Boston Lawyers Group Names Tracey West as the Organization’s New Executive Director
The Boston Lawyers Group (BLG), which supports its members’ efforts to identify, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color, today announced that Tracey West has been named the organization’s new Executive Director. West is a nationally-known diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader and has extensive experience in DEI best practices in the legal profession. In July 2022, BLG announced the retirement of Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard, who served as Executive Director for nearly 30 years.
Previously, West was a Senior Consultant at Loeb Leadership and before that served as Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at WilmerHale. She spent nearly 20 years at Boston College Law School, most recently as Associate Dean of External Relations, Diversity & Inclusion, which was a first-of-its-kind position at a U.S. law school. In 2015, the National Association for Law Placement named her “Diversity Champion” for creating the nationally recognized LAHANAS program at BC Law School, which was designed to assist historically underrepresented law students with their successful transition to law school and the legal profession.
“BLG has had a significant impact on the legal industry over the past 35 plus years, and I am excited to continue this important work as we strive to continue making Boston a more inclusive and welcoming city for diverse talent,” said West. “This position is the culmination of everything I’ve learned throughout my career. I look forward to bringing my professional experiences, knowledge, ideas, resources, and enthusiasm to BLG’s next stage of development as we work together to create more opportunities for inclusive leadership, cultural competency, and real change.”
“We are fortunate to have hired Tracey as the BLG’s new Executive Director. After a long and thorough search process, we were able to find someone with exceptional experience and judgment and who is already familiar with the organization and the needs of the Boston legal community. Our member firms and the newly constituted Board of the BLG are looking forward to working closely with her,” said Dan Halston, Partner-in-Charge of WilmerHale’s Boston office.
Under West’s leadership, BLG plans to expand its successful programming – which includes an annual job fair, summer internship program, mentorship program, mock interview training, and social skills development – to further establish itself as a resource for attracting diverse talent to Boston. BLG will also enhance its positioning as a support system for attorneys navigating their careers and the city through new relationships with similar organizations within other fields, including other nonprofit organizations and an expanded outreach effort to corporate law offices and government agencies.
“We are delighted to have Tracey as our new Executive Director of the BLG. She has extensive experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion matters related to the legal profession given her prior roles at WilmerHale and Boston College Law School and will do a tremendous job in advancing the mission of the BLG. We also thank Carolyn Hebsgaard for her tireless work on behalf of the BLG,” said Louis Mercedes, Member at Mintz.
“Tracey has long served the Boston legal community by empowering the next generation of lawyers and building a framework for their ability to succeed and thrive within the profession. She has a unique ability to connect with students and a proven record of collaboration with schools, firms, and members of the DEIB community. This background will serve the members and participants of BLG well,” said Shawn D. McShay, Assistant Dean, Graduate Enrollment Management at Boston College Law School.
West began her career as a civil and criminal trial lawyer, and spent 12 years in the private and public sectors. She recently completed a two-year term as Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion section. She earned her law degree at Georgetown Law School and her bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University.
“As a fellow Black woman attorney and now diversity professional, and a member of the BLG Board, I am thrilled to have Tracey on our team. Her vision and leadership will play a pivotal role in furthering BLG’s ongoing mission to become the primary resource for attracting attorneys of color to Boston, and helping diverse attorneys thrive in our community,” said Ayeshah Johnson, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Goulston & Storrs.
About Boston Lawyers Group
Founded in 1986, the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG) was established by 13 Boston law firms with the mission to support the efforts of its member organizations to identify, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color. Since then, BLG has seen its membership grow to more than 40 organizations, including law firms, corporate law offices, and government agencies.