Holland & Knight 2019 Impact Report

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OUR APPROACH In 2015, the United Nations set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to put the world on a resilient path by 2030. By 2019, many of the world’s companies addressed the SDGs across their operations and reported regularly on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments toward the goals. Like our clients, we weave these considerations throughout our operations. We make social investments in diversity, equity and inclusion; in pro bono, community service and charitable giving; and in our most valuable resource: our people. We strive for improvements in environmental sustainability, and we focus on responsibility in our own governance. Our dedication is part of the Holland & Knight Commitment – the values that guide each person at this firm and that are built into the fabric of our institution. This year is the start of a new and challenging decade. The pandemic, economic crisis and nationwide focus on social action and racial justice have combined to provide new urgency to our efforts. In 2019, we celebrated our firm’s commitment to building a more equitable and inclusive profession and in creating a just global society. In 2020, we recognize that there is so much more to be done, and we invite you to join us in this essential work.


Steven Sonberg Managing Partner

Kelly-Ann Cartwright

Chair, Directors Committee


Holland & Knight LLP supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Scale of Impact......................................................................................................................................1 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).................................................................................................................3 Demonstrable Success.............................................................................................................3 Pipeline Development and Recruiting.....................................................................................4 Inclusion in Action....................................................................................................................5 D&I Engagement Initiative.......................................................................................................8 In Their Words: Attorneys on Our D&I Initiative....................................................................10 Pro Bono, Community Service, Charitable Giving..............................................................................12 Our Portfolio: Five Core Areas..............................................................................................13 Community Investment.................................................................................................15 Children and Education.................................................................................................16 Human and Civil Rights.................................................................................................17 Veterans, Military and Service.......................................................................................18 Health and Wellness......................................................................................................19 Innovation......................................................................................................................20 Investing in Our People......................................................................................................................21 Environmental.....................................................................................................................................22 Governance.........................................................................................................................................23 Recognition.........................................................................................................................................24 Contact Us..........................................................................................................................................25

SCALE OF IMPACT Our Social and Economic Impact:



clients served

in value, or



of annual revenue, donated through pro bono hours

employee livelihoods



languages spoken

pro bono hours

$1,026,809,000 annual revenue



pro bono clients assisted

$2 million+

charitable capital infused into nonprofits each year


other community service hours


50 years

client partners through pro bono and community service in 2019

of community service performed over the last decade



2019 New Associate Class














20% 10%

10% 0%













Since 2017, more than 50 percent of our newly promoted partners are diverse, based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or veteran status.

Our Directors Committee, the firm’s highest policymaking body, is more than 40 percent diverse, based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or veteran status.

40 8

Eight of our U.S. offices are led by diverse executive partners.

HOW WE COMPARE Racial/Ethnic Minorities


30% 25%












4% ASSOCIATES Industry



Holland & Knight



24% 25%



5% 0%



10% 0%




Industry data source: National Association of Law Placement (NALP) 2019 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms



EQUITY PARTNERS Holland & Knight



PIPELINE DEVELOPMENT AND RECRUITING 1L Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars The LCLD is an organization of more than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who have dedicated themselves to creating a diverse U.S. legal profession. Holland & Knight Managing Partner Steven Sonberg is a member. The 1L LCLD Scholars Program is a cornerstone pipeline program. The firm hosted five 1L LCLD Scholars in summer 2019 in our Orlando, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Philadelphia offices. The 1L LCLD Scholars Program is designed to strengthen the legal pipeline by giving students the opportunity to work with LCLD member organizations and receive valuable professional experiences.

Demystifying the Large Firm Practice Holland & Knight hosted its annual “Demystifying the Large Firm Practice” event for first-year law students in Boston, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles. The informational seminars are designed for students to learn more about working at a large law firm. More than 200 students from 16 law schools across the country attended these events. The firm has been hosting this event annually for more than 15 years.

NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program Holland & Knight is one of the first five firms to have participated in the initial pilot of the NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program and is proud to have continued that relationship for nearly a decade. The program partners law firms with diverse groups of high school students to teach the students about the law and encourage them to pursue legal careers.

Legal Outreach

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Holland & Knight Scholarship

For more than 10 years, the firm’s New York office and its Diversity Committee have been at the forefront of supporting pipeline efforts through its participation in Legal Outreach’s College Bound Summer Law Internships program. Legal Outreach prepares youth from underserved communities in New York to gain admission to – and succeed in – college by offering intensive and comprehensive four-year legal and educational programs. The Summer Law Internships offer students opportunities to work at some of New York’s top law firms, public interest organizations, financial institutions and in the judiciary.

For several years, the firm has annually awarded a scholarship and summer associate employment opportunity to a first-year law student from FAMU.

Just the Beginning (JTB) – A Pipeline Organization

Holland & Knight is a member of PDLG and hires a first-year law student through its Fellows Program.

For several years, the firm’s Washington, D.C., office and its Diversity Committee have worked with JTB, which is a nonprofit organization consisting of judges, lawyers and other citizens dedicated to the development of educational programs that inspire and foster careers in the law among underrepresented youth. Each year, the office hosts JTB’s Mock Trial Competition, where students participate in oral argument and Holland & Knight attorneys and staff help judge and critique the students.

Diversity Job Fairs

Colorado Pledge to Diversity The firm is a signatory to and a Leadership Circle sponsor of the Colorado Pledge to Diversity and has hired a summer associate through the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Summer Clerkship Program.

Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG)

The firm participates in a number of diversity job fairs, including:

The National LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair

Veterans’ Legal Career Fair Bay Area Diversity Career Fair The Boston Lawyers Group Annual Diversity Job Fair



Pride Month

The Black Affinity Group participated in a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Executive Fireside Chat. Associate Lisa Kpor interviewed prominent Chicago-area executive, Richard Gamble, about “Making & Acknowledging Black History in the Present.” Gamble was the first African American chairman of the board for The Magnificent Mile Association and serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a series of spontaneous LGBTQ demonstrations against police and governmental discrimination and brutality that many consider to be the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement. Senior Counsel Leslie Palma collaborated with Mexico City’s government and Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism on a special event during the Mexico City Gay Pride 2019 celebration (Marcha del Orgullo LGBTQ de la Ciudad de México). In addition, Partner Leighton Brown co-authored and released “We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation,” a rich and sweeping history of the Queer Liberation movement, released in time for the Stonewall anniversary.

International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month Our firm celebrated International Women’s Day by joining the social media campaign #BalanceforBetter. Numerous photos of men and women throughout the firm were posted on social media with messages in support of the campaign. Several offices celebrated Women’s History Month with screenings of the documentary of the life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As aptly noted by Justice Ginsburg, “[w]omen belong in all places where decisions are being made,” and we should all “[f]ight for the things that [we] care about, but do it in a way that will lead others.”


Asian Pacific American Heritage Month The Asian/Pacific Islander Affinity Group hosted a firmwide presentation by Sam Mihara, a national speaker and survivor of the imprisonment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent in U.S. concentration camps. In his presentation, Mr. Mihara discussed the history of the imprisonment camps, the forcible removal of people from their homes and daily life in the imprisonment camps. Mr. Mihara also helped establish the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center in Wyoming, a world-class museum dedicated to passing on the story of the Japanese imprisonment to future generations.

Hispanic Heritage Month

D&I Speakers and Topics

During this monthlong celebration, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) honored the firm as its 2019 “Corporate Partner of the Year” in recognition of Holland & Knight’s longstanding support of the organization and its unwavering commitment to D&I. In addition, the Hispanic Affinity Group showcased the many achievements of the firm’s Hispanic lawyers and their contributions to the legal and philanthropic landscape. The group also hosted a firmwide luncheon to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and heard from the many Hispanic lawyers who hold key roles within the firm’s leadership. The Hispanic Affinity Group is the second largest affinity group in the firm.

