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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP - Washington, District Of Columbia

Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity Chair

Diversity Chair Prefix Ms.
Diversity Chair First Name Karol
Diversity Chair Last Name Kepchar

Diversity Contact Information

Diversity Contact Prefix Mr.
Diversity Contact First Name Dmitriy
Diversity Contact Last Name Galyutin
Link to your organization's diversity website

Recruitment methods

Which of the following methods do you use to increase the presence and retention of under-represented groups? (Check all that apply) Diversity job fairs
Outreach to law student groups
Formal mentoring efforts
Recruit at schools with large minority populations
Bar-sponsored programs
Firm diversity committee
Recruit at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
Comments Akin Gump has maintained a long standing commitment to diversity at all levels. The firm continually works to assure the recruitment, retention and promotion of women and minorities by embracing a culture of inclusiveness and equal opportunity. The firm’s commitment to diversity is implemented through active participation by our minority and female partners in the firm’s leadership.

Upon assuming the role of chairperson in 2013, Kim Koopersmith became the first woman at Akin Gump—and one of very few women at a major, global law firm—to hold the position of chairperson. In her prior role as the firm’s Managing Partner – U.S., Ms. Koopersmith oversaw the operations of Akin Gump, including financial oversight, client service, recruitment and professional development. Ms. Koopersmith has been a major proponent of the firm’s diversity efforts, overseeing the creation of the Women’s Professional Development Initiative and the creation of the firm’s Reduced Work Schedule Policy. Her commitment to diversity has been a guiding force for the Akin Gump’s diversity efforts throughout her leadership at the firm.

Akin Gump maintains a two-tiered diversity committee system, with both a firmwide committee and local office committees. The firmwide committee is chaired by Karol Kepchar, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office’s Intellectual Property practice. Akin Gump’s diversity committees at the office and firmwide levels offer the opportunity for lawyers and personnel to proactively communicate questions, concerns and ideas to firm management and to recommend additional means by which the diversity of the firm can be enhanced. The local diversity committees in the U.S. offices are responsible for the development and implementation of diversity-related initiatives for their location or region and for coordinating their diversity efforts in furtherance of the firm’s diversity goals.

"Recruiting talented lawyers from diverse backgrounds is a primary focus in achieving the firm’s vision of becoming an exceptionally inclusive organization. The firm sponsors and participates in events led by law student affinity groups, and also participates in networking programs, recruiting events, and other forums with a focus on diverse lawyers and law students.

In 2013, Akin Gump established the Robert Strauss/Akin Gump Diversity Scholarship. The program provides a $25,000 scholarship to two outstanding second year law students to offset expenses for their third year of law school. In addition to the financial award, the scholarships offer mentoring from firm attorneys and a paid second year summer associate position in the firm’s Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. offices.

Akin Gump continues to be a significant supporter and participant in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (“SEO”) Program which recruits diverse college students and recent graduates from across the country who will attend law school in the fall and places them in summer internships/programs in law firms and financial institutions. The firm has been a participant in this program since 2008, with the Los Angeles, New York and Washington offices hosting SEO interns.

The firm also sponsors and participates in the PracticePro Diversity Scholar Program, which provides training and coaching to diverse law students. The goal of the program is to provide students the skills necessary to be successful in the legal profession as they enter practice. The firm has sponsored a diversity scholar through the program since 2015.

Akin Gump’s Women’s Professional Development Initiative is led by the firm’s female partners and provides a forum for female attorneys to address issues such as retention, work-life balance and professional development. The initiative includes a mentoring component and speakers’ series, as well as leadership, educational and social programming, and community service programs. Women’s Professional Development Initiative committees are active at both a local office level and on a firmwide basis.

The firm is proud of our attorneys’ diverse backgrounds and we appreciate the many unique qualities that they each bring to the firm. Our diversity efforts remain true to our core value of excellence, particularly when it comes to the talented individuals who make Akin Gump such an exciting and inclusive place to practice law.
Non-discrimination policy It is the long-standing policy of the firm to hire well qualified people to perform the many tasks necessary in providing high quality legal service. An integral part of this policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all persons.

In this regard, the firm: (1) adheres to federal and local laws, regulations and guidelines with regard to non-discrimination against job applicants and firm employees; and (2) provides equal employment opportunity for all persons, including in its recruiting practices and its administration of all hiring, working conditions, benefits and privileges of employment, compensation, training, opportunities for advancement such as promotion, transfers, and terminations of employment, without regard to the person’s age, race, color, national origin (including language restrictions), ancestry, religious creed (including dress and grooming practices), sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breast feeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding), gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability (including HIV and AIDS) unrelated to the job to be performed, denial of Family and Medical Leave; marital status, medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, military and veteran status, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law.

Diversity fellowships or scholarships

Does your organization or office sponsor/offer a Diversity Fellowship or Scholarship? Yes
If yes, is the program open to 2L
Please provide a brief description of the program The Robert Strauss/Akin Gump Diversity Scholarship provides a $25,000 scholarship to five outstanding second year law students to offset expenses for their third year of law school. In addition to the financial award, the scholarships also offer mentoring from firm attorneys and a paid second year summer associate position in the firm’s Houston, New York and Washington, D.C. offices. For more information please visit our website:

Affinity group information

Does your organization or office have affinity groups? Yes
If yes, please describe your affinity groups below LGBT attorneys at Akin Gump maintain an informal, firmwide affinity network for the purpose of fostering dialogue and discussion about legal issues pertinent to the LGBT community, pro bono engagements and recruitment of LGBT attorneys and law students. Akin Gump’s Women’s Professional Development Initiative, established over a decade ago, provides a forum for the firm’s female attorneys to network and discuss issues such as retention and professional development. Women’s Professional Development Initiative committees are active at both a local office level and on a firmwide basis.