Seeger Weiss LLP partners Parvin K. Aminolroaya and Christopher A. Seeger recently spoke with The National Law Journal (NLJ) about diversity in the plaintiffs bar and how to develop the next generation of lawyers.
“If you get an appointment, you have to really knock it out of the park,” Aminolroaya told NLJ, who earlier this year was appointed as co-lead counsel in In re Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) Products Liability Litigation by Judge Brian R. Martinotti. With this appointment, Aminolroaya became one of, if not the first woman of color to serve as lead counsel in a mass tort MDL. Aminolroaya has represented a wide spectrum of plaintiffs in numerous significant litigation matters and mentors minority high school students who aspire to become attorneys.
Aminolroaya also spoke to NLJ about following the Seeger Weiss tradition of practicing arguments the night ahead of trial with younger attorneys of color. “It’s much easier to go to the very seasoned lawyer and say ‘let me give this to him, I won’t even have to think about it or follow up.’ But it requires more effort and intentionality to say ‘let me grab that young lawyer who hasn’t really done this before but who’s really smart and will learn this,’” Aminolroaya stated. She also added that Seeger Weiss, “creates opportunities like this for young partners and actively promotes diversity within MDL leadership.”
Founding partner Chris Seeger described the plaintiff’s bar historically as, “an old boys network” defined by the attitude, “there’s one woman at the table, that’s enough.” “When there’s a young woman of color or a young man of color, I think they do feel like they have to prove themselves, and maybe perform at a higher level or at a high level all the time,” Seeger said. “I think even the fact that Parvin says that she feels like she has to knock it out of the park reflects the mindset of someone who’s coming in trying to break into something from the outside.”
Seeger Weiss launched its Diversity Fellowship in February 2021, which provides an exceptional rising second-year law student who shows the promise both of becoming an outstanding attorney and of contributing meaningfully to the diversity of Seeger Weiss and the legal community with a stipend plus an additional charitable contribution to a nonprofit organization of their choice. Seeger Weiss donated $5,000 to 100% College Prep, which aims to make the dream of a college education achievable for all by providing academic resources for local middle and high school students. Additionally, Seeger Weiss is a lead sponsor of the Cardozo School of Law Black Asian Latino Law Students Association (BALLSA) scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a student who has overcome hardship and distinguished themself by contributing to the work of the Diverse Student Associations at Cardozo.