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Affinity Groups and Diversity at Kutak Rock

Forum and Affinity Groups

Firmwide Commitment, Individual Responsibility

In 2014, Kutak Rock created the National Inclusiveness and Diversity Forum, a formalized umbrella for groups that support inclusiveness and engagement at the firm. Since then, The Forum has grown to include affinity groups, pipeline groups, and groups focused on communication, professional development, training and education. Attorneys and staff work together to support inclusiveness, diversity and engagement systems and initiatives across the firm and in our communities.

African Descent, Black Affinity Group

Kutak Rock’s African Descent, Black Affinity Group provides support and advocacy for the firm’s African descent/Black members, creating an opportunity to engage with each other and the greater Kutak Rock family about our shared experiences and to facilitate understanding of historical and current events and their unique impact on the Black/African descent community. By organizing informational activities and educational forums within the firm, members help encourage appreciation of our heritage. Specific annual activities include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Black History Month, Black Women’s History Month, and Juneteenth.

Hispanic Affinity Group

Kutak Rock and the Hispanic Affinity Group frequently sponsor and attend the Hispanic National Bar Association’s annual conference and Corporate Counsel Conference and Career Fair as well as sponsoring and addressing attendees of the Corporate Counsel Division Reception. The group also meets at intervals to discuss pipeline issues as well as other issues impacting the Hispanic and legal communities at large.

Individuals with Disabilities Affinity Group

Thanks in large part to the Individuals with Disabilities Affinity Group, this website, redesigned in 2018, is WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) accessible. The group has also created accommodation guidelines and procedures for all internal and external events and meetings of the firm, in addition to providing information to firm members about the definition of and prevalence of disability. Most recently, group co-chair Ed Marquette presented to the Practising Law Institute. Speaking to an audience of over 600 people, Mr. Marquette discussed an article he and two others authored entitled:
"Sweet Harmony: Substantive Diversity, Disability Rights, Millennials, and the Shape of Tomorrow’s Inclusiveness"

KutakCares

After decades of philanthropic activity, KutakCares was borne out of a desire by firm members to coordinate relief for the people of Puerto Rico in 2017 after they were hit by several hurricanes. Since then, it’s fulfilled its mission through a variety of firmwide and office-specific giving opportunities including an annual event at the firm’s partnership meeting for a local children’s nonprofit in the community in which the meeting is being held. Most recently, KutakCares donated supplies to organizations in Omaha, New Orleans, Scottsdale, San Diego, and Chicago. The group has also raised money for flood victims and people affected by food insecurity due to the pandemic. The firm often matches KutakCares’ efforts.

LGBTQIA + Allies Affinity Group

The LGBTQIA + Allies Affinity Group meets frequently throughout the year to discuss legal issues and current developments affecting our clients, our members, and the firm as a whole, and to provide a safe and welcoming space for our LGBTQIA+ members and their allies.

The group organizes and hosts:

  • Bi-monthly group meetings
  • Pride Month mixers and activities
  • Educational programs for the firm and clients on current legal topics, such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in Colorado, and most recently, the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ruling that “sex” is a protected characteristic from discrimination.

The LGBTQIA + Allies Affinity Group also advises firm management regarding matters affecting our members and those of other diverse groups, such as developing language for contracts with firm vendors which respect the rights and dignity of the firm and its members.

Mindfulness Group

The firm’s newest group, the Mindfulness Group, launched in April 2020 and provides attorneys and staff with a way to manage stress, improve well-being, boost performance, and connect with others. Already in the works when the firm began working remotely due to the pandemic, the group serendipitously provided a lifeline at a critical moment in our professional lives and continues to offer weekly mindfulness resources, including live guided meditations, to its 150 members. Guided meditations are then archived for on-demand use by attorneys and staff.

Professional Development Committee

Kutak Rock’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) was created to address the unique needs of associates navigating their path to partnership and those who work closely with them. Currently, the PDC coordinates professional development trainings, professional development and networking opportunities for new partners, and encourages special trainings for each of the associate levels. Trainings often focus on maximizing the firm’s information technology, associate evaluations, and learning about firm governance, among other pertinent and timely topics.

Women's Initiative

The firm’s Women’s Initiative hosts quarterly meetings including topical programming and/or speakers for women attorneys and staff. In the months between the quarterly meetings, women attorneys meet in small groups led by women attorneys who generally serve on the firm’s various committees. The Women’s Initiative also hosts a networking meeting during the firm’s general partnership meeting. As a result, women attorneys and staff mentor and learn, network and provide referrals, and share ideas about upcoming conferences, CLEs, learning opportunities and more.

Download the Inclusiveness and Diversity Annual Report
Annual Report

Currently, Kutak Rock has more racial and ethnic minority partners than the national average; LGBT partners at over two times the national average; partners with disabilities at over eight times the national average; and more women partners than the national average. Download our annual report with stats and detailed narratives.

Affinity Groups

Outstanding client service begins with our people. At Kutak Rock, we believe our teams should look like our clients’ teams, and that diverse thinking leads to innovation. Read more about our recruitment, retention, mentoring, promotion and leadership pathways.

Awards and Progress

Together we have made great progress. Learn how Kutak Rock is acknowledged as a top firm with LAW360, WILEF and many more publications.

Leadership

Read more about our progress, continuing efforts to effect meaningful and longstanding positive changes throughout the firm and its related communities.

Strategy

Read more about the firms's strategic plan and internal goals. We center on fostering a culture of inclusiveness, including specific goals for networking, communication, equal opportunity, and diversity.

Training

Each year, the firm’s Training and Education group offers a training program for attorneys and staff in each of the firm’s offices. Read about our protocols, procedures and vision to foster an inclusive workplace.