McKool Smith is dedicated to a culture of inclusion. As outlined in the firm’s Diversity Policy, McKool Smith is committed to recruiting, retaining, and promoting a diverse community of lawyers and legal professionals and promoting a culture of inclusion. To honor this commitment, the Firm has devised a Diversity Action Plan featuring strategies to help meet these goals. The action plan includes the following actions:
- Establish, Monitor, and Enforce the Firm’s Diversity Policy;
- Promote the Firm’s Commitment to Diversity (internally and externally);
- Increase Diversity Within the Firm and Promote Diverse Staffing of Client Matters;
- Enhance our Diversity Recruiting Efforts (for both law students and laterals); and,
- Expand Relationships with Organizations for Minorities, Women, and Other Underrepresented Groups.
Women’s Leadership Development Forum
In 2014, McKool Smith launched its Women’s Leadership Development Forum to provide professional development and leadership skills training and promote the advancement of women lawyers in the firm. The program initially started as a two-day retreat in which our women lawyers participated in presentations and workshops that focused on career advancement along with a wide-range of issues impacting women in the legal profession. In 2016, the program expanded to include quarterly video roundtables for all of the firm’s women lawyers. The round tables feature senior women principals from within the firm along with outside speakers who present and discuss topics that are of interest to our women lawyers. Topics include but are not limited to honing communication skills, mentoring, best practices for client development, and profile-raising, among others.
In 2016, McKool Smith also sponsored some of the firm’s women lawyers’ participation in a Women’s Executive Accelerator Program. This six-month program includes monthly classes that focus on executive leadership framework and provides participants with personal coaching sessions two times per month.
As outlined in the firm's Diversity Action Plan, McKool Smith advances its minority recruiting efforts by sponsoring and participating in minority job fairs, diversity-related events at law schools, and various regional events to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to join the firm. McKool Smith is also committed to sponsoring and supporting activities designed to encourage women law students to join the firm. When working with search consultants and scouting for lateral talent, the firm reiterates our desire to recruit and hire diverse candidates, including women attorneys.
The firm also maintains frequent visibility among diverse potential employment candidates by regularly supporting diverse organizations and associations. In 2016, these organizations included the South Asian Bar Association, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Austin Asian American Bar Association, the Texas Minority Counsel Program, the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association, the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation, the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, and the Austin Bar Diversity Fellowship, among other organizations/programs.