I, Kim Koopersmith, personally commit to the following:
I commit to using my voice as Chairperson of Akin Gump to advocate for DEI in my firm and in the legal profession.
My goals are as follows:
- Use my position in firm leadership to advocate for changes to improve the fairness of processes such as recruiting, hiring, professional development and mentoring including work assignments, compensation, promotion and appointment to firm governance committees.
- Continue to lead regular conversations at the firm about how all lawyers, particularly non-diverse lawyers in the senior ranks of the firm, can engage on DEI issues.
- Talent Development:
- Host an LCLD Leadership Lunch and select two Fellows in attendance for a follow-up conversation.
- Personally sponsor one diverse junior attorney and one diverse new partner each year. As part of this relationship, ensure that each attorney receives at least two significant client opportunities and opportunities for internal/external visibility.
- Meet with firm Fellows, Pathfinders, and Alumni twice a year to discuss their experiences within the firm. Require each individual to come to the meeting with a recommendation for how the firm could improve. Agree as a group on one change to enact and give the group my full support in moving forward with the change.
- Provide diversity metric information to the partner promotion committee in advance of the annual meetings so committee is fully aware of diversity statistics in making promotion decisions.
- Work with GC/LCLD Member clients to identify opportunities to collaborate to advance the careers of specific diverse lawyers within the firm through opportunities such as secondments and inclusion of diverse lawyers in partner succession planning.
- Diversity of Teams:
- Require practice group leaders to prepare and present to firm leadership annual DEI action plans and related metrics.
- Select 5 clients to partner with on DEI to improve the diversity of the Akin Gump teams who work on their matters, provide input and feedback on the client’s diversity initiatives and promote partnerships on DEI issues with the clients.
- Work Allocation:
- Adjust the work assignment process for associates so that matters are assigned with focus on opportunities for diverse lawyers and less reliance on individual partner relationships with associates.
- Compensation Policy:
- Within one year, change partner compensation process so that partners’ compensation includes consideration of (1) their personal commitments to DEI (2) the demographics of the client matter teams they put together and (3) the opportunities afforded to diverse lawyers.
- Succession Planning:
- Develop client succession plans that ensures a diverse lawyer is one of 2-3 lawyers identified to succeed senior partners in several key clients each year. Plans should include bringing diverse potential successors into client relationships several years in advance of when succession will actually occur.