Danielle Conley, a trusted adviser with deep experience in the public and private sector, represents clients in high-stakes, multifaceted legal challenges at the intersection of law, government policy, and business.

Ms. Conley helps companies, educational institutions, and other large organizations navigate challenging regulatory, enforcement, and internal matters that involve substantial reputational risk. She provides strategic counsel to clients across all stages of:

  • Internal investigations and workplace culture reviews
  • Government enforcement matters and congressional investigations
  • Government-facing and regulatory litigation

Ms. Conley has significant experience conducting sensitive internal investigations following reported allegations of sexual misconduct and race- and gender-based discrimination, and has led multiple internal reviews and risk assessments on issues pertaining to racial and gender equity.

She also routinely counsels clients on best practices for developing and implementing anti-harassment compliance programs and corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 

Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Conley served as Deputy Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel. In that role, she advised the President, Vice President and other senior White House officials on a wide array of legal issues related to voting and democracy, policing and criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, tech accountability, and judicial nominations. She established and led the first-ever White House Counsel’s Office team dedicated to civil rights and advancing racial, gender, and LGBTQ equity. Under her leadership, the team worked closely with senior officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and agency general counsels on policy, regulatory, and litigation matters related to the administration’s equity agenda. Among other high-profile efforts, Ms. Conley helped shepherd Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the US Supreme Court. 

Before that, Ms. Conley served as the deputy on the Biden-Harris Transition’s DOJ Agency Review Team. During the Obama administration, she served as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the DOJ, where she provided strategic counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and other senior government officials on a wide range of litigation and policy issues and managed some of the agency’s most significant and high-profile civil rights enforcement matters. Prior to Ms. Conley’s government service, she was a partner in another international law firm’s Washington, D.C., office, where she led the firm’s Anti-Discrimination practice.

Ms. Conley shares Latham’s deep commitment to pro bono work and has represented clients in cases involving complex issues of constitutional law, as well as in Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act, and Title VII actions.

Ms. Conley is a Director of Graham Holdings Company. She has also previously served on several nonprofit boards, including for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Earlier in her career, she was a fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Ms. Conley has repeatedly garnered recognition for her work in the public and private sector, including from the National Law Journal, the Washington Business Journal, the Diversity Journal, the Root, and Essence Magazine.

Ms. Conley’s experience includes representing:

Internal Investigations and Reviews

  • A special committee of Pinterest’s board of directors in leading an independent workplace culture review to assess the company’s policies and practices concerning discrimination and harassment; how the company compensates, evaluates, and promotes employees; and its systems for responding to harassment, discrimination, and retaliation complaints*
  • A large technology company in leading an internal review of its sexual harassment and anti-retaliation compliance program following sexual misconduct and gender discrimination allegations*
  • A large technology company in conducting multiple sensitive internal investigations following reported allegations of gender and race discrimination by senior employees*
  • A large advertising agency and a nonprofit educational organization in leading internal reviews of company policies and practices regarding workplace culture following multiple allegations of race discrimination*
  • A prominent public university’s board of regents in conducting an independent investigation into allegations of a senior university leader’s sexual misconduct*
  • A special committee of a nonprofit education organization’s board in conducting an internal investigation based on allegations that one of its members had engaged in sexual misconduct several years before*
  • A prominent financial institution in conducting multiple internal reviews and legal risk assessments related to fair lending and housing issues*
  • A major financial institution in conducting multiple internal investigations of workplace discrimination claims*

Government Investigations

  • Multiple colleges and universities in US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights investigations related to their responses to sexual misconduct complaints and Title IX compliance*
  • A multinational technology company in a DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation related to the company’s hiring practices*
  • An education company in a federal investigation based on alleged False Claims Act violations in connection with Department of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs programs*
  • A public research university in a DOJ investigation based on alleged failures to disclose Chinese ties to federal grant-making agencies*
  • A regulated utility in a federal government fraud investigation based on alleged Major Fraud Act and False Statements Act violations in procuring federal contracts*

Litigation

  • Harvard University in defeating a challenge to its use of race in the undergraduate admissions process following a three-week federal bench trial*
  • A private university in a civil suit seeking tuition refunds following the university’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic*
  • A large public university in a civil suit that the university’s former women’s basketball coach brought under Title IX*
  • A private university in a civil suit brought under Title IX and various state laws based on the university’s alleged mishandling of a sexual assault investigation*
  • A professional sports team in a class action seeking damages and injunctive relief for federal anti-discrimination law violations*

*Matters handled prior to joining Latham

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia

Education

  • JD, Howard University School of Law, 2003
    cum laude
  • BA, Tulane University, 2000
Dallas, Texas, United States
January 18, 2023 In The News

Latham Attorneys Stress Government Chops Amid Enforcement Ramp-Up

Four former senior DOJ and White House lawyers have recently rejoined/joined Latham’s White Collar Defense & Investigations as partners: Kevin Chambers, Danielle Conley, Nicholas McQuaid, and Jonathan Su. In a Q&A with Law360, Kevin and Danielle discussed what drew them from the Biden Administration to Latham, the rise in workplace culture reviews, and enforcement trends they will be watching in 2023.