Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, chaired by KMK Partners Joseph E. Lehnert and Bethany P. Recht, works to ensure that diversity is a key focus through various firm initiatives, participation in community events, and related recruiting activities.
- Hosting annual diversity case competition: KMK, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College of Law's Center for Professional Development, hosted the first and only national Diversity Case Competition for first-year minority law students in the Greater Cincinnati area in January 2019. This annual competition provides a premier learning experience through a challenging case competition and networking opportunities with non-legal and legal professionals from around the Greater Cincinnati area.
- Mentoring diverse law students: KMK is a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to creating a diverse legal profession. Several KMK attorneys have served as mentors to students at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law (Chase), and University of Cincinnati’s College of Law (UC) through LCLD’s law school mentoring program. Moreover, KMK has hosted LCLD’s local group mentoring session that focused on the importance of professionalism for first year law students at Chase and UC.
- Participating in diversity programs: KMK also supports the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC) and is an active member of the BLAC-CBA Roundtable with the Cincinnati Bar Association (CBA). KMK has hosted the BLAC-CBA Roundtable Summer Clerkship Reception at its offices.
- Preparing diverse youth for leadership: KMK supports The Law and Leadership Institute, a statewide initiative to prepare students from underserved communities for post-secondary and professional success through a four-year academic program in law, leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving, writing skills, and professionalism.
- Influencing academic success for minority law students: KMK has been involved in the Academic Connections Experience (ACE) Program, which was developed by one of our partners who believes that, as a law firm, we can make a positive impact on the academic success of minority students at area law schools. ACE is led by a law professor and is geared toward ensuring the success of minority first-year law students by teaching exam-writing skills.
- Helping find jobs for all: Historically, KMK has participated in minority job fairs. Today, our attorneys take the one-on-one approach and commit to networking alongside minority law students to help candidates succeed whether at KMK or elsewhere in the Greater Cincinnati legal market.
- Employing low-income students at our firm: Beginning in June 2011 and continuing today, KMK joined a handful of businesses in Cincinnati committed to serving as a corporate partner and employer for students at the new DePaul Cristo Rey High School. Through DePaul Cristo Rey's work-study program, four low-income (including many minority) high school students began working five days per week at KMK to earn money to help pay for their Catholic school college prep education. KMK has agreed to a multi-year commitment to sponsor and employ four students per year.