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Valerie A. Jackson

Senior Advisor to the Management Committee and Firmwide Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Fax +1.949.253.0902

Valerie Jackson is the Senior Advisor to the Management Committee and Firmwide Director of Diversity and Inclusion for K&L Gates. A former securities and corporate governance lawyer, Valerie leverages fifteen years of legal industry experience to lead culture change efforts across the firm’s offices in the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, while developing partnerships with firm clients and advising business leaders on growing revenue through smart talent strategies and increased client and employee engagement.

During Valerie’s tenure at K&L Gates, the firm has been recognized as a Top Ten Family Friendly Firm, with specific honors in the Gender Equity category, by Yale Law Women; was named the “Outstanding Law Firm for Furthering Women’s Advancement” by Chambers USA for our work in the areas of recruitment, retention and promotion; is rated a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign’s (US) Corporate Equality Index survey, and is rated a Top 50 Employer for LGBT Equality by the Stonewall (UK) Workplace Equality Index. The firm also has received numerous recognitions from clients for our diverse client teams and leadership.

Valerie was a founding member of the Executive Leadership Board of the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) Minority Counsel Network and served on the Board of NALP, the premier association for legal career professionals in the U.S. and Canada. She also served on the Advisory Council of the Public Leadership Education Network, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing college women for leadership, and co-founded The Seneca, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has focused on increasing opportunities for women at Harvard University for nearly twenty years. Recently named a “NALP Diversity Champion,” Valerie is a recipient of The Network Journal’s “40 Under 40” Achievement Award.

Valerie coaches professionals around the world on developing successful and satisfying careers and speaks nationally on business development, talent development, and diversity and inclusion in legal and corporate environments. A classically trained pianist, Valerie has lived in six countries and can communicate in eight languages.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Valerie was the Director of Diversity at another U.S.-based law firm and served as Assistant Director of International Affairs at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in Washington, D.C., where she advised the Board on policy and negotiated with financial regulators around the world to establish cooperative arrangements. Valerie practiced securities law earlier in her career and has worked in law firms in the U.S. and Costa Rica. Before practicing law, Valerie focused on developing joint ventures in Latin America for a U.S.-based start-up application service provider.

Selected Presentations

  • Panelist, “Forging the Path: How To Recruit And Retain Diverse Attorneys,” Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law Elimination of Bias MCLE, Irvine, CA, January 18, 2017. 
  • Panelist, “‘Did They Really Just Say That?’ Dealing with Micro-Aggressions and Implicit Bias as a Minority Attorney,” California Minority Counsel Program Annual Business Conference, San Francisco, CA, October 20, 2016. 
  • Panelist, “Mental Blocks that Are Holding You Back,” Corporate Counsel Women of Color and K&L Gates Annual Career Strategies Conference, Las Vegas, NV, September 23, 2016. 
  • Guest Speaker/Presenter, Blackbaud Executive Women’s Summit and Women in Tech Summit, Charleston, SC, September 20-21, 2016.
  • Moderator, “Diversity and Inclusion: Perspectives on Achieving Success,” Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Learning Experience at The PNC Financial Services Group, Pittsburgh, PA, June 8, 2016.
  • Co-Presenter, “Communication and Management Styles: A 360 Degree Approach,” NALP Annual Education Conference, Boston, MA, April 15, 2016.
  • Moderator, “Sliding Doors: How Bias Impacts Careers in the Legal Profession,” Kaiser Permanente and California Minority Counsel Program Fifth Annual CLE Marathon, Oakland, CA, January 14, 2016.
  • Presenter, “Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives,” Legal Marketing Association Minnesota Fall Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 14, 2015.
  • Panelist, “Careers for Lawyers Outside of the Law,” Corporate Counsel Women of Color and K&L Gates Eleventh Annual Career Strategies Conference, Atlanta, GA, September 23, 2015.
  • Presenter, “Veni, Vidi, Vici: The Anatomy of a Networking Reception,” NALP Annual Education Conference, Chicago, IL, April 22, 2015.
  • Presenter, “How to Implement and Sustain a Successful Diversity Initiative or Program,” Legal Marketing Association Ohio 2014 Legal Practice Development Institute, Cleveland, OH, October 10, 2014.