Kutak Rock continues to be a “Ceiling Smasher” among law firms for its outstanding record of promoting women attorneys to equity partnership, according to a report from Law360. The report states that while women are being promoted to partner, they are less likely to be equity partners. Kutak Rock placed second among law firms with 300-599 attorneys nationally with 30.23% of its equity partners being women—more than three percentage points higher than the next firm. In fact, the firm again has the highest percentage of women equity partners in all but two of the nation’s law firms with 300 attorneys or more.
Women comprise 32% of Kutak Rock’s partnership and 36% of its attorneys. Compared to national averages of 19.7% and 34.1%, it is clear that Kutak Rock’s ongoing support of diversity and inclusiveness is paying off. In addition, the firm is well above benchmarks and national averages in all areas related to women in leadership, including percentage of women serving on governance committees and as heads of offices.
“It’s exciting to see Kutak Rock recognized in this way, though it’s not at all surprising given the firm’s history and culture,” said Hilary Jackler, managing partner of the Washington, D.C. and Richmond offices. “Female attorneys are leading offices, practice groups, and important client initiatives throughout Kutak Rock. I’m proud to be part of a firm that values diversity and inclusiveness across all different areas.”
Since Kutak Rock opened its doors in 1965, the firm’s culture has embraced diversity and equality in the legal profession, making strategic efforts to hire women attorneys long before laws required it. While Law360 reports that the national average for women equity partners is not growing as rapidly as they’d hope, they attribute Ceiling Smashers’ success to specific kinds of efforts—ones that Kutak Rock has been making for most of its existence. Firm efforts include flexibility in work arrangements, and Women’s Initiative educational and networking meetings of small groups of women lawyers across the firm for cross-office collaboration and discussion.
Of note this year is that Kutak Rock was not among Law360’s 2018 top law firms for women overall because the percentage of women non-partner attorneys did not meet Law360’s threshold—rather, those women were promoted to partnership. In addition to being a Ceiling Smasher, the firm is pleased to be a “metrics smasher.”