Small enough to provide specific attention, yet big enough to have a wide breadth of expertise.
- Chambers USA

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Goldberg Kohn is committed to building a work environment that reflects the diversity of our community. We believe that one of the main drivers of the health and success of our firm is creating a vibrant culture in which professionals of all backgrounds can find long-term success and experience a true sense of belonging. We also support the movement for racial and social justice through our volunteer efforts and our dollars.

In order to build an environment that is inclusive and supportive, Goldberg Kohn espouses an approach to diversity that supplements the firm's core values with a concerted recruitment, retention and promotion strategy for diverse professionals that encourages our entire team to be involved in the change we want to see. In practical terms this means facilitating the development of multiple partner and staff mentorship and champion relationships for diverse associates centered around internal and external networking opportunities and providing regular career and business development support and resources; supporting local community organizations both financially and with our volunteer time; and building a robust Pro Bono program that undertakes projects like criminal record sealing and expungement clinics for historically underserved client populations.

Our approach to diversity also builds upon Goldberg Kohn's founding principles and the unique culture we have developed. Specifically, throughout its history, our firm has implemented a deliberate, purposeful growth plan — one attorney at a time. The firm does not acquire practice groups and has never merged with another firm or group of attorneys. We operate based upon consensus building, not vote-counting. Goldberg Kohn has firm clients, not individual attorneys with separate books of business. This approach creates an environment where every principal enjoys an equal voice and attorneys of every background have the opportunity and encouragement to flourish professionally and economically. We believe these values and policies enable all of our professionals, from a wide range of communities, to establish long-term careers at Goldberg Kohn.

The firm has an active Diversity Committee that holds primary responsibility for furthering the diversity goals of the firm. The committee is led by Vanessa Bachtell, a principal in our Corporate, Securities & Tax Group, and meets regularly. It is comprised of a cross-section of the firm's associates and principals, as well as staff members. The committee partners with our Cultural Crossroads Committee to sponsor cross-cultural events designed to foster dialogue on, and awareness of issues of, diversity in the law and within our community, including topics relating to racial, ethnic, religious, disability and LGBTQ+ diversity. The Diversity Committee works directly with the Management Committee on the implementation of a number of key projects, such as our Standing Together Initiative, our GK Advocates DEI program, and the Mid-Size Mansfield Certification process. These are joint initiatives between the Diversity and Management Committees because Goldberg Kohn understands and believes that true and sustained change begins from the top down. Here are some details about these efforts:

Principals on the Diversity Committee serve as leaders of our GK Advocates program, which was inaugurated in 2019. This program is a firm-wide effort designed to support the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers. The initiative provides associates with mentorship, champions, career and business development training and coaching, and internal and external networking opportunities throughout the year. Each GK Advocate participant is also supported by his or her own Advocate Council, comprised of a principal champion selected by the participant; a formal firm mentor; the participant's department chair; a Marketing Department representative; and the firm's Diversity Coordinator.

In response to events occurring in the Summer of 2020, further highlighting the grave importance of racial justice, Goldberg Kohn has worked to commit even more strongly to the goal of reform and equality of opportunity. Internally, we have created the "Standing Together Initiative" to organize our commitment to each other and the Black community, with specific events, donations and volunteer opportunities promoted throughout the year. The first event was the firm's acknowledgment of the Juneteenth holiday; the next was a firm-directed donation and volunteer partnership with My Block, My Hood, My City. Externally, we have become a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA). LFAA's charter states its purpose as seeking to "leverage the resources of the private bar to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to better use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and to promote racial equity in the law and in government institutions."

Another effort is participating in the Mansfield Rule Certification Process for MidSize Law Firms. Overseen by the legal diversity organization Diversity Lab, midsize law firms like Goldberg Kohn have established goals to consider at least 30% women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, formal client pitch opportunities and lateral positions. During the 18 months from September 2020 to March 2022, we will be pursuing these goals and actively reporting our progress to Diversity Lab in order to become Mansfield Certified.

The firm also employs a Diversity Coordinator whose role is to support, develop and execute diversity initiatives advanced by the Diversity Committee. The Diversity Committee also supports Goldberg Kohn's women attorneys and their creation of ENGAGE, a nonprofit group designed to bring together women entrepreneurs and business leaders.

All of these efforts are designed to make our workplace more diverse, more inclusive, more equitable, more effective, and a better reflection of the community we seek to serve. We know that we are better and stronger for it.

Attorneys At Law

55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312.201.4000
Fax: 312.332.2196


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