Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter

Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB) is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion at every level. We strive to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a diverse team of attorneys and staff. As counselors of the law, living out the tenets of justice is the foundation of what we do.

Our workplace is a collaborative environment that encourages employees to build great teams and find creative solutions to legal issues. We respect the unique experiences that come from our own backgrounds and those of our clients. Every case and legal issue present more than one perspective, which is precisely why diversity and inclusion are essential in helping our clients succeed. Recognizing and understanding different viewpoints helps us provide exceptional client service. Our clients, community, and colleagues benefit when we bring together diverse perspectives with a common goal of excellent client service.

Women and Minority Leadership

Our lawyers are sought as speakers and trainers on issues of diversity and implicit bias. Patice Holland and Leah Stiegler presented an Implicit Bias session at the Virginia Women’s Conference sponsored by Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Patice Holland also spoke to the School Law Conference of the Virginia School Boards Association on the topic of Implicit Bias.

Additionally, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Roanoke, Virginia, chapter has recognized two of our minority attorneys, Patice Holland and Victor Cardwell, as “Drum Majors for Justice.” These awards are given annually in celebration of the legacy and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2022, Victor Cardwell served the Virginia Bar Association as the organization’s first Black Chairman of the Board.

Many of our women attorneys are listed among Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly’s Influential Women of Law. Attorneys are encouraged to join and participate in their local chapter of the Virginia Women Attorney’s Association (VWAA). Associate Sue Cook served as the 2019-2020 President of the Roanoke chapter of the VWAA. In 2022, members of the VWAA presented Nancy Reynolds with the 2022 President’s Award for her “significant contributions toward assisting women attorneys in developing their professional practice.”

Community Support

Our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice extends outside our firm. Our attorneys and staff are involved in a variety of organizations that support the diverse communities in which we live and work. Our firm is committed to supporting organizations dedicated to promoting access to justice and defending civil rights.

We understand that minorities are disproportionally impacted by economic, social, and political barriers. In response, our business attorneys created a program to support minority and women-owned startup businesses who need assistance with entity organization/incorporation. Attorneys will assist in drafting documents for these startups including certificates/articles of incorporation, bylaws, NDAs, and consulting/independent contract agreements.

This effort is consistent with our mission of providing quality legal advice and counsel to our clients while meeting our professional obligations as lawyers to the Rule of Law, the U.S. Constitution, and the great obligations owed to our fellow human beings.

Employee Empowerment

As a leading law firm in Virginia, we understand and promote compliance with federal, state, and local employment regulations. Yet the law does not define our efforts. We have a diverse workforce that includes people of color, LGBTQIA+ persons, women, people living with disabilities, and veterans. Our efforts to build an inclusive workplace include:

Hiring and Recruitment

A diverse talent pool enables our firm to offer clients the best combination of legal talent and differing perspectives. We consistently seek ways to attract top diverse attorneys and staff to serve clients from our offices across Virginia.

The DEI Committee works with the Recruitment Committee to attract and interview summer associates from diverse law schools, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Employee Empowerment

We strive to develop and implement programs that ensure all employees feel valued for their contributions, supporting personal growth and reaching their full potential, and empowering them to impact the broader community positively.

We encourage women, LGBTQIA+ persons, and attorneys of color to participate in relevant professional and bar associations. We are committed to supporting these associations through dues and service in leadership positions.

WRVB has a Women Attorneys Group that meets informally over lunch to discuss issues unique to women in the legal industry and provide mentorship from women partners to women associates.