Kim Koopersmith, the chairperson of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, recently spoke with the Legal Executive Institute about why she joined the Advisory Board of Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law (TWLL) and what excites her about this initiative.
Legal Executive Institute: Why did you become a TWLL Advisory Board committee member?
Kim Koopersmith: I am passionate about seeing women succeed in the law and want to use my position as one of the few women who leads a large law firm to further the advancement of women. I am a believer in paying it forward.
TWLL’s focus on bringing together thought leaders from dynamic corporations and leading law firms to share ideas and to take action is so compelling, I was eager to join the effort. And on a personal note, with two daughters, one of whom is a lawyer, I want to make sure that we create the best environment possible for the next generation to succeed and thrive.
Legal Executive Institute: What most excites you about this initiative?
Kim Koopersmith: I really like the focus on action, both in terms of active sharing of best practices that can be implemented and in providing incredible exposure and guidance to future women leaders. When I asked our Rising Star last year her thoughts on TWLL, she indicated it was the best professional leadership experience she had ever had. That makes me very excited to be part of this initiative.
Legal Executive Institute: Why is it important to stay focused and remain committed to the advancement of women in the law?
Kim Koopersmith: We have to remain committed because sufficient progress has not been made. While we have much to be proud of, there is much to be done. Certainly the numbers reflect that there is more to do, given the longstanding gap between men and women in the ranks of partner and in firm leadership.
Without continued focus, I fear we will only fall further behind; and promising women with great potential will opt out of the profession. Beyond the numbers, for law firms, there is no question that diverse teams of lawyers serve our clients better, so making sure that we are supporting the advancement of a diverse and inclusive workforce is also crucial for the continued success of our firm.