King & Spalding is committed to having the brightest and most diverse lawyers it can find, including members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. We work hard to foster and maintain an environment where our lawyers can provide the highest level of legal service while being true to themselves in the process. The firm's non-discrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Further, same-sex domestic partner benefits are offered.
- 2014 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index Rating of 100%
- Laura Westfall gave a presentation on employee benefits during the American Bar Association Section of Taxation’s May 2013 meeting in Washington, D.C. Westfall moderated a panel on tax-planning challenges faced by same-sex couples due to DOMA. Westfall also moderated a panel at the annual meeting, discussing the Defense of Marriage Act and the Internal Code of Revenue, on behalf of the Section of Taxation’s Diversity Committee. She was also a guest speaker at the Fallon Benefits Group presentation titled “Navigating the Changing Health Care Landscape” in Atlanta.
- Merritt McAlister, associate, serves as the vice president/president elect of the Stonewall Bar Association.
- Laura Westfall, associate, was appointed the 2012-2013 chair of the ABA Section of Taxation’s Diversity Committee’s DOMA Task Force.
Facts and Figures
King & Spalding encourages and supports its partners, counsel, and associates taking leadership roles in organizations serving the LGBT community:
- Twelve King & Spalding lawyers were name by SuperLawyers magazine as top lawyers in the New York metropolitan area for 2013. The list included Laura Westfall.
- The firm’s LGBT Affinity Group provides opportunities for partners, attorneys, and counsel throughout the firm to interact and collaborate on diversity efforts, including recent LGBT-themed continuing legal education programs on such topics as marriage equality and LGBT health-care issues.
King & Spalding actively recruits LGBT law students and seeks opportunities to partner with LGBT student organizations to help their members successfully navigate the process of moving from law student to lawyer. The firm annually atatends Lavender Law, the National LGBT Bar Association’s conference and career fair. LGBT law students are eligible to apply for the King & Spalding Diversity Fellowship, which provides for a paid Summer Associate position, as well as an additional $10,000 in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and leadership to candidates from a diverse background.
- King & Spalding partnered with the PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation, one of the nation’s largest providers of college support for LGBT youth, to support the organization’s 2012 and 2013 campaigns, each of which awarded $85,000 in scholarships to nearly 40 Houston-area high school and college students.
- In 2013, King & Spalding awarded 20 diverse students with scholarships to Law Preview, a six-day intensive preparatory course on how to succeed in law school.
- King & Spalding also provides ongoing support for various LGBT-related community organizations. Among others, the firm has engaged with:
- Houston’s PFLAG / HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation
- The National LGBT Bar Association’s Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Receptions
- Empire State Pride Agenda
- AIDS Walk Atlanta
- Georgia Equality’s Annual “Evening for Equality” Awards
- Lambda Legal’s annual Garden Party celebration in Atlanta
- The Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia’s annual awards dinner
- The Atlanta “Out on Film” Festival
- Out and Proud Corporate Counsel Reception
- Whitman-Walker Health Clinic “Going the Extra Mile”