Pauline E. Higgins (JPMorgan Chase & Co.)

Pauline E. Higgins (JPMorgan Chase & Co.)

2004 Rainbowmaker Award Winner

South/Southwest Region

Pauline E. Higgins
Pauline E. Higgins
General Counsel

In recognition of those individuals whose personal efforts and commitment directly result in a more diverse legal profession, MCCA® created the Rainbowmaker Award, which was awarded this year to Pauline E. Higgins, vice president, associate general counsel and assistant secretary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In addition to holding that position-with its innumerable executive responsibilities relating to corporate and securities law, personal and institutional trust and fiduciary law, and bank regulatory matters, among others-Higgins aggressively assumes the additional commitment of a leader who firmly and persuasively delivers the message of diversity.

Time and time again, Higgins has proven-and continues to prove-her sincere commitment to diversity by creating opportunities for future generations of women and minority lawyers. The many ways in which she makes this happen range from helping women and minority attorneys obtain their first jobs, to helping corporations understand the importance of diversity as a factor in recruiting and retaining outside counsel.

Whenever doors of opportunity have opened for Higgins, she has held them open so others, especially other women and minority lawyers, could follow. From the beginning of her tenure at JPMorgan Chase, she has created opportunities for minority and women lawyers to be hired as outside counsel on significant matters for the firm. To that end, she formed and is co-chair of the legal diversity council, which is a corporate outside-counsel committee within JPMorgan Chase that ensures the business case for diversity among outside counsel is understood and that matters are staffed with this in mind. And within JPMorgan Chase's legal department, Higgins uses a hands-on approach to personally mentor the minority interns who clerk there. In fact, she has helped many to obtain their first jobs in the legal profession.

Veta Richardson, Pauline E. Higgins
(L to R): Veta Richardson, MCCA; and Pauline E. Higgins, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Higgins held a number of key positions with several Texas corporations and law firms, including Exxon Company, U.S.A. She also served as chief of staff and counsel for U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

In professional associations, Higgins' participation further extends the reach of her advocacy toward diversity. In 2002 and 2003, she was co-chair of the Houston Bar Association Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee, of which she has been an active member for over seven years. She also co-chaired the summer internship sub-committee for several years. The number of Houston firms and companies that offer internships has increased from four to over 30, directly due to Higgins' efforts. In 2002, she was awarded the Houston Bar Association's President's Award for Exemplary Service Relating to Opportunities for Minorities in Law.

Through word and deed, Higgins has demonstrated a sincere and unwavering commitment to increasing the numbers and success of minority lawyers, plus a willingness to share her views on the importance of diversity in the legal profession with those within her organization and with outside law firms. This winning combination makes her a recognized diversity leader in the Houston corporate legal world, uniquely deserving of the 2004 MCCA Rainbowmaker Award.

From the November/December 2004 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

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