Ben Wilson Reflects on Career and Looks to Future in Reuters Video Interview
On October 21, as part of its "In Camera" series, Reuters spoke with Beveridge & Diamond's Chairman, Ben Wilson (Washington, DC). Reporter Chinekwu Osakwe's in-depth interview, "Ben Wilson Looks Back on 35 Years at Beveridge & Diamond," covers multiple high points of Ben's career. From his upbringing in Jackson, Mississippi, to a stint at the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, to his pioneering role as the first black partner at B&D, Ben describes both the challenges and joys of the practice of law. Referring to his passion for helping young diverse lawyers, Ben said "[t]he whole point was to give people the tools to succeed and demystify the practice of law. And I wanted to make certain they understood the unwritten rules of law, make certain they built networks so they could build their own practice, and make certain they spoke up so they shared origination credit when work came to their firms."
The interview includes Ben's description of notable diverse role models he followed ranging from Wiley Branton and Fred Gray to Constance Baker Motley a “force to be reckoned with” in her representation of James Meredith during the integration of the University of Mississippi, who—in Ben’s words—had the strength of conviction “to do what men would not do," among many others.
"Attorneys of color need not be perfect to succeed" - Ben Wilson
In his classic optimistic style, Ben says B&D is on the right track in its own diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. He notes the firm will continue to support the Diverse Partners Network—soon to be renamed the Diverse Lawyers Network—which he founded, and The African American Managing Partners and General Counsel Network.
Ben credits his wife Merinda, herself retired from a successful career as one of a handful of early minority partners at Sidley Austin, as a critical to maintaining his resilience, which he values as "the most important human quality." The proud grandparents will continue to see their grandson, Cameron, nearly every day.
Click here for the full video interview on the Reuters website.