When more than 40 attorneys, Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK) partners, associates and in-house counsel came together to coach, judge and mentor 34 diverse 1L law students, the nation’s first and only law student diversity case competition was born. Held in the KMK law office in downtown Cincinnati Jan. 18-19, the University of Cincinnati College of Law's Center for Professional Development and KMK partnered together to offer this unique opportunity.
The students had less than 24 hours to solve real-life based client scenarios. This show-and-tell event allowed diverse students to demonstrate the skills necessary to succeed in a law firm setting, a place where diversity is stagnant at best.
According to National Association for Law Placement’s 2018 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms, while there are overall gains in the representation of women, minorities, and LGBT lawyers, the representation of African-American associates remains below 2009 numbers.
At a time when the legal profession once again laments the lack of diversity and 170 general counsels pledge to only use law firms that promote diversity, KMK is a law firm doing it in an innovative way – enter Cincinnati Law.
The university's cutting-edge strategic direction, Next Lives Here, calls for innovative programs like the law competition and community partnerships to promote an inclusive culture in the world.