Mikeisha Anderson Jones, vice president of global diverse executive recruitment at American Express, personal experiences of a black women in today’s workplace and how to recruit diverse and minority employees

Sam Mihara, a national speaker and survivor of the imprisonment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent in U.S. concentration camps

Professor Heidi K. Brown, director of legal writing at Brooklyn Law School and author of “Untangling Fear in Lawyering: A Four-Step Journey Toward Powerful Advocacy,” perspectives on how to successfully market and network as an introverted attorney

Fatima Ejubovic, a personal story about surviving the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, which involved the massacre of more than 8,000 Bosniaks during the Bosnian War

Professor Courtney Cahill, Florida State University, discussion of two Title VII cases heard at the Supreme Court regarding LGBTQ rights

Richard Gamble, the first African American chairman of the board for The Magnificent Mile Association and member of the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Michael D. McCarty, multicultural storytelling of African, African American and International folk tales

Katie Burke, Chief People Officer, HubSpot, presentation on leadership lessons, including taking initiative, developing a strong network, seeking feedback from peers and finding a work-life fit

Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Yale University’s popular course “The Science of Well-Being & How to Be Happy”

Kim Scott, former Google and Apple executive and author of, “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity”

Gabrielle Czaja, award-winning physical therapist, presentation on health and wellness

Allyson Downey, entrepreneur and author of “Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career Through Pregnancy and Parenthood”

Diversity Council In-Person Meeting and Diversity Champions Training The firm’s Diversity Council held a two-day, in-person meeting in Dallas in December 2019. The council, which includes leaders from across the firm, reviewed and assessed 2019 D&I efforts and developed goals and strategies for 2020. The council also participated in an eight-hour Diversity Champions training facilitated by D&I expert Kathleen Nalty.


Rising Stars Program

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

The Rising Stars Program, developed by Partners Deborah Barnard and Janis Schiff and launched by the Women’s Initiative in 2003, is an award-winning 12-month leadership and business development program for female attorneys in their seventh year of practice and beyond.

Partner Duvol Thompson was selected to represent the firm as a member of the LCLD 2019 class of Fellows. The Fellows Program works to identify high-potential attorneys from diverse backgrounds and set them on the path to leadership of their organizations. Previous LCLD Fellows at the firm include Partners Janene Jackson, Kwamina Williford, Loren Forrest, Josh Bosin, Erika Royal, Vivian Thoreen and Tiffani Lee.

2019 Rising Stars:

Kristin Asai Chelsea Ashbrook McCarthy Taite McDonald

Katharine Menéndez de la Cuesta

Melissa Wong Victoria Zerjav

AdvanceLaw Diversity Mentorship Holland & Knight nominated several associates to participate in AdvanceLaw’s Diversity Mentorship Program. Organized in 2009, AdvanceLaw is a collective of more than 250 leading general counsels and legal teams at major companies that share counsel performance feedback to retain the best lawyers at firms across the globe. AdvanceLaw created its Diversity Mentorship Program to identify diverse, client service-oriented midlevel and senior associates and match them with senior in-house lawyer mentors for career coaching, professional support and business guidance. 2019 AdvanceLaw Diversity Mentorship Program Participants:


Kristin Asai Da’Morus Cohen Pedro Gassant

Laura Güemes Pippa Balestrieri

Charting Your Own Course (CYOC) For the 18th consecutive year, the firm sponsored and participated in the Charting Your Own Course (CYOC) Career Development Conference from February 7-10, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. CYOC seeks to empower attorneys of color with practical career and life strategies, share skills to build enduring relationships and create an environment of accountability.

131 & Counting The firm developed and launched 131 & Counting, a bipartisan initiative that celebrates and builds connections with women congressional leaders and also encourages more women to run for office. The initiative aims to support the steady growth of women lawmakers and their staffs by bringing together public policy professionals and female leaders to ensure that women are an essential part of our democracy.

