Elizabeth Davis, the first woman of color to serve as Chair at financial services law firm Murphy & McGonigle and an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the financial services and legal industries, has joined other senior legal executives from a range of companies in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) "Leaders at the Front" program by making a pledge to increase diversity at the firm.
Chief Legal Officers from the financial services industry such as Capital One, Raymond James, and Willis Towers Watson, among others, are pledging to advocate and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their respective organizations.
"As a participating member of LCLD, we are honored to be among the many companies who are taking action to enhance diversity in the business community and in the legal industry," said Sharon A. O’Shaughnessy, the Firm’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. "Since a commitment to diversity is in our founding principles and since Liz herself is a past fellow of the LCLD, her pledge on behalf of Murphy & McGonigle is even more meaningful."
The LCLD is an organization of more than 350 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who have pledged themselves to creating a diverse legal profession in the U.S. According to the LCLD, "Leaders at the Front" is a movement meant to capture urgency and opportunity by asking members to step forward and craft a personal, public statement—a Leader’s Pledge—to build a more perfect union by moving diversity to the front burner of their organizations.
In her pledge, Ms. Davis made both a Personal Commitment and an Organizational Commitment, including to "use my role to advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion within my firm and within the legal community" and to "cultivate a workplace where diversity, equity, and inclusion is valued and incorporated in how the firm approaches its colleagues, clients, and legal practice."
Ms. Davis was elected in June by the firm’s shareholders to serve as just the second Chair in firm history, and her tenure began on September 1, 2021. Prior to private practice, she served as a Chief Trial Attorney at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for nine years, and, before that, as a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice. "When I was growing up, I never had a role model who served as the leader of a major law firm," said Ms. Davis. "So it is important for diverse leaders to be visible to those who are coming up in the finance and legal industries."
Murphy & McGonigle’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative seeks to attract, retain, and champion top-flight legal talent. By doing so, the firm is able to maintain a culture of equality and support, strengthen the firm and community, and fuel improved performance and results for their clients.
To view Ms. Davis’ pledge alongside other legal executives, click here.