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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 the firm’s Senior Advisor to the Management Committee and 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 and staff ranks. The firm has various employee resource groups at the firmwide and local office levels, including groups for women lawyers; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) employees and allies; lawyers of color; working parents; veterans; and lawyers with disabilities.

For students, we offer two K&L Gates Diversity Fellowships and the K&L Gates Kickstarter Program. Our Seattle-based Diversity Fellowship offers one diverse first-year law student from any U.S. law school a paid summer associate position in our Seattle office and a $10,000 scholarship. Our Pittsburgh-based Fellowship, offered in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (“Pitt Law”), grants a full-tuition scholarship to an entering student at Pitt Law for all three years of law school, as well as a paid summer associate position in K&L Gates’ Pittsburgh office in the student’s first and second summers of law school. The Kickstarter Program is a multi-seminar, multi-office program designed to assist U.S. first-year law students who self-identify as diverse in navigating the transition from law school to law firm. Since 2013, nearly 140 students have participated, with some joining the firm as summer associates and associates thereafter. We also recruit diverse first-year law 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, 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”), Diversity Council Australia, the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”), LCLD, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, 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 Stonewall UK. Some of our lawyers serve as leaders within these organizations, most notably our former Chairman and Global Managing Partner, Peter Kalis, who is an LCLD Board Member and past chair of their Strategy and Innovation Committee. Our partner Bill Simonitsch is a former President of NAPABA, partner Román Hernández is a former President of the HNBA, 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 over 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. Over a decade ago, our firm appointed the first Management Committee-level 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, gender-blind Balanced Hours Initiative received acclaim throughout the profession. Since 2008, K&L Gates has been named a “Top 100 Law Firm for Diversity” and a “Top 100 Law Firm for Women” by MultiCultural Law magazine. In 2016, Yale Law Women named us a “Top Ten Family Friendly Firm,” with specific honors in the Gender Equity category.  In 2015, Chambers USA recognized us as the “Outstanding Firm for Furthering Women’s Advancement” (Recruitment, Retention and Promotion). We received Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (“WILEF”) for five consecutive years since 2011, recognizing us for our integration of women into the highest leadership positions at the firm, and the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency has twice named us an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality. We have received the Two Ticks Disability Symbol in Great Britain multiple times for prioritizing the employment, retention, training, and career development of employees with disabilities, and we have 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 six consecutive years.

Multiple clients also have recognized us for our initiatives that “reflect a strong commitment to diversity and an ongoing focus on the importance of diversity to the success of both the firm and its clients,” and we were applauded for having one of the most diverse Executive Committees of a U.S.-based global firm.

We are committed to collaborating with our clients and communities in furtherance of our goals and we strive to maintain an inclusive culture that enriches the experience of our lawyers and staff, 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, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.