Kelley Drye


Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives


Kelley Drye has implemented programs that cultivate a diverse workplace by embracing our attorneys' individuality, varying perspectives and different life experiences. Not only does this approach foster a work environment that values inclusion, but it also celebrates the uniqueness of our attorneys and empowers them to succeed. In turn, we are able to better serve our clients' legal needs.

Women At KDW
The group was established to provide support and enhance the professional development of female associates at Kelley Drye. Women At KDW  holds bi-monthly events that provide networking, mentoring and learning opportunities. These alternate between informal social gatherings, such as luncheons and cocktail parties, and more structured programming, including panel presentations and seminars organized around specific areas of interest. Recent programs have included:

  • A business development seminar providing strategies on networking, business development, building relationships and creating a professional brand
  • A women partners panel discussing the various paths to partnership
  • An annual "Evening of Giving" where Mother's  Day gift bag are assembled for various charities dedicated to women's causes
  • Partner-associate social events, including an afternoon tea, and a cocktail reception

Women At KDW works closely with the firm's Professional Development and Diversity and Inclusion Committees to ensure continued training, developmental and marketing opportunities for women associates. The group also serves as a forum through which women attorneys can raise concerns, discuss potential solutions and make recommendations to firm management.

Diversity Fellowship Program
Sponsored by the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Diversity Fellowship program places first-year law students from historically under-represented populations in the field of law as summer associates in law firms and corporate law departments. Kelley Drye has participated in the program since its inception in 1991, and each summer welcomes a Diversity Fellow to its summer class, many of whom have become associates with the firm after graduation from law school.

D.C. Road Show
This program was founded four decades ago by the major Washington, D.C. firms with the idea of "going on the road" to visit law schools in an informal setting and encouraging African American students to start their legal careers in DC firms. This program has evolved into a panel program promoting African American law students to practice law in Washington, D.C. Kelley Drye associates have coordinated the Road Show at UVA, and participated in the Road Shows at GWU and Georgetown since 2009. In 2011 associates also began participating at the Road Show at Howard. The firm also sponsors and encourages attorney attendance at the annual reception.

Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS)
Kelley Drye attorneys serve as mentors and the firm sponsors and participates in the organization's annual Mock Interview Program.

Kelley Drye Mock Interview Week
The firm's Washington, D.C. office established and hosts the "Kelley Drye Mock Interview Week," an annual program that helps minority students at Georgetown University Law Center, Howard University School of Law and George Washington University School of Law practice their interviewing skills and prepare for the fall recruiting season.


In an effort to increase minority hiring, Kelley Drye sponsors and participates in several recruiting programs throughout the year including:

Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association

Northeast Black Law Students Association

Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association's (WALRAA) Diversity Events
The firm sponsors and participates in the annual programs including the "Eight Minute Diversity Networking Event & Reception," and the "Summer Associate Diversity Workshop & Reception."

Partnering with Clients

Our clients have active diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the firm partners with them in achieving their objectives. This can include joint summer programs, staffing client teams with diverse attorneys, and inviting clients to share their perspectives on diversity and inclusion with lawyers at our firm.

Pipeline and Community Outreach

Kelley Drye also supports a number of pipeline recruiting initiatives and general community outreach. These efforts help to ensure that students from diverse backgrounds will foster an interest in the law, regardless of whether or not it brings them to Kelley Drye in the future.  Our high school outreach sponsorship programs include:

Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program
Cristo Rey high school students work full time one day a week with a local private company, law firm, or not-for-profit organization. For this entry-level work, the companies pay student teams a salary that makes up approximately 65% of the participating school's annual budget, keeping the tuition low.

Inner City Scholarship Fund Job Opportunities Program
New York high school students from an economically disadvantaged background granted the opportunity to intern with the firm for the summer.

Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship
Minority high school students selected to intern with the firm for the summer.

Memberships and Sponsorships

Supporting diversity in the legal profession is not only about words, it's also about action. In a continuous effort to increase diversity in the profession, Kelley Drye participates in, and sponsors various minority and women's organizations. Such organizations include:

  • Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
  • Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law
  • Flex Time Lawyers LLC
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
  • Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP)
  • Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY)
  • Latino Justice PRLDEF
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)
  • Legal Momentum
  • Minority Attorney Networking Series of New York and D.C.
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
  • National Bar Association
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of New York (NGLCCNY)
  • National LGBT Bar Association
  • National Partnership for Women and Families
  • National Women's Law Center
  • New York City Bar Association Diversity Pipeline Initiatives
  • Services and Advocacy for Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Seniors (SAGE)
  • Service Members Legal Defense Network 
  • South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)
  • The Trevor Project 
  • Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA)
  • Women in Law Leadership Academy (WILL)


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