Diversity & Inclusion Hero Image

Diversity & Inclusion

We're home to 400 professional attorneys and staff who are not only dedicated to their work and our clients, but also to maintaining a welcoming, inclusive, and engaging work environment for all.

Diversity & Inclusion at Our Firm

At Sterne Kessler we strive to maintain an inclusive, dynamic, and energetic workplace that embraces diversity and culture. We place a premium on talent and building a culture that is welcoming to all.

Here, diversity is about understanding one another and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating differences. Our work as intellectual property professionals reflects the broad array of ideas and experiences that characterize our social, cultural and intellectual world. We encourage everyone at the firm to identify, develop, and leverage their unique strengths.

In May 2023, Sterne Kessler earned the Midsized Mansfield Certification (2021-2023). The firm is among more than 70 midsize law firms recognized for their commitment to diversity. As stated by Diversity Lab, “The overall goal of the Midsize Mansfield Rule is to increase the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership by broadening the pool of women, LGBTQ+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and/or racial/ethnic minority lawyers who are considered for entry-level and lateral attorney job openings, leadership opportunities, equity partner promotions, and opportunities to connect with clients.”

In 2023, Law360 ranked Sterne Kessler in the top 10 firms for overall diversity and among the top four firms for minority representation among equity partners in the “101 to 250 attorneys” size category.

National Museum of African American History and Culture
2023 firm visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Diversity & Inclusion Committee 

Our firm's diversity and inclusion committee is charged with building and furthering Sterne Kessler’s vision of diversity, equity and inclusion. The committee is comprised of employees from every sector of the firm, including staff, attorneys of all levels, our managing director, and one of our founding directors. The committee supports several initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion, including, but not limited to: specific recruiting efforts; mentoring programs for career development and advancement; and affinity groups. The committee also sponsors a series of internal programs, such as celebrating National Diversity Week and hosting guest speakers for interactive learning sessions.

"We are a very diverse firm, and as a POC myself, this is an aspect which is most endearing to me. The firm constantly promotes a culture of inclusivity in its outreach and communication, and it shows that the top management truly believes in this goal."

    -Associate response in 2020 Vault survey

Programs & Sponsorships

Internal diversity programs include INSPIRED - by the women of Sterne Kessler, a women's affinity group that hosts periodic roundtables and topical discussions. The firm also partners with and sponsors a number of organizations that promote diversity across our local, legal, and technical communities. Among the bar associations and organizations in which we are active in membership, sponsorship and in-kind support are: the National Bar Association, the Women's Bar Association of DC, Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) Black IP Professionals Resource Group, Women in BioAmerican Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, and the South Asian Bar Association of DC.

Focusing on the next generation of lawyers and IP professionals is also a part of our focus. The 1L Diversity Spring Internship is just one example of programs the firm has supported to offer students direct exposure to the practice of law, including hands-on experience working with our attorneys and professional staff.

How About You?

Interested in opportunities to join the firm and enjoy Sterne Kessler’s dynamic culture? Please visit our Careers page to learn about current job openings at the firm.

Related News & Insights

Our Culture

Our firm has an environment where our top-notch attorneys and dynamic staff come together each day to create and shape the future, while maintaining a welcoming and energetic environment in which there is always something exciting happening and friendliness is the norm. Please click here to learn more about our culture.


Diversity & Inclusion Flyer

Read more about our Diversity & Inclusion efforts on this flyer