D&I ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE The D&I Engagement Initiative was retooled and relaunched in 2019 to deepen partnerships with clients and businesses that have a shared commitment to D&I. The initiative developed tools to help attorneys engage clients, including a cutting-edge Talent Inventory Database that efficiently identifies diverse talent within the firm. In addition, the initiative collaborated with various groups and teams at the firm to raise awareness about the tools available to our attorneys. Finally, the initiative engaged in significant outreach with existing, new and potential clients to engage on D&I.

Bank of America Holland & Knight was selected from more than 200 law firms to receive Bank of America’s 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Award for the firm’s years of focused attention on the training, development and promotion of diverse attorneys, as well as its strong track record of staffing Bank of America matters with diverse legal teams.

National Bar Association (NBA) The firm sponsored and participated in the NBA’s 94th Annual Convention held from July 20-26, 2019, in New York. As part of this event, the firm’s attorneys participated in the Corporate Counsel Leadership Summit held at Microsoft’s New York office, where in-house counsel shared insights from the technology, energy, financial services and healthcare industry sectors. Partner and Chair of the D&I Engagement Initiative Kwamina Williford was reelected to serve on the NBA’s Board of Governors and as a chair of the NBA-CLS. In her role on the NBA Board of Governors, Ms. Williford will be responsible for helping to implement the NBA’s mission. She also chaired the NBA-CLS 32nd annual Corporate Counsel Conference held from January 31February 2, 2019, in Orlando, Florida.

Holland & Knight further partnered with Bank of America to participate in the bank’s annual flagship diversity event organized by its Diversity and Inclusion Business Council (DIBC). The partnership included planning and executing two signature programs:

Sustaining Diversity Through Inclusion Panel and Hackathon: Partner Judy Mercier and Bank of America Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President Justin Goggins presented on the overall lack of diversity in the legal profession and four specific challenges that impact underrepresented attorneys in the workplace.

Emotional Wellness and Well-Being Panel Presentation: The live panel presentation on emotional wellness and well-being was webcast throughout the financial services company.

Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) The firm sponsored and participated in the HNBA’s 10th Annual Corporate Counsel Conference on March 20-23, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Led by the Hispanic Affinity Group leaders, the firm also sponsored PODER25, an initiative of the HNBA and its Vision in Action (VIA) Fund. PODER25 is designed to increase the number of Hispanic general counsels in Fortune 500 companies by the year 2025.


National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) The firm sponsored and participated in the NAPABA Convention from November 7-10, 2019, in Austin. Led by the Asian/Pacific Islander Affinity Group, Holland & Knight hosted a reception for in-house counsel at our Austin office during the convention.

National LGBT Bar Association The firm sponsored and participated in the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2019 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair held from August 7-9, 2019, in Philadelphia.

California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP) The firm participated in CMCP’s 30th Anniversary Business Conference from September 11-13, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Veterans Business Partnership The Veterans Group launched a Veterans Business Partnership to match veterans at the firm with client needs. Our attorneys with military background handle a wide range of transactions, including banking, finance, commercial real estate loans, joint ventures, intellectual property licensing, limited liability company and partnership formation, congressional investigations, employment discrimination and affirmative action compliance, international trade and aviation law, among others. The Veterans Business Partnership provides clients access to experienced legal professionals with military backgrounds.

Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)

Wells Fargo Advisors’ Diversity College

Holland & Knight Partner Frances De La Guardia served as president-elect of CABA for 2019 and assumed the role of president in January 2020. She is the fifth Holland & Knight attorney to serve as CABA president, joining fellow Miami Partners Annie Gamez (2016), Vivian de las Cuevas-Diaz (2012), Raul Cosio (1992) and Jorge Hernandez-Toraño (1989).

Holland & Knight Partner Gabriel “Gabe” Caballero was selected to participate in Wells Fargo Advisors’ second Diversity College. The Diversity College is designed to promote the values of diversity and inclusion and to expand business relationships with Diversity College graduates and their firms.



