Moore & Van Allen fosters a culture of diversity, belonging, and inclusion at our firm and in the many communities we serve. Diversity is embraced and promoted across the firm in our recruiting, development, and promotion programs for lawyers and staff with different personal backgrounds and experiences. There is unequivocal strength in diversity, and we believe different perspectives enable us to better serve our clients. We are committed in our efforts to continue to intentionally build and strengthen an inclusive environment.
Message from Leadership
We remain steadfast in our belief that in order to achieve the best outcomes we must also remain open and supportive of diverse experiences and perspectives. We are a proud to support a culture where we work hard to welcome, include, value and listen to everyone.
Tom Mitchell, Chair, Management Committee
Amy Johnson, Co-chair, Diversity Committee
Valecia McDowell, Co-chair, Diversity Committee
- Moore & Van Allen’s 3rd annual Diversity Conference was held virtually in January 2021. This conference is designed to introduce 1L law students to leaders and career opportunities in the legal industry.
- Our Diversity Scholarship Program is a unique summer employment opportunity for students finishing their first year in law school. 1L Diversity Scholars participate in the firm’s 10-week summer associate program.
- In 2021, in celebration and recognition of Black History Month the Diversity Committee partnered with the Levine Museum of the New South to host a virtual tour featuring the museum’s cornerstone exhibit From Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers. The event highlighted the triumphs and challenges faced by African Americans in the South after the end of slavery.
- In September 2020, Managing Member Tom Mitchell, with support from both the Management and Diversity Committees, launched the MVA diversity and inclusion leadership forum with business/community leaders across Charlotte to discuss the importance of diversity leadership/allyship throughout the business community. Charlotte Hornets President, Vice Chairman, Alternate Governor & Minority Owner Fred Whitfield served as the Forum’s first featured guest.
- The Black Attorney Resource Group (BARG) was launched in June 2020 and is working to establish the group’s focused areas of attention. Led by Corporate Associate Charise Patterson and Litigation Associate Jules Carter, BARG serves as a resource to enhance the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by fostering and environment to support the personal and professional development of Black lawyers.
- In July 2020, the Diversity Committee hosted a four-part discussion series to support our employees’ expressed desire to gain awareness and personal understanding of factors fueling racial injustice. Each dialogue was moderated by Queens University Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement Darryl White. In addition to serving as program facilitator, White led participants from the firm’s Charlotte and Charleston offices through a presentation and discussion of blind spots and implicit biases. Building on this momentum, the firm will continue to engage employees through facilitated dialogues throughout 2021 that encourage respect, empathy, and understanding to one another.
- The Women of Moore & Van Allen hosted an internal art showcase for all employees that highlighted female artists in recognition and celebration of Women’s History Month and 2020 International Women’s Day.
- The Diversity Committee recently partnered with PFLAG Charlotte to host a webinar in recognition of national Pride Month titled Fostering LGBTQ Allyship in the Workplace. Financial Services Member and Diversity Committee Co-chair Amy Johnson serves on the Charlotte PFLAG board of directors.
- MVA partnered with PFLAG Charlotte in October 2020 to host a CLE program titled LGBTQ Law and Practice in North Carolina. Member and Diversity Committee Co-chair Valecia McDowell served as the panel moderator for the virtual CLE.
- The Diversity Committee launched a virtual memorial event marking the birthday of Charlotte civil rights attorney Julius L. Chambers on October 6, 2020. The event invited employees to participate in a facilitated dialogue to discuss the legacy of Mr. Chambers’ work. MVA plans to host a similar event annually to celebrate the life and legacy of Mr. Chambers with team members.
2021 Annual Report
The Diversity and Management Committees are proud to present our 2021 Diversity Report: A Broader Canvas. The annual publication highlights the firm’s ongoing initiatives and future goals, and can be found here.
When brainstorming about this report, we knew 2020 would be a year reflected upon for years to come. The idea emerged to commission artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner to capture visually the challenges we face in creating a diverse and inclusive culture and our aspirations for the future of our workplace and communities. As you review the report, we hope you enjoy the images of the artist’s creative process and pause to reflect on the finished painting, entitled A Broader Canvas. We are pleased to reveal the finished work at the end of our report, and it is proudly displayed in our Charlotte office.
Recruiting & Retention
Moore & Van Allen is committed to recruiting, developing and promoting lawyers and staff of every gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. Working closing with the firm’s Management, Diversity and Recruitment committees we have adopted several initiatives designed to support these values. We believe there is unequivocal strength in diversity and remain unwavering in efforts to leverage that power for our clients.
Moore & Van Allen’s annual Diversity Conference is a one-day seminar designed to introduce 1L law students to leaders and career opportunities in the legal industry. Students are selected through a competitive application process and gain exposure to the climate of diversity in the legal industry through various networking opportunities, interactive panels, and presentations from MVA members, clients and other leaders in the legal profession.
Launched in January 2019, Moore & Van Allen’s Diversity Scholarship Program is a unique summer employment opportunity for students just finishing their first year in law school. Open to all first-year law students, we evaluate candidates based on their academic performance, communication skills, demonstrated leadership qualities, work experience and community involvement. Selected students will have the opportunity to participate in the firm’s 10-week summer associate program for 2Ls and may receive up to $15,000 in additional scholarship money.
Moore & Van Allen is a founding participant and longstanding partner of the Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship (CLDC). Established in 2006, the CLDC program operates with one basic goal—to improve diversity in the Mecklenburg County Bar by attracting top first-year law students with diverse backgrounds to Charlotte through corporate and law firm summer internships.
The Diversity Committee strives to cultivate and maintain relationships with several community partners including, but not limited to, the following:
- Community Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization established in 1997 by government and civic leaders, which is dedicated to issues of access, inclusion and equity in the Charlotte community.
- Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship, a highly competitive summer program that identifies and exposes qualified minority students to the Charlotte legal community. Moore & Van Allen served as one of the founding organizations of the program.
- Moore & Van Allen is proud to serve as a Diversity Champion sponsor of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
- Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council that expands business opportunities for Minority Business Enterprises by adding economic value to the supply chain, while increasing economic opportunities for the minority business community.
- We serve as a sponsor of the Women Lawyers of Charlotte and ensures membership to the organization for our female lawyers.
- Moore & Van Allen is a proud annual sponsor of the North Carolina Human Rights Campaign Gala in Charlotte, NC.
- We are a proud sponsor of the annual YMCA MLK Holiday Breakfast benefitting the McCrorey YMCA.
- Moore & Van Allen is a sponsor of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation's annual McMillan Dinner which recognizes a diversity champion within the local bar; funds from the event help underwrite summer clerkship opportunities at local legal services institutions.
At Moore & Van Allen, we recognize that having people with different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, countries and regions of origin, genders, gender identities and expressions, generations, physical abilities and sexual orientations is critical to our ability to provide the highest level of legal services. By fostering an inclusive work environment, we come together as one extraordinary team with the common purpose of providing truly outstanding legal services to our clients. Our commitment to diversity goes beyond our firm to the communities we serve through extensive outreach initiatives. These core principles are embraced by the firm’s leadership.
Moore & Van Allen was named a 2021 “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign
For the third consecutive year, MVA again earned a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. The survey rates businesses on their commitment to LGBTQ inclusion practices in employee benefits, professional development and accountability, as well as public commitment.
WomenInc. magazine named Moore & Van Allen to its Top 100 Law Firms for Women
The list was published in WomenInc. magazine’s fall 2019 issue. Law firms were selected based on a demonstrated commitment to supporting women in the legal profession.