Diversity, Equity,
& Inclusion at
Goodell DeVries

Balance &



At Goodell DeVries, we believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects our world is the best way to serve our clients and our community.

Our attorneys and legal professionals bring a wide array of experiences and perspectives to the practice of law. The Goodell DeVries partnership embodies diversity, with female, Black, Asian, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. We have a proven track record of recruiting, developing, and promoting talented attorneys of diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair, Malcolm Brisker, is a partner with a physical disability. Malcolm leads several committees at Goodell DeVries and also chairs the Accommodations Review Committee of the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners.

Women in Leadership

Led by Managing Partner K. Nichole Nesbitt, Goodell DeVries has been hailed by Law360 as one of the best law firms for women in the United States and one of the top law firms for women equity partnership. Women hold key leadership positions throughout the firm. Two of the three members of Goodell DeVries’s Executive Committee are women, including Managing Partner Nikki Nesbitt and partner Kelly Hughes Iverson. Past Managing Partner Linda Woolf is Chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice. Nikki Nesbitt is Chair of the Associates Committee. Partner Shannon Madden is the firm’s Hiring Partner, and partner Marianne DePaulo Plant is Chair of the Medical Malpractice Litigation Practice. Partner Jhanelle Graham Caldwell is Vice Chair of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Goodell DeVries's women attorneys also hold leadership positions in numerous professional and community organizations, including the Maryland-D.C. Society for Healthcare Risk Management (MD-DC SHRM), The Trial Network, the Baltimore City and Maryland State bar associations, and many others.

Throughout our three-decade history, we have been intentional about providing opportunities for women to advance at every level. We are proud of this heritage and the forwarding-thinking leadership culture it has nurtured.

Supporting the Next Generation of Minority Lawyers

Our appellate lawyers are active in The Appellate Project (TAP), a DC-based national initiative to diversify appellate practice. Derek Stikeleather and Carrie Williams have served as TAP mentors to minority law students and work to support strong ties between the organization, local law schools, and Maryland's appellate judiciary.

We maintain close relationships with local law schools to support programs that prepare minority law students for entry into the profession. We sponsor the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), and Latinx Law Students Association (LLSA) at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. In 2016, the BLSA at the University of Maryland honored Goodell DeVries with the annual Diversity Award. Our attorneys have also served as panelists at the school's admissions events and as mock trial judges for the school's BLSA Trial Team. 

Opportunity for All

Our firm uses a mentoring program and team approach to ensure that all our attorneys work with high-profile clients. Within the mentoring program and at end-of-year evaluations, we gauge the quality and quantity of assignments and access to clients to confirm that we have taken an equitable approach to development and opportunity. In recent years, we offered one of our female minority attorneys the opportunity to pursue a secondment with a high-profile client to gain valuable experience and develop close relationships with decision-makers at the client organization.

At Goodell DeVries, we are proud of our commitment to excellence at all levels. We look forward to our continued development of superior legal talent of all races, genders, ethnicities, orientations, religions, abilities, and backgrounds, and to the continued rewards of promoting diversity within our workforce.