Directors Committee Chair

“Long before any law firm was thinking about diversity and inclusion, Holland & Knight founder Chesterfield Smith made diversity a priority. It was important to him and he made it one of the firm’s core values. He hired the first female attorney for the firm and the first black lawyer a few years later. He did this at a time when there were relatively few women or minorities in Big Law. We have come a long way since those two initial hires. That commitment is why I came to the firm 28 years ago. It is reflected not only in the types of programs that we have in place today to provide our diverse attorneys with opportunities to succeed, but it is also reflected in the number of individuals who make up our leadership ranks and who make up our partnership classes. For example, over the last several years, more than 50 percent of our partnership class has been diverse. This is a testament to Chesterfield’s original vision and our firm’s continuing and longstanding commitment.”

Kristin Asai, Partner, 2019 Rising Star, 2019 AdvanceLaw Diversity Mentee and Portland Diversity Committee Chair “Through Rising Stars, I was able to create and strengthen relationships across the firm, including with key decision-makers, referral sources and future mentors. I worked with business development and executive coaches, who helped me hone my marketing skills and gave me the confidence to grow my practice. I was also able to connect with six other impressive women at this firm and learn about their skills so that I can market them to my contacts. Among other benefits, the Rising Stars Program enabled me to create and strengthen relationships across the firm, including with key decision-makers, mentors, and future collaborators. This is one of the programs that attracted me to Holland & Knight and it lived up to the hype. As local Diversity Chair, I’ve had two goals: 1) to connect Holland & Knight with the local community to educate them about our culture and improve our brand in this market; and 2) to increase internal interest in D&I activities through easy-to-attend events. We have been successful in both areas so far, and I expect the trend to continue.”

Jessica MacAllister, Associate and Member, Atlanta Diversity Committee “My service on the board of directors for the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia has allowed me to develop friendships and professional relationships with LGBTQ+ attorneys throughout Georgia. I would like to put this experience to work and use my role on the Atlanta Diversity Committee to have the firm host one or more CLEs on LGBTQ-related legal issues. I also would like to join forces with the Women’s Initiative to host a workshop on diversity and inclusion that focuses on how bias affects the leadership and promotion opportunities of minorities. Another goal of mine is to have the Atlanta Diversity Committee organize the firm’s participation in the Atlanta Pride Parade.”

William Farley, Associate and Member, Black Affinity Group

“It is extremely encouraging to me to see diverse attorneys in some of the most prestigious roles throughout the firm. I am also heartened by the firm’s willingness to dedicate significant resources to sponsoring events and initiatives centered around diversity. For example, each year the firm pays for attorneys across all offices to attend Charting Your Own Course, which is a three-day networking conference for diverse attorneys nationwide. This commitment makes me proud to be a member of the firm, and gives me confidence that the firm is invested in my career.”

Lara Rios, Partner and 2020 Rising Star

“The values of our firm – which include a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion – are aligned with my own personal values, and the firm speaks truth to those values. For example, the Rising Stars Program was developed by our Women’s Initiative almost 20 years ago and remains at the forefront in the legal industry. I am truly honored to be part of the 2020 class and the next generation of female leadership at our firm. I share this honor with several of my peers, and what I’m most excited about is that we are all similarly positioned to grow and succeed. Additionally, the firm’s commitment to the HNBA is significant. Over the last several years, I’d had the opportunity to be involved in the HNBA LGBTQ Summit, which supports and empowers the Hispanic LGBTQ community. I’m honored to play a small role with this strong advocate for the Hispanic community.” 10

Dan Sylvester, Associate, Diversity

Council Member, Veterans Group Chair

“What the firm has allowed us to do with the Veterans Group these last seven years is something I do not believe could have been accomplished anywhere but at Holland & Knight. We did over $3.6 million in pro bono work for veterans, military service members and their families last year, and over the last three years have donated over 425 days of community service to them. To know that the firm fully supports our efforts for veterans both in the firm and in our communities is very empowering. As a member of the Diversity Council, I think the most exciting part about it is the expansion to inclusion – the understanding that just being diverse is not enough but that we need to learn how to be inclusive of everyone in the conversation, not just because it’s what our clients want or what the firm strives for, but because it’s the right way to be a part of society.”

