Summer 2015| Posse National Newsletter


Ropes & Gray Partner Champions Power of Opportunity

Opportunity is at the crux of Posse national board member Diane Patrick’s career trajectory, and it’s what drew her to The Posse Foundation. Born and raised in Brooklyn and Queens, Diane followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a public school teacher after graduating from Queens College. Massive layoffs of the city’s municipal workers in the late 1970s created an unexpected opportunity that set her on a new path to a 35-year career as a labor and employment attorney.

“Leaving New York and moving out of the small world I was living in and being exposed to other opportunities—including the wide range of things one could do as a lawyer—that was when I really grew up,” says Diane.

Following her graduation from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California, Diane held positions with O’Melveny & Myers, Harvard University and Hogan & Hartson. Now as co-managing partner of Ropes & Gray’s Boston office, Diane largely represents nonprofit institutions whose main focus is on caring for people, education and research.

Diane was drawn to Posse’s two-fold mission to provide its Scholars with access to top educational opportunities and also to help transform campus communities and the workforce. She attends Posse Boston’s Awards Ceremony almost every year, filled with pride and hope for the new Scholars and their families and the potential that fills the room.

“[Posse provides] an opportunity for Scholars to learn and grow and to define themselves by more than their place of birth or zip code,” says Diane. “Posse Scholars are knocking down stereotypes, knocking down flawed expectations, and exposing people to different ways of thinking, experiences and cultures. These young people open doors for others.”

As her law career draws to a close, Diane plans to spend more time with her family and return her time and talents to working with children. A longtime board member of the Epiphany School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a tuition-free private middle school for children whose families live below the poverty line, she is looking forward to being a hands-on volunteer while continuing her unwavering support of Posse.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have someone like Diane on Posse’s board,” says Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial. “She has been a real champion for Posse, personally engaged with the Scholars and committed to the organization. She is a spokesperson for Posse and for educational equity across the country.”

View other stories in the Posse National Quarterly