Our annual law firm retreat this past Friday and Saturday was an opportunity for us to come together during KF’s continued expansion, but in many ways, was a celebration of the “one firm” mentality that KF embraces. For the first time, individuals from both the East and West Coast came together to participate in team-building activities and learn more about each other and the firm.
Part of our team building exercise was led by KF’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. We were asked to write down a list of people we trust, and from there, reviewed our list by placing check marks next to those individuals who were most like us, examining factors such as race, national origin, religion, and background. The purpose of this activity was to examine our implicit biases in trusting those with similar characteristics. However, the activity also revealed how we are more inclined to trust those with shared values and experiences.
Several individuals discussed how they have connected with diverse types of people throughout the course of their early childhood and adult life, irrespective of race, national origin, and even religion, but rather were bonded by shared experiences as attorneys, parents, and even co-workers. Individuals from each group were incredibly open and reflective about who was on their lists and why, which made everyone comfortable sharing their lists and personal experiences in a safe space.
My personal list included several co-workers from KF. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to learn many individuals also included their KF co-workers on their list. When we were asked as a group whether anyone from the firm was included on our list, many people raised their hands.
I believe this is because KF embraces the idea that we are truly “one firm” despite working in different practice groups and across several states. What connects us is not our physical characteristics; rather, it is because KF welcomes individuals who are searching for a family within a law firm, which is exactly what we found at the retreat.
In closing, I met many new KF employees this past weekend. However, they quickly became my friends and people I could trust. I am honored to work at a firm that supports diversity and inclusion and creates a safe space for its employees, which are core values the firm continues to embrace as it expands from Coast to Coast.