In 1997, three years into my career as an associate at Shearman & Sterling, The Wall Street Journal wrote an article that asked why big firms were having such a hard time attracting and retaining talented African-American attorneys. Shearman was one of the main subjects because of its innovative scholarship program with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Bryan Parker

I was also profiled in the article, maybe because of my unique experience as a young African-American attorney. As soon as I joined Shearman, I was assigned a partner mentor—Jonathan Greenblatt. Jon introduced me to other partners, made sure I had good work, and worked with another partner to get me a “mini” M&A rotation. I later joined the M&A team, where I was also mentored by the head of the group, who later became the senior partner of the firm.

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