Firm Awarded the ABA Golden Hammer Award

June 11, 2019

Robins Kaplan LLP is pleased to announce that it has received the ABA Law Practice Division’s Martha Fay Africa Golden Hammer Award. The award “recognizes the work of individuals/entities that help promote women and diverse attorneys in the Division, the ABA, and the profession.” Robins Kaplan is the sole recipient of this prestigious award.  

The firm was recognized in part for its groundbreaking diversity program, the Leaders Engaged in the Advancement of Diversity (LEAD) initiative. Built upon the premise that progress on diversity requires commitment from the very top, this comprehensive program empowers the firm’s leaders to take concrete steps to increase diversity and holds them accountable for their results.

Since the LEAD initiative was launched in 2015, the firm has instituted a range of new policies to support working parents, identify and support diverse future leaders, and minimize unconscious bias in the workplace. The initiative also led to the implementation of the “Rooney Rule” for lateral associate candidates, ensuring that diverse candidates are considered for each open position. In the first year after the rule was implemented, the firm increased its hiring of attorneys of color by 30 percent and LGBTQ attorneys by 13 percent.

“Robins Kaplan was founded on the principles of equity and inclusion,” said Chief Talent and Diversity Officer Chandra Kilgriff, “It’s an honor to be a part of that mission and to witness all the benefits that our work has provided to the firm, our clients, and our community.”

Robins Kaplan partner Melissa D’Alelio, who accepted the award on the firm’s behalf, noted in her remarks that her personal experience “of having three under five and advancing to equity partner could not have been done without the firm’s support for working parents.”

In addition to the LEAD initiative, the firm was recognized for its sponsorships and donations to charitable causes. Since 1999, the firm has donated more than $40 million to charitable causes, including scholarship funds and organizations that support diversity such as Lambda Legal, the Disability Rights Legal Center, and the United Negro College Fund.

Melissa M. D'Alelio


Member of Executive Board
Chair, Insurance and Catastrophic Loss Group

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