Jones Day partner Shirlethia Franklin named to Washington Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list
Shirlethia Franklin, a partner in Jones Day's Business & Tort Litigation Practice resident in the Firm's Washington, D.C. Office, has been named to the 2020 edition of Washington Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list. This award honors 40 business leaders with a proven track record of success in their industry.
Ms. Franklin, a former senior U.S. Department of Justice official and counselor to two U.S. Attorneys General, experienced a meteoric rise during her tenure in the Obama Administration. She is no stranger to leadership and had many career successes before joining Jones Day in 2017.
Ms. Franklin's formidable litigation skills have earned her a reputation as a go-to litigator for some of the Firm's largest cases. She currently serves as one of the primary lead partners on a high-profile litigation matter for a Fortune 100 company, leading litigation teams in a number of states and representing the company at meetings with the Department of Justice. She also served as first-chair trial lawyer representing four Charlottesville, Virginia City Councilors who voted to relocate the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson statues at the center of the violent rally in that city in August 2017. Garnering the attention of national and local media, this dispute presented novel legal issues and numerous strategic calls in a volatile setting. Jones Day achieved victory on behalf of the City Councilors and thwarted efforts to impose on them a maximum damages award in excess of $1.3 million.
In addition to her significant contributions to the Firm's Business & Tort Litigation Practice, Ms. Franklin has shown leadership in advancing the Firm's commitment to diversity. With support from the Partner-in-Charge for Diversity, Inclusion, and Advancement and other senior leaders across the Firm, she led the effort to establish Jones Day's Black Lawyers Group (BLG). The BLG, a Firmwide affinity group of more than 60 Black lawyers and dozens of non-Black lawyers, aids the Firm's larger diversity efforts by helping to recruit, retain, and promote Black lawyers. In the past two years alone, the number of Black lawyers at Jones Day has increased by more than thirty percent due in no small part to Ms. Franklin's leadership and enthusiastic involvement in the Firm's recruiting and diversity initiatives.
Ms. Franklin's leadership skills and demonstrated record of excellence resulted in her promotion to the Partnership within just two years of joining Jones Day. Her achievements have also been lauded publicly, including recent recognition by her alma maters, Howard University School of Law, as one of only three recipients of its Rising Star Award in commemoration of the law school's 150-year anniversary, and Tougaloo College, as a recipient of the college’s inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards.