We are an extremely diverse law firm and our diversity furthers our commitment to excellence. We believe valuing and promoting diversity should be a core value for all successful businesses, as it fosters the recognition and reward of excellence wherever or in whomever it may be found. We strive every day to create and revisit the policies, procedures, outreach, training, and, especially, the culture necessary to maintain and grow the supportive and inclusive workplace we have established here – for our attorneys and staff as well as our clients. We believe everyone, not only those who fall within recognized diverse communities, benefits from working in an environment where ideas and contributions are judged on their merit, not by whom they come from.
We regularly host diversity events for our clients, attorneys, and staff. Below are some of the diversity-themed film, book, article and legal discussions we have hosted:
• ”Can We Talk About Whiteness,” a podcast from NPR CodeSwitch, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” an article by Peggy McIntosh, and “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” a New York Times article by Nikole Hannah-Jones. The discussion was moderated by Dennis Chin of the Center For Social Inclusion.
• The Return of the Sex Wars. A New York Times Magazine article by Emily Bazelon highlighting the decades-old intellectual debate simmering beneath the current conversation over sexual assault on campus.
• Labor Pains. A New Republic article written by Rebecca Traister about the impact of pregnancy on work and career.
• What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Taught Me About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad. An article written for the Atlantic by Ryan Park.
• The Case for Reparations. A 2014 Atlantic article by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which addresses the legal, moral, social and economic issues surrounding the question of reparations for African Americans. Dr. Khalil Muhammad of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture moderated the discussion.
• Off and Running. Nicole Opper and Sharese Bullock-Bailey produced this Emmy-nominated documentary film. It tells the incredible coming-of-age story of Avery - an African-American teen whose parents are white Jewish lesbians and whose two adopted brothers are mixed-race and Korean. Our attorneys, staff and firm alumni enjoyed the film and a talk-back with the producer.
• Growing Up Trans. A documentary created for PBS's Frontline by award-winning filmmakers Miri Navasky and Karen O'Connor. The filmmakers were on hand for a talk back post-film, sparking a great discussion.
• Covering – The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights. NYU Professor Kenji Yoshino’s seminal work.
• Double Life. Written by Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine, Double Life is a dual memoir by a gay couple who thrived for decades in the highest reaches of the entertainment, art and advertising worlds while hiding their relationship.
• Estate Planning for LGBT Couples. A discussion with some of our Trusts and Estates experts.
• Burying the Lede: Race, Gender, and Religion in the Media. A Gotham Media Digital Breakfast.
• Freedom Riders and the Loving Story. Award-winning films about seminal civil rights events.
• US Supreme Court decisions. Presentation by Sherrilyn Ifill, the President & Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Ms. Ifill discussed several of the most significant US Supreme Court decisions from the 2013 term – including the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and marriage equality cases.
Formal training is only a part of our diversity awareness. At the core of our firm, beyond the formal training sessions and stated policies, a culture of openness and inclusion flourishes – a culture where our diverse lawyers and staff are free to express themselves and to air their concerns if and as they arise. And through their interactions with diverse colleagues, our non-diverse lawyers and staff receive the very best sensitivity, gender identity, and sexual orientation awareness training possible. In support of our diversity efforts, we have recently presented the following training sessions:
• "Navigating and Understanding Generational Differences” moderated by Dr. Arin Reeves, the President and founder of consulting firm, Nextions.
• Interactive training session for our attorneys titled Inclusive Intelligence: Think, Practice & Serve Clients Better by Recognizing, Understanding and Interrupting Your Unconscious Biases, presented by Dr. Arin Reeves of Nextions
• “Building Successful Diverse Teams” taught by Cornell University Adjunct Instructor Shelley Greenwald. Ms. Greenwald's training focused on the range of different "working styles" and how to bridge them; and the skills necessary for supervisors to provide valuable reviews.
• Training session by Stephen Young of Insight Education Systems on how to prevent “microinequities,” which focused on improving communication among and within diverse groups.
We are signatories to the New York City Bar’s Statement of Diversity Principles and supporters of myriad diversity-focused organizations. We support:
• Empire State Pride Agenda
• Broadway Backward/Broadway Cares
• The Asian American Legal Defense Education Fund
• The Council of Urban Professionals
• Corporate Counsel Women of Color
• The NAACP Legal Defense Fund
• New York Women in Film and Television
• The Trickle Up 100 Women Campaign
• The New York Women’s Agenda
• The Studio Museum in Harlem
• GLINTA (an association of gay and lesbian trademark professionals)
Frankfurt Kurnit is a diverse and inclusive law firm both in composition and practice. The employees of our firm comprise different genders, races, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and other protected employee classifications. We are committed to maintaining and promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace and are proud to state publicly that:
Our commitment to diversity is fundamental to our firm culture, critical to our ability to attract the best professionals and staff, and essential to the effective delivery of high quality legal services to our clients of all backgrounds.
The Frankfurt Kurnit Diversity Committee is co-chaired by partners Lisa Davis and H. Sujin Kim and counsel Wendy Stryker, and includes attorneys LiJia Gong, Dorna Mohaghegh, Laura Rosenblum, Hannah Taylor, and our Marketing Manager, Aisling O'Toole. The Diversity Committee regularly examines all areas of our firm – including policies, practices, and procedures - with an eye to structuring and leading measurable diversity initiatives.
We recruit attorneys and staff regardless of race, color, disability, religion, age, marital status, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, medical condition, or any other applicable protected status under federal, state and local law. We strive to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for every open position, both for professional and non-professional employees. Among other initiatives, we post job openings with organizations that support diversity, and use recruiters who have a commitment to diversity and relationships with diverse applicants. We are committed to increasing our current percentage of diverse lawyers and staff.
Recognizing that different employees have different personal needs and family pressures, we pledge to continue to find ways to provide equitable and reasonable accommodations for all attorneys and staff to the extent practicable. We mentor diverse associates, and plan to provide a forum where diverse attorneys and other employees may seek guidance, express concerns, and raise issues relating to their relationship with the firm and their professional growth. We help employees meet work-life balance issues, and we will continue to offer benefits such as permitting covered individuals to list domestic partners on their health plans.
Sponsorship and Support
We actively participate in and support important organizations that promote diversity, equality, freedom of speech, expression, and religion and other fundamental human and civil rights. We regularly host diversity-themed events at the firm.
We pledge to consider implementing a supplier diversity program such as that recommended by the National Supplier Diversity Council. Where appropriate, we would be pleased to partner or act as co-counsel with Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises in the legal community and in other industries.
If you have any questions about the Frankfurt Kurnit Diversity Policy, please contact Lisa Davis at (212) 826-5530 or firstname.lastname@example.org, H. Sujin Kim at (212) 705 4828 or email@example.com, or Wendy Stryker at (212) 705-4838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.