Hi, I'm Alireza Gharagozlou, an attorney, actuary and algorithmic trader who used a blog to take on a powerful law firm, and won. AMA!
This morning I read about a lawsuit against the large law firm of Davis Polk. I can't comment on the allegations, but in my experience the large law firms industry ("big law") has a diversity issue.
I'd like to take a moment to share my experience with discrimination in law, and how I handled it. I didn't sue. I started a blog, and won. In one post, written in March of 2017, I criticized two things: (a) my employer O'Melveny and Myers's poor investigation of discrimination and sexual harassment complaints and (b) their use of mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreements. This was the one-two punch that let them get away with mistreating employees. If an employee complained, they could simply do a sham investigation to exonerate the wrongdoer, and then use the nondisclosure and arbitration agreement to silence the victim. (If you're wondering why I violated mine, it's because I knew of three separate cases in which federal courts told O'Melveny & Myers that its mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreement was "unconscionable" (cases 1, 2 and 3)).
In no less than a year, courageous law students forced nearly all law firms to stop making employees sign these documents. In addition, the partner whose investigation I criticized, Adam Karr, was exposed for doing a sham investigation at Lions Gate (and the victim in that case returned over a million dollars to reveal this, meaning she has the credibility of a saint.) The truth is that powerful. Just say it and everything falls into place.
Beyond answering questions, I'd like to make myself available to help anyone dealing with discrimination or sexual harassment in law. Please feel free to contact me, and I will do what I can (completely confidentially and for free). My phone number is below and my email address is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) . For example, in the past, I have helped by contacting the firm, or just listened and shared thoughts. Feel free to use encrypted email providers like Proton Mail.
+1-310-560-7240 (mods can verify me by calling this number, which conveniently verifies the other information too, as it's the number in the blog, my Society of Actuaries profile [click the name], my California bar registration, and my SEC registration as a trader. Also, if AMA's need a pic, this is me)