For years, King & Spalding lawyers have been involved in community and professional organizations and have participated in efforts and programs aimed at increasing diversity within their communities. Many of our lawyers held, or currently hold, leadership positions or significant roles in community groups and local bar associations. The following examples highlight our commitment to diversity within the legal community.
Leadership in the Legal Community
- King & Spalding is a charter member of, and provides ongoing legal support to, the Atlanta Legal Diversity Consortium, an Atlanta non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the diversity of the legal profession. Sam Matchett, Chairman of the firm’s Diversity Committee, was the President.
- Partner Harold Franklin is a past President of the Gate City Bar Association, Georgia’s oldest and largest historically African-American bar association.
- Partner Harold Franklin is the founder and chair of the Gate City Justice Benham Law Camp, a comprehensive “pipeline” program designed to foster and increase diversity in the legal profession by exposing local high school students to the study of the law and career opportunities in the legal profession. The program, currently in its eighth year, has provided over 175 deserving students with extensive exposure to the legal profession. The program, created in 2007, continues to garner accolades in Georgia and beyond and was emulated by the State Bar of Georgia, which created a similar program in 2008.
- Sam Matchett was the past president of the Atlanta Legal Diversity Consortium, which, through its STAR Lawyer Training Programs, offers classes in success skills and habits to lawyers, recent law-school graduates, law students and pre-law students.
Activities and Support for Law Students
- King & Spalding has established a national diversity fellowship program for law students as part of its ongoing efforts to increase ethnic and cultural diversity in the firm and the legal profession. The King & Spalding Diversity Fellowship Program awards fellowships to up to four qualified second-year students who show promise of contributing meaningfully to the diversity of the legal community. Each recipient receives a $10,000 stipend and a summer associate clerkship at one of King & Spalding's four offices in the United States the summer following the completion of his or her second year of law school. The Program is available to students with an ethnically or culturally diverse background.
- For a fourth consecutive year, King & Spalding supported the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr., Scholarship Program, which provides support for entering first-year law students pursuing a Juris Doctor.
- The firm participates in job fairs throughout the United States including the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, Lavender Law, Northeastern BLSA Job Fair, and the Sunbelt Minority Program.
- For the last three years, King & Spalding’s Houston office has participated in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) Law School Mentoring Program, the goal of which is to ensure that talented, diverse law school students receive the mentoring they need to maximize their potential, during law school and afterward. In the individual program, 1L students are paired with experienced lawyers to mentor them as they prepare for the bar exam and launch their career. The group program connects law students to the legal community through networking events. Associate Juliet McBride is the city lead for the program.
- For a third consecutive year, the firm’s Atlanta lawyers participated in a Youth About Business, “Summer Business Camp,” in which they led students through a simulation of the early stages of a merger and acquisition. Youth About Business is a national program that exposes youth to the business world through an experiential learning model and other year-round development activities.
- Lawyers from King & Spalding and UPS teamed up with Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High School to increase students’ knowledge and interest in the law and legal careers. The joint effort in part of Street Law Inc.’s Corporate Diversity Pipeline Program aimed at increasing diversity in the legal profession by providing students with role models, connections with legal professionals and the opportunity to experience the types of work lawyers do. Roughly 60 high school students and seven teachers from Maynard Jackson attended a four-hour session on legal topics such as labor and employment, intellectually property, and contracts taught by 30 King & Spalding and UPS professionals. The event also included a career fair, where students learned about the variety of legal jobs in the corporate sector.
- More than 30 lawyers and staff from the firm’s Washington, D.C., office participated in the Thurgood Marshall Academy’s tutoring program , which brings 11th- and 12th-grade students to law firms each week to work with attorneys and paralegals who provide academic support and mentoring. Thurgood Marshall Academy is a college-preparatory public charter high school opened in 2001 with the mission of preparing students to succeed in college and instilling an understanding of democracy and advocacy, for themselves and others.
- Since 2012, King & Spalding has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company Legal Department and Emory University Law School students in Street Law’s Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, working with students at two diverse Atlanta Public Schools – Benjamin E. Mays and D.M. Therrell High Schools. This program includes classroom teaching and workshops on legal topics designed to encourage young people of color to pursue legal careers.