Kutak Rock is pleased to present its 2021 Annual Inclusivity, Diversity and Engagement Report, which showcases the firm’s ongoing and evolving commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. From its founding in 1965 until today, Kutak Rock has consistently strived to promote equity and effect meaningful systemic change for and among the attorneys and staff who make up Kutak Rock, and the communities in which members live and serve.
“We were sensitive to the dangerous allure of declaring our dedication to equity and diversity without having to do the hard work to help achieve it, and we challenged ourselves to recognize and act on this distinction,” said Kutak Rock. President Jay Selanders. “This past year has been no exception.”
Vice President John Petr agrees. “We are grateful and proud of the work and collaboration that helped us launch the first LLABAR (Large Legal Anti-Bias Anti-Racism) seminar. It was created to educate and inform members of private law firms and corporate in-house legal departments about how racism and bias in the legal system has and continues to impact fairness and the equality of chances. In addition, the seminar also explores what these major legal institutions can do to identify and challenge bias and racism to create meaningful change at organizational and industry levels.
Emphasizing the idea that we all need to keep moving forward, the 2021 report reflects the advice of the National Committee on Cabinet Inclusivity and Diversity (NIDC) progress towards completion of the company’s fourth three-year strategic plan. This report covers the second year of the current plan, which includes changes to recruiting and hiring, strengthening firm systems to ensure fairness in promotion and leadership, and strengthening the efforts of leadership groups. affinity and the firm’s educational programs. The NIDC has doubled down on its efforts on inclusivity, equity, anti-bias and anti-racism in its current strategic plan.
In fact, the 2021 report features several new programs and initiatives, including:
- Major Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism Legal Seminars (LLABAR): Designed in conjunction with corporate client US Bank Community Development Corporation and an ABAR training organization called Crossroads, Kutak Rock wanted to develop a seminar with information on how racism and bias in the legal system has had and continue to have an impact on fairness and equal opportunity, particularly in asset development, financing operations and the day-to-day work of large legal organisations. The company also wanted to create a seminar exploring what can be done to influence and create change at organizational and industry levels. The pilot project was a success and the seminar is now accessible to the entire legal community.
- Career Support Initiative: The new Career Coaching Committee promotes the firm’s many career coaching resources, as well as professional development, volunteering, wellness (see below) and mindfulness. He has created a Career Support Catalog that details the resources available to firm members to address financial health, mental health, physical health, corporate and community engagement, as well as establishing personal and professional goals and development.
- Wellness Initiative: Kutak Rock recognizes the importance of encouraging its members to find balance in their lives. Beginning in October 2021, the firm officially launched the Wellness Initiative to highlight the importance of caring for individual wellbeing and to highlight the tools and resources available within the firm to address issues personal health and support mental and physical health. Activities included a kick-off webinar titled “Basics of Mental Wellness in the Workplace,” and each week, members of the firm receive a supportive thematic message that provides tools, resources, links to timely articles and informative, quizzes, challenges, etc.
This year’s report also details the work being done locally through our affinity groups, our philanthropic arm KutakCares, trainings, seminars and some of the company’s external recognitions.
We invite you to peruse our annual report and welcome your feedback on our progress and where we are headed. In addition, we invite you to suggest ways we can work together to continue to advance equity in law and in our communities.
2021 Annual Report on Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement