third year.
Ms. Moore advocates for diversity through her roles as a partner at Nixon Peabody, a practicing employment lawyer, a member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University and as an active participant in the community at large. Within her firm, Moore has been described as the 'driving force' behind Nixon Peabody's efforts in the field of diversity. As co-chair of the firm's Diversity Action Committee, she has spearheaded the creation of a multi-year diversity plan focused on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and staff/attorney relations.