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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We’re All In on an Inclusive Workplace

We envision an environment where people can bring their full, authentic selves, their unique skills and their values to work, and where they feel comfortable adding their voices to the conversation. This vision began with the firm’s founders, who understood that their different backgrounds and complementary strengths make us stronger together in serving our clients and communities.

Early on, Godfrey & Kahn recognized the opportunity to strengthen the firm and its people by seeking and supporting greater diversity. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is not an isolated initiative that’s backed by a single department. Godfrey & Kahn’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of managers of all of the firm’s committees to promote collaboration and ensure thoughtful ways of being more inclusive are infused across our work every day. We don’t put DEI in a corner. It is a guiding principle that impacts everything we do.


Working to Develop the Pipeline

Our vision for diversity, equity and inclusion extends beyond our doors to the legal profession as a whole. We are invested in strengthening the legal community in Wisconsin by ensuring smart, talented people who bring varied perspectives that traditionally haven’t been heard have opportunities to enter the profession and want to do so. We are feeding the pipeline by helping to remove barriers and build self-confidence in diverse legal and business talent through programs such as:

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  Diversity Fellowship Program

Since 2007, the firm has invested $1.8 million in full-ride law school scholarships, mentoring and summer experience for 37 students with unique backgrounds and the talent to shine. Each year there are six University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School students participating in our ongoing program, which grew out of the firm’s vision for a more diverse legal profession as well as prior mentoring and involvement in the Legal Education Opportunities (LEO) program.

  Corporate Work Study Program

Since 2009, we have hosted annual student interns from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a school serving students from families with limited financial means that is known for its innovative work-study program. Students are immersed in marketing, accounting and other business departments as they intern during the school year and the summer. The mentoring and insights high school students gain through this real-world experience can help shape their interests and direction for the future.

  All-In Milwaukee

Starting in 2020, the firm made a commitment to sponsor students in this comprehensive college completion program. All-In Milwaukee is strengthening the region by providing financial aid, program and career support to help limited-income students graduate and find their future in the Greater Milwaukee workforce.

  Amazing Shake Program

Our volunteer judge roles fill quickly each year for this innovative national program. In preparation for this speed-dating-style competition, students learn and polish their professional skills, from a good handshake to “working the room.” Our volunteer judges love giving students the chance to put their skills to the test and having conversations that may open their eyes to new roles and career paths.


Recruiting

We seek candidates with an array of diverse backgrounds and experiences. In all areas of the firm, we aim to have staff who represent the communities we serve. We continually find ways to get to know one another and to appreciate every team member – this lifts all of us up. The firm is also working to grow diversity in our client base as we strengthen and broaden our connection to our communities.


Retention

Our inclusive environment makes people comfortable and want to stay. We nurture our inclusive culture in many ways:

  • Being mindful of equitable opportunities for advancement in whatever role team members have at work and in the community
  • Being intentional about bringing team members across the firm together as part of teams and committees to build stronger connections
  • Supporting affinity groups and their goals for fostering connections, camaraderie and a more inclusive workplace
  • Redesigning our workspace to celebrate and promote working together and connecting

We offer a wide array of benefits and professional development to give people choices in the opportunities and resources they find most meaningful. Learn more about benefits and professional development that keep people at Godfrey & Kahn.


Community Outreach

Firm founder Jerry Kahn often said, “You have to find your passion in your neighborhood.” Our people do that every day, and they are deeply supported by the firm. Learn more about community outreach at Godfrey & Kahn. 

Cultivating diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace is a journey, and we still have a ways to go. We celebrate the successes, and we continue to evolve to improve ourselves and our profession.

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