When it comes to driving diversity and inclusion, many companies and law firms spend way too much time talking and not enough time doing. At Culhane Meadows, we aim to live our committment – every single day. Our multi-ethnic multi-cultural roster includes attorneys with African American, Asian American, Latino and Native American roots, along with representation from LGBTQ+ and disabled groups. Still, we don’t pretend to be perfect or claim to have it all figured out, but we’re definitely not afraid of having tough conversations, acknowledging the realities of unconscious bias, and adopting practical and meaningful changes to keep moving the needle!
We’re proud to lead the charge for equality as the largest women-owned law firm in the U.S. and we are certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). As part of our commitment to recruiting and retaining the best lawyers in America, regardless of their gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or personal background, we’ve directed our recruiting partners to ensure that at least half of the candidates they present to us must come from diverse backgrounds. We’ve also adopted a 100% objective and transparent compensation system where every lawyer is fairly rewarded based entirely on their own individual merit and hard work, thereby eliminating the politics of behind-closed-door compensation decisions.
As of January 2023, Culhane Meadows is proud to report the firm’s diversity data that exceeds the numbers at most (if not all) national law firms. Despite our achievements in this area so far, we believe there’s always room for improvement and more work to be done on this essential front!
- 60% of our Leadership Team are women
- 47% of our Practice Group Leaders are women
- 30% of our attorneys are women
- 29% of our attorneys self-identify in one or more diversity categories
- 19% of our attorneys self-identify as LGBTQ+
- 12% of our attorneys self-identify as disabled
- 10% of our attorneys self-identify as people of color
Looking beyond the raw demographic data, Culhane Meadows has also fully eliminated the traditional glass ceiling of gender-biased compensation. Indeed, for the past several years the female attorneys at Culhane Meadows have historically achieved a higher average take-home compensation than their male counterparts, and women frequently represent a significant percentage of our annual “Top 10” earners.
Our attorneys are honored by frequent requests to speak, opine or write about diversity and inclusion topics within the legal and business communities. Here are some recent examples –
- Bloomberg Law: How IP and Contract Law Can Improve DEI in American Film
- To Meet DEI Goals, Financial Transparency is a Must
- Bloomberg Law: Women-Owned Business Certifications
- Heather Haughian speaker at Women Owned Law Symposium in Philadelphia
- Diverse Talent Virtual Career Fair: Exploring Careers in the Legal Field
- Women Owned Law: Hiring & Supervising in a Virtual Environment
- Senior Attorney Match: Case to Finally Diversify Law Firm Partners in the U.S.
- Authority Magazine: 5 Steps We Must Take to Truly Create an Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society
- Bloomberg Law: Fixing the ‘Women’s Recession’ brought on by the Pandemic
- Law360: Mentorship is Key to Fixing Drop-off of Women in Law
- ABA Law Practice Today: Leadership, Careers, and Women in Law Roundtable
- Kelly Culhane speaks at 13th Annual Women’s Legal Summit in San Diego
Awards and Recognitions
As recognition of our comittment toward a more diverse and inclusive legal marketplace, and because of our willingness to think outside the box, many outside DEI organizations have honored our firm and members of our Leadership Team with various awards and accolades, including –
- Texas Lawyer names Kelly Culhane a 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Champion
- Best Law Firms for Women – by Working Mother Magazine (multiple years)
- 2022 Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards honors Culhane Meadows in 2 categories
- NY Law Journal names Culhane Meadows among 2022 Innovation Firms of the Year
- NAMWOLF names Culhane Meadows its 2021 Law Firm MVP for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
- Advocacy Group ‘Woman Owned Law’ Names Culhane Meadows its 2021 Champion of the Year
- Kelly Culhane named a 2021 Managing Partner of the Year for Corporate Counsel’s Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards
Memberships & Involvement
Culhane Meadows is an active member of NAMWOLF (the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms) and was named as the organization’s 2021 Law Firm MVP of the Year. Founded in 2001, NAMWOLF this is a nonprofit trade association comprised of minority and women-owned law firms throughout the United States. Many corporations and public entities interested in diversifying their outside law firm ranks turn to NAMWOLF’s carefully screened member firms to fulfill those needs. NAMWOLF’s Law Firm Membership is comprised exclusively of AV-rated firms across the nation that represent major corporate clients. NAMWOLF assists its Law Firm Members in developing strategic alliances, coalitions, and affiliations with large corporations, in-house counsel, and other legal trade associations. Through these efforts, NAMWOLF helps empower and raise the profile of law firms like Culhane Meadows that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Culhane Meadows is also active in Women Owned Law (WOL), a ground-breaking group created to connect and advance women legal entrepreneurs. WOL supports its members and other women entrepreneurs in the law in their business endeavors at every point in the business life-cycle. We proudly advocate on behalf of women legal entrepreneurs and have been instrumental in raising the profile of women entrepreneurs in the law through our support and involvement with WOL. The WOL Board of Directors recently named Culhane Meadows as the 2021 Champion Law Firm of the Year.
Culhane Meadows’ attorneys are regular supporters, sponsors and attendees for numerous diversity-focused bar organizations, conferences, and trade groups, including –
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- National Bar Association
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- National LGBTQ+ Bar Association
- Austin Bar Association’s Equity Summit
- Travis County Women’s Lawyers Association
We invite you to contact us if you have any questions about Culhane Meadows and we look forward to sharing our vision with you.