We are a firm that celebrates diversity, equity, inclusion and service within the global communities in which we live and work. - Jon A. Ballis, P.C., Chairman, Executive Committee
Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality
Human Rights Campaign, Corporate Equality Index, 2008–2022
One of the Best Law Firms for Women
Recognized by Seramount every year since 2012
Top 50 on Diversity Scorecard
The American Lawyer, 2022
Kirkland’s DEI Task Force is a select group of Executive Committee members and Firm DEI leaders who oversee strategic DEI priorities.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee comprises more than 80 partners across our U.S. and international offices who implement strategic efforts around recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys.
Kirkland's leadership is committed to attracting the best diverse talent. The Firm both internally maintains and partners with DEI-focused organizations on various recruiting initiatives to build a robust pipeline of future diverse leaders.
- Kirkland partners with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) to offer a 10-week program that advances selected candidates’ professional development by providing early views into working in-house and as outside counsel at a major law firm.
- Kirkland is a leading sponsor of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), hosting SEO Law Fellows in each of our U.S. offices annually.
- Our ALLSA Program optimizes the partnership of our diverse attorney network with diverse law student associations at more than 20 top law schools.
- Kirkland is the first-ever sponsor of Afro Scholars, a Black-owned nonprofit organization that provides unique coaching and professional development opportunities to Black first-year law students.
- The Firm supports various pre-law school and early pipeline programs, including BARBRI Law Preview, Legal Outreach and Thrive Scholars, to start developing future diverse leaders at the earliest stages of their career.
Diversity Scholars Conference
Join the brightest law students across the country in gaining early exposure to one of the world's leading law firms
2L Diversity Fellowship Program
As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are proud to offer select second-year law students summer work experience and a $50,000 stipend
The American Lawyer, 2013–2022
Kirkland proudly hosts a network of eight professional networks (formerly known as affinity groups) to promote community-building and professional development for our diverse attorneys:
- Access Professional Network (attorneys with disabilities)
- Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Professional Network
- Black Professional Network
- Military Service Professional Network
- Pride Professional Network (LGBTQ+ attorneys)
- South Asian Professional Network
- Unidos Professional Network (Latinx attorneys)
- Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI)
We recognize and honor the diverse backgrounds of those in our community by celebrating various diversity awareness months and other occasions throughout the year with Firmwide and local programming.
Our Inclusive Leadership Series provides engaging and educational programs focused on leadership development for diverse attorneys at all levels. Past programs have highlighted topics such as “covering,” cultural competency, intersectionality, implicit bias and client development.
At Kirkland, we recognize the diverse backgrounds and experiences of those in our community. The Firm’s Access Professional Network brings together our attorneys who are dedicated to advancing inclusion for people with disabilities. The group initiates discussions and organizes programming related to accessibility and disability employment, as well as general disability awareness.
In addition to supporting the Access Professional Network, Kirkland partners with CAI’s Neurodiverse Solutions (formerly known as Autism2Work), a program that brings neurodivergent individuals into the workforce. Our pro bono team dedicates time and experience to cases impacting people with disabilities — on both an individual and societal basis — and many of our attorneys volunteer with or give to disability-focused organizations, including the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Equip for Equality and more.
Kirkland proudly supports various professional development organizations for diverse professionals at the national and local levels, including Charting Your Own Course (CYOC), Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC), the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA). Our partnerships with these organizations are crucial to our strategic imperative of advancing relationship and leadership opportunities for our diverse attorneys. We encourage our attorneys to actively engage with these organizations to improve their visibility, expand their networks and support the diverse legal community.
The Firm also sponsors select charitable and community organizations that support DEI in the broader community and provide leadership, programming, networking and pro bono opportunities for our diverse attorneys.
Kirkland’s leadership is committed to the professional development of our diverse attorneys. The Firm offers various initiatives in line with this effort, including professional network-specific mentorship programs, our Leaders Among Us series featuring rising diverse Firm leaders, and partnerships with external organizations on educational programming (CCWC, CYOC, MCCA, Women’s Leadership Edge, LCLD Fellows and Pathfinders, WOMN LLC and more).
Our leaders recognize the value of not only mentorship, but also meaningful sponsorship across difference. These relationships between our most senior attorneys and future diverse leaders are critical to our mission of advancing leadership pathways for diverse attorneys. Watch some of our attorneys’ stories about sponsorship.