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As a firm committed to diversity and inclusion, we engage our lawyers through mentorship, teamwork, and a steadfast belief in the power of our people to change the legal profession, and the power of our profession to change society. 

For years our firmwide Diversity and Women in the Profession Committees have led the charge for diversity and inclusion throughout the firm. Supported by our Firmwide Director of Diversity and Inclusion, these Committees span our entire platform and are chaired by members of the firm’s Management and Executive Committees. We also have many office- and regional-level committees focusing on inclusion in the lawyer as well as staff ranks. The firm has various affinity groups at the firmwide and local office levels, including groups for women lawyers; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) lawyers; lawyers of color, and lawyers with disabilities. For students, we offer the K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship and K&L Gates Kickstarter Program. The Diversity Fellowship offers one diverse first-year law student a paid summer associate position in our Seattle office and a $10,000 scholarship. The Kickstarter Program is a multi-seminar program designed to assist students in navigating the transition from law school to law firm and is targeted at students who self-identify as diverse.  We also recruit diverse first-year students to be Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (“LCLD”) Scholars.  LCLD is an organization of leaders in the law who are dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession, and participants in the LCLD Scholars program receive targeted mentoring and career development opportunities and a summer team-building retreat.  Across the firm, our focus is on the professional development continuum—from a lawyer’s recruitment through his or her ultimate advancement.  From internal affinity groups for diverse lawyers and their allies to firmwide leadership positions on the Management and Executive Committees and in outside organizations, we work to provide opportunities for our diverse lawyers to develop their practices and careers in meaningful ways.

K&L Gates sponsors and/or participates in a number of diversity-related events and organizations including the ABA’s Minority Counsel Program and Commission on Disability Rights, Corporate Counsel Women of Color (“CCWC”), the Hispanic National Bar Association, LCLD, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPABA”), the National Association of Women Lawyers (“NAWL”), the National Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.  Some of our lawyers serve as leaders within these organizations, most notably our Chairman and Global Managing Partner, Peter Kalis, who is an LCLD Board Member and chair of their Strategy and Innovation Committee.  Our partner Bill Simonitsch is the incoming President of NAPABA, and partner Diane Ambler serves on the NAWL Board.  K&L Gates has been the largest and sole Title sponsor of CCWC, a non-profit organization serving women of color lawyers in corporate legal departments, for almost a decade.  The firm also is the sole sponsor of the annual Nabrit Lecture Series at the Howard University School of Law, which typically features remarks by a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Although we recognize that we have more work to do, we are proud of the strides we have made.  Years ago, our firm appointed the profession’s first law firm Chief Diversity Officer.  Similarly, the firm’s appointment of the first Director of Professional and Personal Life Integration and the launch of our innovative Balanced Hours Initiative received acclaim throughout the profession.  Since 2008, K&L Gates has been consistently named a “Top 100 Law Firm for Diversity” and a “Top 100 Law Firm for Women” by MultiCultural Law magazineMultiCultural Law also named K&L Gates a “Top 50 Firm for Partners” in 2011.  Starting in 2011, K&L Gates was among the first firms to be awarded Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (“WILEF”), recognizing us for our integration of women into the highest leadership positions at the firm.  We have received this certification every year since.  We also were nominated by the Chambers USA Women in Law Awards in their “Most Innovative Gender Diversity Initiative” Category for the work of our Women in the Profession Committee.  Additionally, K&L Gates has been named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign after earning a top rating of 100 percent in their Corporate Equality Index survey for the past four years.

We are committed to partnering with our clients and communities in furtherance of our shared goals of promoting diversity, and we strive to maintain an inclusive culture that enriches the experience of our lawyers, enabling them to better serve our clients.  We encourage cooperation and teamwork and provide fair and ethical treatment of all employees regardless of age, color, gender, gender identity or expression, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or veteran status.