Moore & Van Allen Member Valecia McDowell Named a Forbes Top Lawyer in America


Moore & Van Allen PLLC (MVA) is pleased to announce that Member Valecia M. McDowell has been named to the inaugural Forbes Top 200 Lawyers in America list, which recognizes lawyers based on their impressive track records, industry leadership, and high level of peer and client respect. McDowell is the only North Carolina-based practitioner on the 2024 list.

Forbes Executive Editor Ty Wenger noted that being honored as a top lawyer is a testament to each honoree’s “hard work, expertise, and dedication to client service,” and that Forbes is “proud to showcase” such accomplishments in the legal sector. 

McDowell, who co-leads the firm’s White Collar, Regulatory Defense & Investigations and Civil Rights & Racial Equity Assessments teams, is a national thought leader in governmental and internal investigations, conduct risk management, and public-facing racial equity assessments. For more than 25 years, she has brought her candor, pragmaticism, and diligence to bear on behalf of clients, establishing herself as a go-to attorney. The Forbes recognition is one of many high-profile accolades that McDowell has earned in recent years for leading complex internal and governmental investigations in the U.S. and abroad, as well as her trailblazing work to launch the firm’s equity assessments practice, which guides clients through sensitive matters and environments in a way that prioritizes and enhances DEI progress within their respective business models. In the past year alone, McDowell has also been recognized by the Financial Times, within Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, and many other legal and business publications.

In selecting lawyers for the inaugural Top 200 Lawyers list, the Forbes review team identified eligible candidates through hundreds of interviews with industry insiders, external nominations, editorial research, and an independent, five-person advisory board of experts. Thousands of attorneys from a variety of backgrounds, specializations, and jurisdictions were considered. The methodology and assessment process was designed by an editorial team with broad experience in law practice, coverage of legal news, and knowledge of the marketplace. In-depth research into each candidate yielded evaluations on criteria such as reputation, industry honors, influence, advocacy performance, commitment to diversity, and pro bono work.



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