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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP - Los Angeles, California

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 Nimesh
Diversity Contact Last Name Patel
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 and inclusion at all levels. We believe that a broad range of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives enables us to develop more innovative solutions for our clients. Collegiality is also one of our core values and underscores our commitment to an inclusive workplace and professional development. The firm uses all of these methods and continually works to assure the recruitment, retention and promotion of women and diverse attorneys by embracing a culture of inclusiveness and equal opportunity. The firm’s commitment to diversity is implemented through active participation by our diverse and female partners and 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 U.S. 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 and inclusion efforts, overseeing the creation of a women’s professional development initiative and the creation of the firm’s Reduced Workload Policy. Her personal commitment has been a guiding force for Akin Gump’s diversity and inclusion efforts throughout her leadership at the firm.

Akin Gump maintains a two-tiered inclusion council system, with both a firmwide inclusion council and inclusion councils in each office. The firmwide inclusion council is chaired by Karol Kepchar, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office’s Intellectual Property practice. This year, Akin Gump welcomed Nimesh Patel as the firm’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. In this role he is responsible for developing and promoting all diversity and inclusion management practices across the firm, ensuring the firm’s foundational principle of inclusiveness and diversity are reflected in its internal and external policies, work and practices. Akin Gump’s inclusion councils 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 firm can enhance diversity and inclusion. The local inclusion councils in the U.S. offices are responsible for the development and implementation of inclusion-related initiatives for their location or region and for coordinating their efforts in furtherance of the firm’s diversity and inclusion goals.

Recruiting talented lawyers from diverse backgrounds is a primary focus in achieving the firm’s vision of becoming a diverse and 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 & Inclusion Scholarship. As initially created, the program provided 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 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. In 2019 the firm modified this program to focus on first year law students. Six rising second year students will be a part of the firm’s inaugural 1L Strauss Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Program in 2019

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 Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, 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 this program since 2015.

The firm values our attorneys’ diverse backgrounds and we appreciate the range of experiences and perspectives that they each bring to the firm. Our diversity and inclusion efforts remain true to our core value of excellence, particularly when it comes to the highly talented individuals who make Akin Gump such an exciting and inclusive place to practice law.
Non-discrimination policy An integral part of our approach is to ensure 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 1L
Please provide a brief description of the program The Akin Gump/Robert Strauss Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship provides a $25,000 scholarship to outstanding first year law students to offset expenses for their second 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 Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, 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 Akin Gump has formal Firmwide Resource Groups (“FRGs”). These FRGs are intended to provide a supportive community for women, working parents and caregivers, people with disabilities and those who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and/or LGBT, and their allies. Membership in any or all of these groups is open to every attorney and policy professional at the firm. 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.