Jamie Rodriguez, Senior Counsel and Member, LGBT Affinity Group

“I have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction I’ve received at Holland & Knight through my transition to expressing my female gender. It’s been remarkable and very rewarding. Choosing to live true to one’s identity is a big life step. Taking that step at work involves a certain amount of anxiety. Many trans people know others who have lost friends, family or jobs in the course of their transitions. When I started the process, our chief professional development and human resources officer emphasized that I was supported wholeheartedly, and that the firm wanted this to be a good experience for me. The clients with whom I was working never batted an eye. When I told them, most of them offered congratulations, and we moved on with the work at hand. Fairly quickly, life at work simply felt normal, which is perfect. I am just me, and I come to work like everyone else.”


Sarah Seedig, Partner and Denver Diversity Committee Chair “As a relatively new office positioned to grow, we are hoping to use diversity and inclusion as a platform to build and reinforce the Holland & Knight brand in the Denver market. We are investigating different ways we can partner with our clients and local nonprofits to increase awareness and promote diversity and inclusion efforts. Second, we strive to recruit and retain diverse attorneys in the Denver office. The Colorado Pledge to Diversity has been an incredible resource for our office in terms of recruiting diverse talent. Through the Pledge, we are matched with a summer associate from a local law school from a traditionally underrepresented background. Several of the former summer associates we’ve hosted through the Pledge are now associates at the firm, with several more slated to start in the near future.”

Toni Nguyen, Senior Counsel and Member, Asian/Pacific Islander Affinity Group “After I attended various affinity group conferences, particularly the NAPABA conferences, I realized the important role that an in-house counsel can and should play to initiate the diversity and inclusion discussion with law firms. As I became more senior in my in-house counsel role, I had more opportunities to choose my legal team and made diversity more of a priority. What I learned is that in order for a such a program to succeed and be effective, it has to be an initiative adopted at the top and communicated down. In fact, my in-house contacts would like firms to be more observant about the makeup of their clients and more conscious about including diverse attorneys in their pitches and on their legal teams.”

PRO BONO, COMMUNITY SERVICE, CHARITABLE GIVING Ten years ago, Holland & Knight created a department to better integrate our longstanding pro bono work, increase community service activities and organize our philanthropic priorities with the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation. The goal was to make deeper, more layered impacts across areas of need in our communities where we, as a law firm, can uniquely contribute. This is our approach.

Select partner organizations

Identify needs within our communities

Research organizations that best serve those needs


Determine how we, as legal professionals, can support the organizations and the individuals they serve

Invest in these partners through layers of giving:

Routinely evaluate impact and return on our investment (ROI) before we reinvest donated time and funds

Pro Bono Legal Service (from individual litigation to corporate, real estate and government)

Community Service (board service, committee service, events)

Charitable Giving (capacity building or programmatic investments)

Employee Involvement

Diversity & Inclusion Expertise 12

OUR PORTFOLIO: FIVE CORE AREAS Using this approach, Holland & Knight has committed to five core areas where we can effect positive social change:

Community Investment

Children and Education

Human and Civil Rights

Veterans, Military and Service

Health and Wellness

Within each area, the firm has developed a portfolio of charitable partners. This report highlights a handful of the partners with which we worked closely on these themes in 2019. However, we had many other entities in each portfolio for 2019. Beyond these themes, we have carried out many other partnerships projects, as diverse as the interests of our thousands of individuals within our varied locations and hemispheres. We invite you to learn more about our ongoing pro bono, community service and charitable giving efforts, including an index of many of the organizations in our charitable portfolio, through the Community Commitment section of our website, as well as our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Please visit https://www.hklaw.com/en/firm/firm-culture/community-commitment




pro bono matters in 2019

74,088 $48 million 50 years $2 million+ 30+

pro bono hours in 2019

in pro bono value

of community service over the last decade

charitable capital infused into nonprofits each year

client partners through pro bono and community service








40 35


$ Millions

30 25 20










15 10


5 0






OUR PORTFOLIO: COMMUNITY INVESTMENT Holland & Knight focuses on programs that assist underprivileged members of the community in diverse ways and build societal infrastructure to improve lives. Contributions to this category include investments in legal aid, economic development and social entrepreneurship, community centers, housing, food insecurity, arts, sports, museums and culture. Below are examples from our portfolio in 2019:

The Exponentum Network

National Day of Service Free Legal Clinics to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Holland & Knight partnered with the Exponentum™ network of business law pro bono providers in 14 cities, to provide free legal consultations to nonprofit organizations serving the elderly, families and other vulnerable populations during its National Day of Service. The firm hosted nonprofits in need of legal services and pro bono attorneys from Holland & Knight and 19 corporations in five of its offices: Chicago (with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights), New York (with Lawyers Alliance for New York), San Francisco (with the Justice and Diversity Center at the Bar Association of San Francisco), Tampa (with Bay Area Legal Services) and Washington, D.C. (with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center). Across the U.S., more than 15 pro bono attorneys helped 59 resourceconstrained nonprofits improve their financial reporting and management practices to ensure legal compliance and best practices so that they could focus on their critical missions in the communities.

Thomson Reuters Foundation’s TrustLaw Program

In addition to handling pro bono matters for nonprofits and social enterprises in the U.S., Mexico and Colombia referred by the Thomson Reuters Foundation clearinghouse, in 2019 Holland & Knight sponsored and provided faculty for the Foundation’s annual Social Enterprise & Impact Investing Training. Shown here are some of the moderators.

HBCU Community Development Action Coalition (CDAC)

Holland & Knight attorneys helped create the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)focused Opportunity Zone Fund to ignite reinvestment in and around HBCUs.

The Boston Foundation

Holland & Knight attorneys worked on loans for the Foundation’s Economic Opportunity Fund that provides alternative financing for black and Latinxowned businesses.

Defy Colorado

Members of our Denver office participated in a prison rehabilitation program to help teach inmates how to succeed as entrepreneurs.

John M. Hogan Endowed Fund for Public Interest Litigation

Holland & Knight and hundreds of its employees endowed the John M. Hogan Endowed Fund for Public Interest Litigation, which provides scholarship assistance to University of Miami School of Law students who are certified legal interns wanting to be placed at Legal Services of Greater Miami or the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Rebuilding Together DC

Attorneys and staff participated in a free home repair community service program to help low-income families.

New York City Ballet

Holland & Knight, through one of its senior partners, helped to form one of the foremost dance companies in the world more than 50 years ago and provides ongoing pro bono support.

Kartemquin Films


Holland & Knight provides ongoing pro bono assistance to this four-time Oscar-nominated 501(c)3 nonprofit production company that produces a wide range of documentary films, including those that address social justice issues.

OUR PORTFOLIO: CHILDREN AND EDUCATION A significant inspiration for the creation of the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation in 1996 was that our employees saw a need for volunteer programs in local schools and educational nonprofits. This interest led to the creation of our Children and Education theme and Opening Doors for Children volunteer programs, where we focus on the needs of children, especially through educational opportunities, legal pipeline programs, tutoring, mentoring, health and safety. Below are samples from our Children and Education portfolio:

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

CourtCare Child Services

KIND is the leading national organization advocating for the rights of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children in the U.S. Holland & Knight was a founding supporter of KIND 10 years ago, and has handled scores of KIND-referred matters firmwide. In 2019, for example, we secured Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for three young girls and completed a five-year pro bono immigration case for a teenager from Honduras who desperately needed legal representation, helping him navigate through family court and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) system to obtain a green card.

