Maria L. H. Lewis

Chief Diversity Officer

Overview

As Faegre Drinker’s chief diversity officer, Maria Lewis provides vision and leadership for promoting and instilling a firm culture that builds, values and supports diversity and inclusion. In partnership with firm leadership, Maria serves as the champion for the firm’s overall diversity and inclusion initiatives by developing and facilitating strategies, decision making, priority setting and actions necessary to advance diversity and inclusion at all levels. She also serves the firm’s clients by providing litigation counsel on challenging employment issues in the workplace and conducting corporate training programs to improve workplace culture and reduce legal risks.

Workplace Culture

At Faegre Drinker, Maria is responsible for the development and implementation of programs that monitor firm-wide progress related to:

  • Workplace culture
  • Diverse attorney retention and development
  • Client collaboration
  • Diversity law school recruitment
  • Diversity pipeline programming
  • Volunteer outreach
  • Community partnerships
  • Media messaging

Maria also acts as an internal career counselor to all non-partner attorneys, serving as a confidential resource for attorneys in navigating career decisions and other professional workplace matters.

Litigation Counsel

Maria has a long career as an employment litigator, and she continues to counsel clients on workplace issues, including providing litigation strategies for discrimination and retaliation claims, managing internal investigations, and conducting management and employee training on diversity, implicit bias, sexual harassment and workplace violence.

Previous Experience

Prior to entering private practice, Maria served as an assistant district attorney at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she handled hundreds of preliminary hearings and trials.

Personal Interests

Maria is an ordained Reverend of the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, a 13,000-member congregation, where she leads youth and young adult ministries.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
Pennsylvania

Education

Harvard Law School
J.D. (1997)

University of Pittsburgh
B.A. magna cum laude (1994)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation — Research Editor, 1997

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church — Legal Committee, 1997-present 

Professional Associations

  • Philadelphia Diversity Law Group — Executive Board
  • Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia — former member of Advisory Board

Civic Activities

  • Philadelphia Baptist Association — Moderator, 2014-present
  • A Promise of Hope Inc. — Secretary, 2015-present

Firm Leadership

  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Chief Diversity Officer, 2018-2020; Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair, 2016-20; Regional Hiring Chair, 2013-17

Honors

  • LEADERSHIP Philadelphia — Class of 2020
  • The Legal Intelligencer — “Best Mentor” Professional Excellence Award, 2019
  • Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc. — Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Woman of Distinction Award, 2019
  • Rutgers-Camden Law School Black Law Students Association — Martin Luther King Jr. Champions of Social Justice and Equality Award, 2019
  • The Philadelphia Tribune — African-American Women Achieving Award, 2014
  • The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly — Lawyer on the Fast Track, 2008
  • The Legal Intelligencer — Woman on the Verge, 2006

    Awards Methodology
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