March 8, 2021


equality opinion

Richmond law firm’s lone feminine Black legal professional produced it her mission to modify that dynamic

RICHMOND, Va. — When Jacquelyn Stone joined the legislation agency of McGuireWoods LLP as an associate in 1985, she was the only Black female lawyer performing there. She then created it her mission to change that dynamic.

“When I began at the firm in the early 1980s, variety was not just about anything you seriously talked about,” Stone stated. “I quite speedily got concerned in recruiting, and mentoring, and seriously supporting the pipeline of attorneys of color and women coming into the legal job.”

Jacquelyn Stone

Stone served as extra than a recruiter.

Her space of skills is federal government relations, regulatory issues, and small business immigration legislation.

In 1994, Stone was elected companion at McGuireWoods, turning into the very first Black female companion in a significant regulation in the overall condition of Virginia.

“I was really amazed and quite honored and delighted due to the fact I felt as nevertheless my enter was valued,” she mentioned. “My position here had a indicating.”

Stone went on to grow to be the first Black human being to serve on McGuireWoods’ Board of Partners, the firm’s governing entire body.

Stone also gained numerous awards. A person McGuireWoods award for variety and inclusion was named in her honor.

Previous month, Stone received the greatest mentor in the country by the American Law firm journal market awards.

“I was unquestionably shocked! I definitely, truly did not anticipate that. But once more, feel really, really very pleased,” she reported.


Jacquelyn Stone

Stone credited her adore of the legislation and opening doorways for many others to her father, William T. Stone.

He was a Williamsburg law firm who opened the city’s to start with integrated law business office in 1964.

In 1968, he turned the initially Black choose in the Williamsburg location.

“He was very fully commited to his job and to encouraging persons, serving many others, serving the group. My mom and father the two have been huge function versions,” she mentioned.

Jackie Stone explained by adhering to in her family’s footsteps, she has served hundreds of folks go on to grow to be attorneys, judges, even regulation faculty deans.

“I consider as early as we can seriously get younger individuals considering about what they can attain then you have provided them so much more possibility to in fact be successful in that regard,” she claimed.

Stone also has a university prep and workforce progress method referred to as partnership for the upcoming which gives education and training for local significant faculty pupils.