David Graeler Discusses New Role as Managing Partner, Addresses Experience as a Biracial Attorney
David Graeler spoke with Law360 Pulse for the article "Nossaman's Managing Partner on Experience as Biracial Atty" (subscription required). The article covered a number of topics, from his election as Nossaman's new managing partner to the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts, strategic goals and David's own experiences as a biracial attorney.
When asked about being named managing partner and being the first minority to serve in the role in firm history, David remarked, "I'm very humbled that my partners have placed their trust in me to lead the firm. I'm excited and energized by the opportunity and challenges that come with the job." He continued, "When it comes to being the first diverse managing partner in the firm's history, I think it's progress. I think it's a sign that Nossaman has really emphasized giving people with diverse backgrounds opportunities to succeed."
Discussing diversity, equity and inclusion at Nossaman, David pointed out, "Along with myself, we've promoted a number of diverse leaders. Last time I checked, 60% of our leaders are diverse, a majority of our incoming equity partners have been women and out of our seven-person executive committee, three are women and three others are ethnically diverse. Ten of our practice group leaders are diverse as well."
Asked about challenges as a biracial attorney, David shared, "I was born in Tokyo to a Chinese mother and a Caucasian Jewish father from New York." He noted, "Being biracial is something that not even my parents could've related to...". He continued, "I remember some early experiences at other firms where I'd be talking to people who wouldn't know what my background was and would make comments that weren't very positive about Chinese people or Asians in general. The feeling of not exactly fitting in was an uncomfortable experience."
In closing, David addressed what has kept him at Nossaman for two decades, pointing out, "It's really a firm with genuinely good and nice people who are also exceptional practitioners. As a midsized firm, we work on very interesting matters, similar at times to the ones big firms handle, but also with the flexibility to work on smaller matters."
Read the full article on Law360 Pulse (subscription required).