King & Spalding has been chosen as the 2011 recipient of the Belk Innovation in Diversity Award, presented annually since 2008 by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce to a local business organization that has demonstrated leadership and creative measures to improve workplace diversity and inclusion. The award was presented to Jeff Brown, managing partner of King & Spalding’s Charlotte office, and partner Samuel Matchett, chair of the firm’s diversity committee, at the chamber’s annual meeting on November 29. King & Spalding won in the “greater-than-500-employees” category.
“We are honored to receive this recognition from the Charlotte Chamber,” said Mr. Brown. “King & Spalding has deep connections with the region, and we have been a proud, active member of the Charlotte community since we opened our office in 2007. We have grown from five lawyers then to nearly 50 lawyers and professional staff today. And, just like the chamber, each of us is committed to helping make Charlotte the best place to run a business and to live, including through innovative diversity efforts.” Said Mr. Matchett, “King & Spalding has a long-standing commitment to diversity. We strive to create a collaborative environment that benefits from the sharing of experiences, ideas and unique qualities that each of our lawyers brings to the firm. We believe that our firm’s diversity significantly enhances our ability to provide the highest quality legal services to our clients and to contribute to the vibrancy and success of the communities in which we operate.”
The chamber’s diversity award-selection process is based on a business’s programming and training that encourage diversity, equal opportunity and inclusion; vendor diversity; and efforts to develop and promote women and minorities into senior-level positions. The award is open only to member firms of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
The award is sponsored by Charlotte-based Belk, Inc., the largest privately owned department store chain in the United States. The company operates 300 stores in 15 states, primarily in the Southeast, and had revenues of $3.5 billion in fiscal 2011. It is a client of King & Spalding.
King & Spalding is a recognized leader in diversity. For six consecutive years, the firm has earned high marks in MultiCultural Law magazine’s list of top law firms for diversity. In 2010, the firm was named one of the best U.S. law firms for retaining and promoting women lawyers by the Project for Attorney Retention, an initiative of the Center for Work Life Law at UC Hastings College of the Law. King & Spalding also has received diversity awards from The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Chevron Corporation and Boehringer Ingelheim.
Among the King & Spalding programs and initiatives that contributed to the firm’s selection as a 2011 Belk award winner are a stand-alone committee of partners, associates and staff focused on helping the firm reach its diversity goals; firm-wide diversity training; developing and mentoring minority and women lawyers; diversity fellowships providing a $10,000 stipend to up to four second-year law students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds; $40,000 in ongoing scholarship support to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association; and flexible strategic partnership arrangements that allow a minority or women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) law firm to serve as lead counsel in an engagement for which the King & Spalding Discovery Center handles document management and discovery.