I, Jon Ballis, personally commit to the following:
- Use my voice at the Firm to address DEI issues and expand opportunities for those attorneys who have been historically underrepresented in the legal industry, including people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Meet with members of our Executive Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Task Force and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs to share my personal commitment and to seek commitments from each of them to advance DEI initiatives at the Firm.
- Ensure that our DEI efforts are highly visible and integral to our culture by including regular DEI updates in my Firmwide messages and at leadership meetings and other events throughout the year.
- Dedicate the financial and staffing resources needed to further advance our DEI initiatives.
- Leverage our platform to enhance the Firm’s pro bono efforts to support anti-racism and racial justice and continue to actively work with and financially support organizations like the Anti-Defamation League to secure justice and fair treatment to all.
- Engage with Kirkland’s clients and partners to develop opportunities to collaborate on DEI initiatives.
- Seek opportunities to actively listen, learn and lean into difficult conversations regarding DEI issues and obtain constructive feedback regarding the Firm’s efforts.
- Focus on strategic diversity recruiting (law school, laterals and partner hiring) and thoughtful efforts and initiatives to improve retention, advancement and promotion of women and attorneys from historically underrepresented groups.
- Personally develop a mentor and sponsor relationship with at least one partner from a historically underrepresented group.
- Encourage my partners to continually improve an inclusive environment by leading where we can on DEI and inspiring change by example.
- Empower the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force to present annually on the Firm’s DEI metrics, goals and strategies to the Executive Committee in order to accelerate progress on DEI at the Firm.
- Support Firm efforts to foster a sense of belonging and access to opportunity for all.
- Maximize advancement opportunities for all attorneys while leaning in to focus on systemic retention/attrition issues impacting the leadership trajectory of women and attorneys from historically underrepresented groups.
- Advance our larger DEI objectives in partnership with Kirkland’s clients and external communities of historically underrepresented groups.
- Provide training to partners on building stronger, more productive and more diverse mentor and sponsor relationships, and expand senior partner-led and intra-affinity group mentoring frameworks to better connect women and attorneys from historically underrepresented groups with influential allies, sponsors and advocates.
- Mandate implicit bias training for every new hire and employee and encourage additional anti-bias training by practice group.