Higher Education

Kutak Rock has participated in more than 570 higher education facility financings with an aggregate principal amount of $17.5 billion. These transactions have financed the construction and equipping of academic and administrative buildings, laboratories, research centers, teaching hospitals, computing centers, student unions, on- and off-campus student housing projects, stadiums and campus energy utility systems.

Our firm currently serves as bond counsel to 10 of a state’s 11 public higher education institutions and has been designated as one of the three bond counsels in a rotating pool for a multi-campus public research university.

Our attorneys also have acted as special tax counsel and disclosure counsel for financings for a state land grant institution’s board of regents and a 400,000-plus square-foot biomedical research center with more than 50 laboratories.

We recently have been added to a pool of bond counsel firms to represent a statewide university system, and we also serve as bond counsel to the building authority of an East Coast college.

Kutak Rock has served as bond counsel to higher education conduit issuers, including statewide cultural and educational finance authorities. Our firm also has participated as underwriter’s counsel, disclosure counsel or special tax counsel in higher education facility financings of a Gulf Coast state’s public facilities authority, and the development finance authorities for two Midwestern states.

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Inclusion of attorneys with diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, social, economic, religious and personal backgrounds has been a cornerstone of our culture at Kutak Rock. Our long tradition of commitment to diversity was established through the strong leadership and personal examples of the firm's founding partners. For example, the late Robert J. Kutak served on the board of the Legal Services Corporation through presidential appointment and was also chairman of the ABA Section on Individual Rights.

Under the leadership of our founding partners, Kutak Rock was a pioneer in the recruitment of women in the early 1970’s. In 1986, Kutak Rock received recognition from a women’s magazine, Savvy, as having the highest number of women partners among the top 150 law firms it surveyed. In 1991, we were selected to participate in the American Bar Association’s Minority Counsel Demonstration Program. Kutak Rock participated in the program for its entire duration, a period of over seven years. In 1992, The National Law Journal also found that Kutak Rock shared with another firm the distinction of having the highest percentage of women partners (23%) among the 251 largest law firms that participated in the survey. In 1995, the Midlands Bar Association, a professional association for minority lawyers in Omaha, presented the firm with the Pledge to Diversity Award. In 2008, Kutak Rock was named one of the Best Law Firms for Women by Working Mother magazine.

In 2005 we launched a formal diversity initiative which led to the creation of both a national Director of Diversity position and a Diversity Committee. Each year the Diversity Committee evaluates and implements a series of initiatives on recruiting, professional development, and community outreach and pipeline programs. Our efforts have earned Kutak Rock a place on the Top 100 Law Firm Diversity Listing by the publishers of MultiCultural Law magazine in 2009 and 2011, as well as the Top 100 Law Firms for Women listing. In 2010, Kutak Rock was selected as a co-recipient of the 2010 Diversity Award by the Nebraska State Bar Association and also received the 2010 CenturyLink Spirit of Diversity Partner Award. In 2010 and 2011, we received special recognition by the Human Rights Campaign for our diversity efforts in ensuring equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in our workplace.

Our equal employment opportunity policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Since 2000, Kutak Rock has offered insurance benefits to domestic partners.

Today our commitment remains strong, with renewed focus to achieve sustainable diversity goals as part of our strategic plan for the firm. Our diversity goals are (a) to create and support an environment which provides equitable access and opportunities for professional growth to all employees, (b) to build a culture that respects and utilizes the diverse perspectives and skills of each and every employee, and (c) to increase representation of the underrepresented groups across all areas and levels of our firm.


Diversity Mission Statement

At Kutak Rock we strive to be a leader in promoting workplace diversity and inclusion. Our long-standing commitment to diversity reflects our mission:

To ensure that access and opportunities for professional growth are available to all qualified individuals without bias or barriers based on, among other things, gender, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, physical ability, marital or parental status, age, economic background and life experiences.

To recruit, hire, train, promote and retain qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives.

To respect and nurture the diverse perspectives and skills of our workforce to deliver innovation and excellence to our clients and communities.

To reflect at all levels of our workforce the diversity of our clients, the United States of America and communities in which we serve.



Diversity Initiatives

Throughout the firm, our diversity initiatives focus on recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys and staff at all levels. Some of the efforts undertaken by Kutak Rock are summarized below:

  • Kutak Rock and the Robert J. Kutak Foundation contribute to the Kutak Rock Diversity Scholarship programs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law and Creighton University School of Law. Awarded by the respective law schools to incoming students as part of the enrollment process, these scholarships were created to assist building a more diverse student body in Nebraska.
  • Kutak Rock has participated in the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program since its inception in the early 1990s.  The program includes a summer clerkship opportunity for diverse students at the end of their first year of law school.
  • We have also sponsored Kutak Rock Scholarships to provide financial aid for third-year minority students at the University of Colorado School of Law and the University of Denver College of Law.
  • In 2006, Kutak Rock established a partnership with INROADS to sponsor ethnically diverse college students to gain exposure to the firm’s practice.  We offer a multiyear summer internship program through INROADS in our Omaha office.  Upon successful completion of the program, the INROADS interns will have the opportunity to participate in the firm’s summer associate program at the end of their first year in law school subject to approval by the recruiting committee.
  • Kutak Rock participates in the Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair in Missouri, the Rocky Mountain Diversity Legal Career Fair in Colorado and the Nebraska Diversity Summit Job Fair.
  • Kutak Rock joined other law firms in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Missouri and Wichita, Kansas in creating and signing, respectively, the Nebraska Diversity Call to ActionKansas City Metropolitan Area Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative Action Plan and the Wichita Bar Association Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative Action Plan. Our managing partner at the Wichita office received the President’s Award for his role on the Drafting Committee of the Wichita Bar Association Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative Action Plan in 2006.
  • Kutak Rock and its attorneys actively participate in diversity events and organizations through memberships, attendance at events and/or financial contributions. Organizations supported by the firm and our attorneys include the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Arizona Asian American Bar Association, Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, the Urban League, the Philippine American Bar Association, INROADS, Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Orange County Asian American Bar Association, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, Virginia Asian American Bar Association, Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, Puerto Rican Bar Association, and many others.


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