Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP closed its doors on December 31, 2023, but its legacy continues. LVBH brought a feminist and progressive approach to the practice of law during our fourteen highly successful years of practice.
The firm’s four partners – Leslie Levy, Sharon Vinick, Darci Burrell and Jean Hyams – envisioned our endeavor not just as a law firm, but also as a way to uplift, organize and energize attorneys who share our vision of collaboration, creativity and excellence in the practice of civil rights employment law.
We dedicated ourselves to helping employees remedy problems that occurred in the workplace, believing that fair employment practices lead to better workplaces and we worked toward a day when workplace fairness, non-discrimination, and equal treatment becomes so deeply engrained in the American workplace that there is zero need for employment lawyers. Over the many years of our practice together, we had the privilege of representing amazing clients and we are proud of the victories we achieved. Those victories are measured in more than the tens of millions of dollars our clients recovered for the damages they suffered.
The amazing women of this unique office made each other the best lawyers we could be. We are most proud that we created a firm that nurtured and mentored a generation of new advocates. We hosted thirty law clerks, giving them the first taste of the practice of law. We were very lucky to work with talented associates, some of whom have gone on to start their own firms or bring the talents and the skills they developed with us to bear in other civil rights law firms, government and non-profits. And we were tremendously grateful to be joined for many years by our talented Of Counsel – Rebecca Kagin, Rachel Terp and Wendy Musell. And none of this would have been possible without the skilled and dedicated legal assistants and paralegals who dedicated themselves wholeheartedly in the important work we all accomplished together.
One often hears demands from those of us excluded from the realms of power and decision making that we want a seat at the table. At LVBH, we not only fought hard to get a seat at the table, we did our best to add more seats and change the discourse to be inclusive, transparent around issues of power and privilege, and focused on positive change. When the courts weren’t enough, we championed new legislation, helping to draft and successfully lobbying for some of the most sweeping employment law reforms in decades. In the case of our work addressing unfair wage practices for the Oakland Raiderettes and other cheerleaders, our cases changed an entire industry and fostered nationwide attention on rampant wage theft. And when the #metoo movement amplified the voices of survivors of sexual harassment and assault, our firm stepped into a leading role representing silence breakers, collaborating with leading women’s organizations, and advocating for needed changes to the legal landscape.
All of this work, of course, continues. Here’s the wonderful part – though we have all moved on to new or different firms, our collaboration also continues — through co-counsel relationships, mutual mentoring and deep collegial relationships.