Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment is a core value of the firm, and 75% of our Management Committee is comprised of next generation partners who are female, LGBTQ+, and/or a person of color. We are known for our creativity in helping our clients craft innovative and tailored legal solutions, and our ability to do so is enhanced by the perspectives and backgrounds our attorneys and business professionals bring to the Friedman Kaplan community. We celebrate the talented and diverse group of individuals in our firm and additionally recognize that we and the legal community as a whole must consistently strive to improve our DEI efforts.
Friedman Kaplan is a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a group of over 400 law firm managing partners and corporate general counsels working to create a more open and diverse legal profession, and participates in its innovative programs aimed at helping a new and more diverse generation of attorneys ascend to positions of leadership. Our attorneys regularly participate in LCLD’s Fellows and Pathfinder programs, which provide in-depth training, networking, and mentorship opportunities for a diverse group of early and mid-career attorneys. Through LCLD’s Leaders at the Front initiative, Management Committee member Mala Ahuja Harker made a public pledge detailing her personal and the firm’s collective commitment to the implementation of organizational changes that are specific, meaningful, and measurable to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The firm is also a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, which provides law firms and law departments with research, best practices, professional development, and training to enhance their efforts to hire, retain, and advance lawyers from diverse backgrounds.
Friedman Kaplan recently established an internal Women's Initiative Committee to encourage and facilitate the retention, and promotion of women attorneys at the firm by providing community, mentorship, and practical skill building. We also encourage and support our attorneys in participating in bar associations and external affinity groups aimed at promoting diversity, inclusion, belonging, and mentorship. We prioritize mentoring and strive to give all attorneys meaningful roles to contribute to case strategy and opportunities to develop substantive lawyering skills, including leading cases, arguing motions, taking depositions, and cultivating relationships with clients and prospects.
We also look for ways to harness our legal expertise to combat systemic inequities in society. In 2020, Friedman Kaplan joined the newly-formed Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a coalition of over 200 law firms collaborating with legal services organizations to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color, and to promote racial equity in the law. Our attorneys also participate and hold leadership positions in other organizations that work to promote equity in the law, including serving on the boards of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, the Legal Action Center, and the New York Civil Liberties Union and as a founding donor for the When There Are Nine Scholarship Project.
Friedman Kaplan earned the Mansfield Certification Plus designation through Diversity Lab’s 2022-2023 Midsize Mansfield Rule certification program. Mansfield’s accreditation process seeks to ensure equal opportunity and access to leadership roles. The firm has also been named to Bloomberg Law’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Framework each year since its inception in 2021. The Framework recognizes U.S.-based law firms based on their disclosure of diversity-related metrics and distinguished performance against six core pillars: demographics, leadership and talent pipeline, recruitment and retention, business innovation and strategy, marketing, and diversity & inclusion in the community. The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity named Friedman Kaplan a recipient of a 2022 Compass Award which recognizes those law firms and corporations that show a strong commitment to building more diverse organizations and a more inclusive legal profession. We are proud of these external recognitions, while also remaining steadfast in our commitment to improvement.