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Diversity & Community Services Mosaics Newsletter: Summer 2014
Kramer Levin is committed to creating and maintaining an environment where its women can flourish and become leaders in the legal community, both inside and outside the firm. Representation by women in the firm's senior and partnership ranks continues to increase.
The Women’s Initiative Committee, an energetic and active group comprised of both men and women, addresses issues of importance to women at the firm, including improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women attorneys, and increasing the representation of women in leadership roles. Business development and networking are key components of the Committee's efforts, and the firm consistently facilitates opportunities for women to create business connections and develop their practices.
Among the programs overseen by the Women’s Initiative Committee are the following:
The Global Fund for Women
The Women’s Initiative Committee has launched a firm-wide awareness and fundraising campaign in support of the Global Fund for Women, a leading organization dedicated to the advancement of women’s human rights worldwide. All contributions will be used by the Global Fund to support the education of girls and women in the developing world. Through a series of programs available to all employees of the firm, the Committee has worked not only on fundraising efforts but also awareness and advocacy to support the countless studies that have demonstrated that educating and empowering women and girls in the developing world has transformative effects on entire communities and economies.
Networking and Social Events
Kramer Levin hosts quarterly lunches for all its women attorneys to encourage networking and cross-selling, and to foster a sense of community.
The Women’s Initiative Committee also organizes lunches with prominent women working in the fields of law and business. These lunches provide Kramer Levin's female attorneys the opportunity to exchange ideas and share strategies for success with leaders in the legal and business world. Guests of honor have included a United States District Judge, the General Counsels and senior in-house counsels of prominent companies and foundations, and business founders and executives.
The firm also hosts a signature women’s networking event for our attorneys and women clients, with over 100 prominent business executives and lawyers attending on a regular basis. In 2008, our Women’s Poker Night was lauded by guests and profiled by the New York Law Journal magazine as an “Event That Impressed.” A Women’s Billiards Night in 2009 with champion Jeanette Lee brought our women and clients back to the table for an evening of pool and networking. In 2010, the firm hosted an event at Susan Sarandon’s SPiN club featuring top-ranked professional table tennis champion Sooyeon Lee, who discussed the importance of building one’s personal brand. In 2013, Goldie Hawn shared with the group how she found her passion, defied stereotypes and made her mark in a male-dominated profession.
Kramer Levin frequently hosts discussions with noted speakers on various topics including business and professional development, effective communication strategies and others. We have been honored to collaborate with, and learn from, inspirational women such as Taina Bien Aime, former Executive Director of Equality Now; Elizabeth Grayer, President of Legal Momentum; communications and presentation experts Mary Crane, Lane Bowes and Peggy Klaus; Deborah Henry, President of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC; Brande Stellings of Catalyst; and Deborah Tannen, professor and best-selling author on gender differences in communication styles.
Our women attorneys are encouraged to participate in a variety of training sessions and CLE programs focusing on presentation skills, networking, the art of self-promotion, work/life balance, business development, and other topics tailored to their interests. The firm also sponsors programming with clients and outside organizations, including Deloitte & Touche, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, and the Financial Women’s Association.
Part-Time and Leave Policies
Recognizing the challenges of balancing professional and personal responsibilities, the firm’s part-time and child care leave policies are both generous and flexible. These policies are open to all our attorneys, women and men alike. Any attorney can request a part-time schedule which includes three day or four day options. Likewise, any attorney is entitled to leave in connection with a birth, adoption or foster care placement, and can follow that leave with a reduced work schedule on a long-term basis. Attorneys in all departments of the firm, and at all levels of seniority (including partners), have availed themselves of these benefits.
The firm is a signatory to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s “Statement of Goals of New York Law Firms and Legal Departments for the Retention and Promotion of Women," which provides our commitment to, among other things, the full and equal participation of women in all levels of our firm.
We also back a number of legal organizations aimed at supporting women, including: Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Women in the Law, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Profession.