Diversity and Inclusion
Today’s business leaders see diversity and inclusion as a fundamental value, and so do we. We always have.
Our commitment to diversity goes far beyond rhetoric and initiatives. We strongly believe we build better teams, forge better client relationships, and provide better customer service because of our diverse team of professionals.
We seek and welcome the talents of those from different age groups, genders, identities, races, or cultural backgrounds. These are the threads that make up the fabric of our firm.
Diversity and Inclusion is in our DNA.
Our firmwide Diversity Committee strives to ensure that diversity and inclusion are a consistent consideration in all facets of the firm, from its leadership and management practices to its human resources and financial decisions. These principles are woven into the fabric of our firm, and are the threads that help further tie us to our clients and the communities we serve.
Within the firm, the committee builds a diverse workforce and fosters an inclusive culture that encourages a fulfilling professional experience for all of our attorneys and staff. We have employee resource groups for women lawyers; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees and allies; lawyers of color; working parents; veterans; and lawyers with disabilities.
It also is engaged in several recruiting programs, from fellowships that grant full-tuition scholarships to clerkships that are split between our firm and a participating corporate legal department. Additionally, we recruit diverse first-year law students to receive targeted mentoring, career development opportunities as Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Scholars. Learn more about these efforts in the Law Student Diversity Initiatives section to follow.
Our Diversity Committee also shapes our diversity efforts outside the firm, forging strong partnerships with many groups with which we have a shared commitment to diversity. Through these alliances, we sponsor, attend, and speak at dozens of events each year. Examples of these partner organizations are below.
Nurturing and growing diversity initiatives with our clients is of crucial importance to the committee and our firm. Through those efforts, we will present a stronger united force for change in the profession while strengthening our relationships with valued clients. Our clients not only encourage our efforts, they award them. Clients like Chevron, Microsoft, and Lockheed Martin Corporation have formally recognized our firm’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.
Promoting gender equality within our firm and our communities.
Thanks to the determined efforts of many courageous women and men around the world, women’s equality in the global workforce has made great strides, yet we recognize there is more to accomplish. Whether it’s raising awareness of implicit bias, supporting work-life balance, or fostering a strong network of women professionals, our firmwide Women in the Profession (WIP) Committee thoughtfully assembles resources, initiatives, and opportunities designed to help women advance their careers.
In addition to spearheading programs such as on business and professional development and mentoring, the committee has been instrumental in developing several notable programs benefitting all lawyers. Among them is the “Ramp Down, Ramp Up, & Re-Integration” program available to any lawyer taking any kind of planned, approved leave of absence. This program reduces utilization targets before and after the period of planned leave without an adverse impact on compensation, to help smooth the transition from, and to, a standard work schedule.
Under the leadership of the WIP Committee, the firm participates, sponsors, and maintains memberships in relevant events and organizations, and has been widely recognized for its accomplishments in supporting and empowering women in the workforce.
Each year, we sponsor several opportunities for diverse 1L law students, including the:
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity 1L Scholars Program
- K&L Gates: The Power of Partnership
- 1L Diversity Fellowship in our Seattle office
- K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
- Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship Program
- Gregoire Fellows Program
- North Carolina Bar Association Minorities in the Profession 1L Summer Associate Program
Not only do our fellowship programs reflect our commitment to public service and diversity, they’re also a great way for law students to make significant legal service contributions while gaining substantial legal experience. Learn more.
Awarded a 100 Percent Score in the 2020 Corporate Equality Index
For the tenth consecutive year, the Human Rights Campaign awarded K&L Gates a 100 percent score in the organization’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), and named the firm a “Top Law Firm for Equality.”
Recognized as a Top 100 Employer for LGBT Equality
In 2017, K&L Gates was ranked among the top 100 UK LGBT-friendly employers in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
Recognized as a Top Performer
K&L Gates has frequently been named a “Top Performer” by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). The designation recognizes active LCLD member corporations and law firms who have dedicated the most time and energy to participating in LCLD programs and supported its mission of creating a more inclusive legal profession, with K&L Gates also being recognized as a 2018 Compass Award winner from LCLD for participation in a variety of the organization’s programs
Awarded Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum
Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has been awarded a United States Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for a ninth time, recognizing the high levels of success by the firm’s women as partners and leaders. K&L Gates is one of only 15 Am Law 100 firms to meet all six criteria for Gold Certification this year, with only five other Am Law 100 firms also having received the certification for nine years or more.
As part of our ongoing commitment to increasing diversity in our ranks, we have joined the 117 law firms that have pledged to adopt the Mansfield Rule 4.0. To achieve this certification by Diversity Lab, at least 30% of leadership candidates must be from historically underrepresented groups, including women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities.
We are proud to have been awarded a United States Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for the ninth time, recognizing the high levels of success by the firm's women as partners and leaders. K&L Gates is one of only 15 Am Law 100 firms to meet all six criteria for Gold Certification this year, with only five other Am Law 100 firms also having received the certification for nine years or more.