Whitney Smallwood is the director of Diversity & Inclusion at Fish & Richardson P.C.

She is responsible for managing the firm-wide implementation of Fish’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan 2.0, which seeks to increase representation at all levels of the firm, foster connections and a sense of belonging for all of the firm’s people, identify and minimize barriers that prevent success, and achieve greater impact within the wider legal industry.

She routinely collaborates with firm leadership and leaders of the firm’s administrative departments, particularly Legal Recruiting and Professional Development, to identify and apply best practices to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. She also monitors the firm’s progress on meeting its diversity goals by keeping detailed metrics, seeking feedback from internal stakeholders, and actively monitoring diversity hiring and attrition statistics.

In her many years with the firm, Whitney has been instrumental in developing and nurturing Fish’s industry-leading diversity and inclusion initiatives. These include the 1L Diversity Fellowship Program, which provides annual fellowships to diverse first-year law students throughout the country; the EMPOWER women’s initiative, which provides expanded professional and business development opportunities for women attorneys at all levels; and many of the firm’s affinity groups, including BlackFISH, Lawtinos, the Asian Legal Staff Affinity Group, RainbowFish, and the Allyship Group. In 2020, Whitney launched Fish’s Diversity Town Hall initiative, a series of firm-wide meetings that provide a safe space for education and discussion about issues of diversity and inclusion at the firm.

Whitney received her B.A. in 2008 from The George Washington University, where she has also taken master’s-level classes in law firm management.

Professional associations

  • National Association for Law Placement (NALP) (2013 – present), Conference Planning Committee (2020)
  • The Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP) (2019 – present), Annual Conference Planning Committee Chair (2020)
  • Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association (WALRAA) (2013-2020)