Kutak Rock has received U.S. Bank Law Division’s 2021 “Invested in Diversity” Award. The firm is the third recipient of the annual award, which recognizes one of the Law Division’s preferred law firms for advancing diversity in the legal profession.
“Kutak Rock is an important U.S. Bank partner that shares our values and actively works to advance equity and inclusion,” said Jim Chosy, U.S. Bank’s senior executive vice president and general counsel. “It’s not only committed to diversity within its own firm but is playing a leadership role in the legal field and with its clients.”
Kutak Rock’s relationship with U.S. Bank spans a variety of areas, but the bulk of its work supports U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community investment and tax credit division of the bank. Committed to more equitable development that increases capital to historically underserved communities, several years ago USBCDC began inviting its partners to participate in anti-bias, anti-racism seminars it hosts through Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training. Everyone gains a shared understanding of the impacts of racial inequities and learns how best to work toward change.
Inspired by this experience and wanting to do more, Kutak Rock worked with Crossroads Antiracism and attorneys in U.S. Bank’s Law Division to develop a one-day program specifically for those in the large law firms and legal departments. Its Large Legal Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism seminar so far has been delivered six times this past year to over 125 members of the U.S. Bank Law Division and Kutak Rock, with plans for more to come.
“Kutak Rock’s attorneys who attended embraced this opportunity and expanded on it within their own firm. This represents a deep, sustained commitment to advancing equity and anti-racism within the legal profession,” Chosy said. He also cited Kutak Rock’s successive three-year DEI strategic plans, percentage of women equity partners, and year-over-year growth of the number of diverse partners as reasons for choosing Kutak Rock for this year’s honor.
“Kutak Rock’s dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal field began more than 55 years ago, and we’re honored to have been in lockstep with U.S. Bank on this journey,” said Jill Goldstein, a partner at Kutak Rock. “We both recognize the urgent need to keep pressing forward toward equity in law and business. The development of the Large Legal Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism seminars is one more step in that direction. We’re grateful to the U.S. Bank Law Division for this award and for being a partner in our common goal.”
“We’re committed to investing, lending and influencing capital in ways that advance economic opportunity for all and help close the racial wealth gap, but we know we can’t do it alone,” said Zack Boyers, USBCDC chief executive officer. “Our Kutak Rock partners have not only joined us in this journey but they’re doing their own work and applying what they’ve learned in their own industry. It’s a great example of how, together, we can bring about change.”
The award, which will be presented to Kutak Rock later in December, has special meaning of its own. It is designed by Minnesota artist Kimber Fiebiger, who specializes in bronze sculpting, and it represents unity and the fight against inequities, depicting the Little Rock Nine – a group of Black students who challenged public school segregation in 1957, an event that played a significant role in the civil rights movement.