At Keker & Van Nest, we recognize the importance of diversity in the legal profession, and we think one of the best ways to do it is to encourage and support minority lawyers inside and outside of our firm. Being an effective trial lawyer is ultimately about communicating with a broad audience: judges, juries, witnesses and clients. We recognize that our strength, in part, comes from the varied perspectives of our diverse group of attorneys. We welcome attorneys who will contribute to this rich diversity so that our firm can continue to reflect the community as a whole.
When the Recorder interviewed name partner Bob Van Nest about defeating Oracle Corp’s multi-billion dollar patent and copyright claims against Google, he was asked whether it was “tactical” that his “team had a woman and an Asian-American while the other team was all men and Caucasian.” He replied, “The people that did the trial are the people who did the case. That just reflects our attorneys at Keker & Van Nest, primarily. We have a good record of diversity.” In word and deed, Keker & Van Nest is committed to providing equal opportunity for lawyers within our firm.
In 2012, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (APABA-SV) chose Keker & Van Nest for its 2012 Law Firm Diversity Award.
In 2009, the Minority Bar Coalition, a network of more than 25 diverse bar associations, recognized Keker & Van Nest’s exemplary work to further diversity by awarding us the Diversity Champion award.
Commitment to Diversity
As a firm, we pay more than lip service to diversity goals. Our firm was an original signatory to the No Glass Ceiling Initiative of the Bar Association of San Francisco in May 2002 and, having successfully met the goals, we renewed our commitment in 2010. We are also a signatory to the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Goals and Timetables for Minority Hiring and Advancement and are meeting BASF’s current goals. While our diversity numbers are impressive (22% of our equity partners are diverse), we believe that there is always room for improvement. To that end, we have implemented numerous efforts to ensure success for our diverse lawyers. These include:
Diverse attorney networking and education events
Participation in minority job fairs and student groups
Work-life balance initiatives
Collaborative efforts with community and bar association
Support of law students of color and minority bar organizations
Charitable giving and financial support of various minority-related organizations
The Keker & Van Nest Diversity Scholarship
We also understand that the skyrocketing cost of a legal education hinders many individuals hoping to enter our profession. In addition to our current financial support of BASF’s Bay Area Minority Law School Program, we created the Keker & Van Nest Diversity Scholarship to benefit diverse law students. We have committed $50,000 towards our scholarship fund on an annual basis.