Erin G. Gladney, Esq.
Mayer Brown LLP
New York, NY
Erin Gladney majored in journalism at New York University, but took every law-related class available to undergraduate students. I was always interested in becoming a lawyer, but wanted to work for a bit between undergrad and law school, she explains. She secured in-between work three years at Vanity Fair as a researcher/reporter with her journalism degree. When she enrolled at Northwestern University School of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctor, she had the skills to serve as editor-in-chief of the schools publication, The Journal of Law and Social Policy.
Gladney bolstered her academics with externships at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under Hon. James B. Zagel and at the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Illinois, and with summer associateships in Kansas City, Missouri, and in New York City. Admitted to Illinois and the New York bars, she has been an attorney at the law firm Mayer Brown LLP since 2007. In January 2015, with the support of her mentors, Mayer Brown senior partners David Abbott and Joel Williamson, she was promoted to partner.
Gladney provides pro bono representation for nonprofit organizations and financially needy clients. A former secretary of the Black Law Students Associa-tion at Northwestern, she has dedicated herself to recruiting diverse law students to Mayer Brown and mentoring law students of color, as well as college and high school students. I am committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession because it is necessary. Diversity has been proven to improve the way everyone thinks by encouraging people to scrutinize facts, think more critically and to develop their own opinions. Lawyers have been critical forces fighting for gender and racial equality in the United States, yet the law is one of the least racially diverse professions in the nation, she says.