Merle Vaughn is Major, Lindsey & Africa’s National Law Firm Diversity Practice Leader and a partner recruiter based in Los Angeles.

Since becoming a recruiter in 2003, Merle has been involved in several high-profile law firm partner and in-house placements in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. She has also been retained by corporations and law firms specifically for her expertise in diversity recruiting.

Before becoming a lateral partner recruiter, Merle was a successful business owner, practiced corporate law at Cooley LLP and was General Counsel for WOC Products, Inc. She was the top salesperson in the country for Texas Instruments was awarded “Minority Entrepreneur of the Year” by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordon, was a Chair of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Minority Business Opportunity Committee and was on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Contracts Subcommittee.

Merle was recently inducted as the first Diversity and Racial Justice Member on the Executive Committee of (WLALA). She is the past founder and co-chair of the Southern California branch of Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF).

I met Merle when we were both on a panel together about law firm recruiting earlier this year. Merle’s insights instantly drew me to her, and I started following her on LinkedIn (of course!), where my admiration of her only grew.

Merle has a podcast you should subscribe to called B.S.: Beyond Stereotypes.

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

If your alumni relations program is not a priority for your marketing, recruiting and business development efforts for 2022, it should be!

Here are some ideas for how to creatively

Summer Eberhard is partner at legal recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa in the Associate Practice Group, where she focuses on the Northern California, Seattle and Portland markets. She specializes in counseling, representing and relocating AmLaw 100 associates and counsel, working closely with candidates to help them achieve their long-term career goals. As a former attorney, Summer really understands the importance for her clients to find the right professional fit.

I met Summer – where else? LinkedIn! One of her posts came up on my LinkedIn feed, and we connected. If you aren’t following her on LinkedIn, you should. Her advice is powerful, fresh and real (and not just for lawyers seeking a new role – anyone can benefit from her career tips).

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

Christy Tosh Crider is chair of Baker Donelson’s Health Care Litigation Group and the Women’s Initiative, and is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Christy concentrates her practice in health care litigation, managing the litigation of numerous health care facilities around the country, as well as serving as outside general counsel.

I was a co-panelist with Christy onwebinar on women in law earlier this year, and was so impressed with everything Baker Donelson has done to promote and advance women lawyers under Christy’s leadership.

For example, during Christy’s tenure as the Women’s Initiative Chair, Baker Donelson has earned numerous recognitions as an exceptional workplace for women, including being named by Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media) to its Best Law Firms for Women list, and being ranked 15th nationally in diversity for women in the 2022 edition of Vault’s “Best Law Firms for Diversity.” Baker Donelson was also recognized by the Chambers Women in Law Awards: USA 2018 as a finalist in the category of Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion.

Christy has overseen numerous key initiatives at Baker Donelson, including the adoption of an industry-leading parental leave policy; implementation of a firm-wide mentoring program for women; creating a program that awards business development grants to women attorneys; and a training program designed to help women attorneys achieve equity shareholder status. Christy was named a 2018 recipient of the A Great Place to Work® For All Leadership Award by FORTUNE magazine.

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.