Kim Koopersmith Featured as an “Agent of Change” in Women of Influence Magazine

Women of Influence has featured Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith in its article “Bred in the Bone,” in which it traces her ascent at the firm and describes her as “an agent of change” regarding her efforts to promote a diverse work environment and create flexible work schedules for new parents at the firm.

The article notes that Akin Gump’s then-chair Bruce McLean, seeing the success that Koopersmith had had in managing client service via a work week shortened to allow for her child care responsibilities, asked her to create a standardized flexible schedule program for parents, in which they can choose to work fewer or shorter days a week. As she observes, at the time, “flexible work week policies for new parents at big law firms were rare.”

Since its launch in 2002, nearly 120 Akin Gump lawyers have participated in the program. Koopersmith noted that a shortened schedule can require some give and take within the team and that the give-and-take system works best when as many people as possible are given the chance to prove themselves, noting, “The single most important aspect of keeping a diverse workforce is making sure that opportunities are provided for everyone to shine and excel.”

Among the progressive, diversity-focused employment and professional development programs she has implemented, the article notes, Koopersmith created the Women’s Professional Development Initiative in 2002, which has “since seen the launch of programs such as a mentorship curriculum and a leadership conference involving seminars, networking events and development training.”  Koopersmith also continues to promote workforce diversity through measures such as the establishment of “law school scholarships at New York University that offer tuition assistance and guaranteed placement in the firm’s summer associate program,” as well as leadership in “the firm’s participation in Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, which places new law students from underserved communities in summer internships.”

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