At Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck (KDV), our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a hallmark of our practice. Our commitment to the progression of diversity in our workplace is reflected in our recruitment practices and our firm’s leadership. We strive to ensure that it is evident in everything we do.
KDV has a mission to cultivate KDV’s foundation of an engaging workplace culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion, recognizes work/life balance, and promotes mentoring, learning and development. We know diversity of thought and ideas drives results. KDV focuses on educating our firm’s leaders on how to mentor and grow our attorneys who look and think differently. KDV’s inclusive culture is essential to our mission to deliver the best results and ensure positive change in the legal environment.
In 2020 the firm made significant achievements within our Diversity & Inclusion Program, and we are pleased to report and share these achievements with our clients and colleagues.
Diversity Initiatives from 2020
Mansfield 3.0 and 4.0 Certification
In 2020, KDV achieved Diversity Lab’s highly-coveted Mansfield 3.0 Certification. We also began our efforts to secure Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification in 2021—and we are one of only 64 firms who achieved both Mansfield 2.0 and 3.0 Certification.
Trainings and Forums
During 2020, our firm hosted three major events focused on acknowledging and addressing the unique challenges that diverse individuals continue to face in professional and other work environments.
- Our firm hosted a mandatory conscious leadership / unconscious bias training program entitled, “Consciousness is the First Step to Change: Raising Awareness on Implicit Bias and How to Be an Intentional Leader,” presented by Kimberly Norwood, a Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law. Professor Norwood is a respected authority in the fields of social justice and civil rights, and she focuses her research on, “blackthink, colorism, implicit bias, and the intersection of race, class, and public education in America,” and has been featured by media outlets including the Associated Press, St. Louis Public Radio and the New York Times.
- KDV held a Diversity & Inclusion Town Hall Forum where KDV team members were invited to participate in an open discussion, ask questions and engage in a dialogue about racial injustice following the tragedy of George Floyd.
- The KDV Women’s Initiative hosted three forum and wellness series that focused on managing stress and balancing home and work responsibilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Through the KDV’s D&I Committee, KDV invited its attorneys to present individual marketing plans which were reviewed by senior management with the attorneys who submitted them to help advance their books of business.
Attorney Engagement Outside the Firm
Several of our firm’s attorneys were actively involved in diverse bar associations and other industry organizations during 2020. The firm is related to the following organizations promoting diversity within the legal profession: Hispanic National Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association, Korean American Lawyers Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the Water Street Club, PLAN Diversity Initiative, The Bridge, among others.
Diversity Data for 2020
At KDV, we understand the power of not only diversity and inclusion, but also of equity and having a true sense of belonging. Working hard to ensure that all members of our team feel not only welcomed, but also truly valued, has paid dividends with regard to attorney retention, employee satisfaction, and increased leadership and business opportunities for historically underrepresented attorneys. Here are our diversity data for 2020:
- 45 percent of our Attorneys are from diverse backgrounds
- 44 percent of our firm’s Partners (excluding Equity Partners) are from diverse backgrounds
- 9 percent of our firm’s Equity Partners are from diverse backgrounds, and this statistic as of January 1, 2021 has gone up significantly.
- 28 percent of our firm’s Of Counsel are from diverse backgrounds
- 62 percent our firm’s associations are diverse
- 33% of our practice groups and co-chairs are historically underrepresented attorneys.
Our 2021 Commitment
In the year ahead, Katherine S. Catlos will continue to serve as our firm’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. She has obtained commitments from the firm’s other leaders to continue to meet regularly for the purpose of identifying and implementing initiatives that promote opportunities for KDV’s diverse attorneys and staff throughout 2021. She also serves on the Mansfield Rule 2022 Advisory Board.
In addition to our commitment and efforts to secure Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification in 2021, the firm will continue to provide education, training, and outreach opportunities for our team of more than 200 legal professionals.
Early programming goals are focused on continuing the conversation with Professor Kimberly Norwood, the host of our 2020 unconscious bias training program, as well as introducing new voices.
The firm is looking forward to hosting productive conversations with Richard D. Harvey, Ph.D in the upcoming year, a colleague of Norwood, and co-contributor to “Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America.” Harvey is an Associate Professor at Saint Louis University and has devoted his career to social group studies and phenomena. A published author, and organizational development expert, Harvey leads the Collective Identity Lab, an organization that seeks to study the relation of how humans identify in various environments, including the workplace.