Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Recipient of MCCA's
Thomas L. Sager Award
for Commitment to Diversity
REACH: Diversity Matters at Kilpatrick Stockton
At Kilpatrick Stockton, we are committed to fostering an environment where the self-defining differences of our diverse personnel do not divide us, but rather make us stronger. By encouraging the open exchange of different viewpoints and voices, and reaching to increase the number of diverse people in our firm, we create a place where we learn from and support one another.
A Legacy of REACH
Kilpatrick Stockton has a 125-year history of creating an inclusive environment in which the best legal minds can thrive. It's one of the most important elements of our legacy, and it has contributed directly to our firm's success. Kilpatrick Stockton was the first large firm in the Southeast to have a female partner, and it led the major regional law firms in recruiting and hiring African-American attorneys. Other examples from our past that have helped lay the foundation for a diverse and accepting practice include:
- In the 1930's, Kilpatrick Stockton was one of the first major law firms to hire a Jewish partner, unprecedented for a major law firm at the time.
- Kilpatrick Stockton was at the forefront of racial desegregation and enlightenment in the 1960's, helping Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. when the IRS was unfairly targeting his church.
- Kilpatrick Stockton served as Pro Bono Counsel to Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign in 1989. Jackson was the first black mayor of Atlanta.
- In 1997, Kilpatrick Stockton established the James S. Dockery, Jr. Scholarship at Wake Forest Law School to support outstanding minority students.
In addition to creating a diverse environment within the firm, Kilpatrick Stockton has reached out to a wide-ranging community outside the firm as well. Our nationally recognized commitment to Pro Bono has received many awards because of its success in aiding those in need, regardless of age, gender, race or other differences. Kilpatrick Stockton understands that a community in which all people can receive equal access to the legal process is a community that benefits us all.
- In 1999, Kilpatrick Stockton received Georgia's first Thomas L. Sager Award by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of ethnic minority attorneys.
- In 2004, the Charlotte Chamber selected Kilpatrick Stockton to be honored in the Multicultural Community Involvement category during the Chamber's Diversity Best Practices Executive Forum.
Expanding our REACH
Kilpatrick Stockton established REACH to embody our Diversity Action Program because it both captures our legacy of leadership in inclusiveness and symbolizes our commitment to the future for diversity. REACH reflects that creating and sustaining a diverse environment is not a matter of happenstance, but requires strategic, purposeful initiatives. As our strategic program for promoting diversity, REACH is long-range as well as action-driven. It features:
- A Diversity Council of senior partners and senior administrators.
- An Attorney Diversity Team and a Staff Diversity Team, whose respective memberships include non-partners and non-senior level staff from across the entire firm.
- A full-time manager to support the implementation of our strategic plan and ensure that we are focused on our commitment to diversity, day in and day out.
- A separate operating budget, which is approved as part of the firm's normal budgeting process, on par with the other core values of the firm.
- A purposeful statement by the Executive Committee of the Diversity Principle that guides our actions: "At Kilpatrick Stockton, all persons, without regard to differences among them that do not matter in the workplace, shall be respected and valued fully".
Our REACH at Work
The centerpiece of REACH is our Strategic Action Plan for Implementing Diversity Commitment, which has over 70 specific action steps to address policy and procedure, recruiting, training and development, retention and other objectives. The Plan has been designed to ensure that diversity flourishes as a core value throughout our firm - today and in the future. Recent successes include:
- Diversity awareness training for all firm personnel, top to bottom.
- Full roll-out of WomenREACH, our women's initiative program, including inaugural Women Partners Retreat, and ongoing bimonthly lunches of women partners, regular women partners and associates gatherings.
- Founding co-sponsorship of the Atlanta Large Law Firm Diversity Alliance and leadership in its development of the Diversity Leadership Management Academy to train law firm leaders to implement diversity.
- Increased participation in attorney training and development opportunities for women and attorneys of color.
- In 2005, the American Lawyer Student Edition ranked Kilpatrick Stockton 5th among 244 of the largest law firms in the country for the highest percentage of African-American attorneys.
REACH is a testament to the firm and our clients who also view diversity as a strength and core value for doing business. Kilpatrick Stockton understands that a diverse workforce is a resource that can be utilized to serve both our clients and ourselves.