Insights: News Facebook Selects Kilpatrick Townsend for Inaugural Law Firm Diversity Award

LOS ANGELES (June 24) -- Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton announced today that its client Facebook has selected the firm as the inaugural honoree of Facebook’s “Law Firm Diversity Champion Award.” Kilpatrick Townsend is being recognized for its dedication to diversity as exemplified by how the firm staffs its Facebook matters, provides leadership opportunities for its attorneys, and for having a robust diversity program.

“It is a privilege for Kilpatrick Townsend to work side-by-side every day with the tremendous in-house team from Facebook,” said Larry McFarland, Kilpatrick Townsend Co-Relationship Partner for Facebook and Los Angeles Office Managing Partner. “We are honored to receive an award that personifies a core value of Kilpatrick Townsend – offering clients the most talented and diverse attorneys who provide outstanding service. On behalf of the entire firm, thank you. ”

Facebook’s process in selecting a champion included gathering diversity data from 40 of its largest spend law firms and then developing a scoring system to rank those firms. The foundation of Facebook’s scoring system was each firm’s level of compliance with Facebook’s Billing Guidelines requirement to both staff its matters with women and minority lawyers, as well as give those lawyers meaningful leadership opportunities. Facebook requires that all outside counsel law firms serving the company must staff their matters with at least 33% women and diverse attorneys, and must give those attorneys meaningful and measurable leadership opportunities. A portion of the score also took into account the various diversity programs firms offer, including a written diversity strategy and specific diversity mandates, among others.

“Diversity is one of the key components that makes Facebook such a creative and innovative company. And Facebook, rightfully, wants that same diversity and creativity reflected in its outside legal counsel,” said Dennis Wilson, Kilpatrick Townsend Co-Relationship Partner for Facebook. “Kilpatrick Townsend’s intentional recruiting and thoughtful mentoring has provided a deep and diverse pool of talent who work directly with their colleagues at Facebook. I have been a part of big wins and awards in my career, but this one is special.”

As a Champion, Kilpatrick Townsend was recognized at a reception hosted at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park on June 20. Colin Stretch, Facebook’s General Counsel for the past six years, and Jennifer Newstead, the incoming General Counsel, presented the award to the firm. Co-Chairs of Facebook Legal’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee also attended: Allison Mull, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel; Allen Lo, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and Head of Intellectual Property; Anna Chen, Director and Associate General Counsel; and Head of Outside Counsel Management, Akshay Verma.

Kilpatrick Townsend representatives attending the reception in addition to Larry McFarland and Dennis Wilson were: Kilpatrick Townsend Chair Henry Walker; Kilpatrick Townsend Executive Committee Member Ty Lord; Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Yendelela Holston; Kilpatrick Townsend partners Caroline Barbee, Anthony Malutta (Co-Leader,Trademark & Copyright Team), and Mansi Shah; Kilpatrick Townsend associates Peter Kidd, Lidia Lopez, and Calla Yee; and Kilpatrick Townsend Trademark of Counsel YeWon Min.

“Knowing the number of high-quality law firms who counsel Facebook makes this recognition especially satisfying,” said Ty Lord, Kilpatrick Townsend Executive Committee Member. “But honestly, I am not surprised since Facebook and Kilpatrick Townsend share a strong bond in their joint commitment to diversity and will continue to intensify that commitment.”

Facebook will deepen their partnership with Kilpatrick Townsend via three joint initiatives aimed at addressing the lack of diversity in the attorney pipeline, a significant challenge in the legal industry. Together, Facebook and Kilpatrick will collaborate to both boost the pipeline of diverse lawyers and to promote the advancement of diverse lawyers in the law firm partnership ranks: 

  • Legal Scholars Program” for incoming law students, which includes a half-day workshop designed to provide the diverse students with insight into the legal profession and the tools to succeed in law school.
  • Summer Associate Program” for diverse students in the summer between their first and second years of law school to intern at Kilpatrick Townsend and collaborate with Facebook on impactful matters. 
  • Leadership Connections Program” for diverse mid-level and senior Kilpatrick Townsend associates, to help position them for promotion to leadership roles by facilitating networking and work experience with Facebook attorneys. 

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