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Kutak Rock Named a Ceiling Smasher Firm for Female Partners

News - Inclusiveness and Diversity | May 29, 2019

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 ranked fourth among law firms with 300-599 attorneys nationally with 28.1% of its equity partners being women. Further, Kutak Rock has the fifth highest percentage of women partners in all firms with over 300 attorneys.

Women comprise 27.7% of Kutak Rock’s equity partners and 29.1% of its partnership. Compared to national averages of 20.4% and 24.4%, 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.

“One of the things I liked the most about Kutak Rock when I joined the firm seven years ago was its commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, including supporting and promoting women,” said Debra Thompson, managing partner of the Atlanta office and member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Our consistently high percentage of women partners is just one of many indicators that we’re succeeding in recruiting, mentoring, supporting, and promoting women in law.”

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 again this year is that Kutak Rock was not among Law360’s 2019 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 continue being a “metrics smasher.”