Austin Bar Association and Numerous Child Protective Services Groups: Annual Austin Adoption Day

The Austin Adoption Day is a partnership between the Austin Bar Association, Austin Bar Foundation, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis County, with assistance from other child protective services organizations. Holland & Knight volunteers assist in planning the day, completing legal work for adoptions and celebrating the adoption process for numerous new families.

A Kid’s Place

Our Denver office hosts an annual benefit to support the agency, which provides a safe, supportive environment and age-appropriate activities for children while their parents are at Multnomah County Courthouse.

Step Up

Our attorneys and staff volunteer to assist and inspire girls living or going to school in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential.

Christopher House

Our staff and attorneys volunteer to help the family of schools in its mission to provide opportunities for lowincome, at-risk families.

Yellowstone College Prep

Our attorneys and staff volunteer and sponsor educational opportunities to support this public/ private education model in Houston’s economically disadvantaged Third Ward.

National Campaign to Stop Violence

Our attorneys and staff helped judge, sponsor and finance the 2019 Do the Write Thing Challenge.

Members of our Operations Center sponsor and coordinate an annual summer carnival for children from a few months old to 17 who live in a local foster group home.


OUR PORTFOLIO: HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS For decades, one of our firm’s core values has been to promote an appreciation of human rights through numerous initiatives, including our historic Holocaust Remembrance Project and current efforts to combat intolerance through education. Over time, our firm’s investment in this area has grown to support historically discriminated against groups such as racial minorities, those with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, women and refugees. Below are some examples.

Criminal Justice Reform

Her Justice

Holland & Knight was instrumental in establishing an initiative known as the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) with Melissa Nelson, state attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida. In a high-profile matter that gained international attention, Holland & Knight lawyers successfully represented 76-year-old Clifford Williams, who served 42 years for a crime he did not commit. It was the first case reviewed by the CIU and resulted in Mr. Williams‘ exoneration, release from prison and compensation in the amount of $2.15 million from the Florida Legislature.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

In 2019, Holland & Knight attorneys dedicated over 1,300 hours to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ Stop Hate Project, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of community leaders, law enforcement and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with established legal and social services resources, and to its project on the history of voting discrimination in U.S. states.

Best Buddies International

In 2019, Holland & Knight employed over 10 individuals with intellectual disabilities through the Best Buddies Jobs Program. Barbara (Barbie) Torres is the longestserving jobs participant in the world, with 25 years of employment in the firm›s Miami office.

Legal Momentum

The firm helped to promote and sponsor the “Legal Toolkit for Women’s Economic Equality.”

National Women’s Law Center


The firm prepared an amicus brief for the National Women’s Law Center in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal in support of an appeal challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) approval of state restrictions on access to health coverage for Medicaid participants in Kentucky and Arkansas. The state programs included, inter alia, community-engagement and work-related requirements, which would negatively impact women and communities of color.

Our attorneys dedicated their time to the group that provides women living in poverty in New York City – many of whom are survivors of intimate partner violence – with free legal counsel to achieve safety and self-sufficiency.

Immigration Equality

Our attorneys and staff assisted in providing LGBTQ immigration representation.

Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force

Members of our Orlando office work with the coalition of volunteer professionals focused on rescuing, defending, restoring and empowering humantrafficking victims in the region.

OUR PORTFOLIO: VETERANS, MILITARY AND SERVICE For decades, Holland & Knight has provided significant pro bono and financial support to organizations that respond in the event of humanitarian crises. Today, our efforts have evolved to focus not only on large-scale disaster relief, but also on deep support for our service professionals, including veterans, military personnel and first-responders. We also honor these professional community servants by promoting volunteerism and service internally in our firm and throughout our communities.

American Bar Association (ABA) Military Pro Bono Project (MPBP)

The ABA MPBP accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel and their families with civil legal problems. In addition to assisting many service members in 2019, the leaders of our Veterans pro bono project serve on the ABA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel committee (LAMP). Individual matters have included assisting with claims for veterans benefits for an elderly low-income surviving spouse of a deceased veteran with wartime service and helping a veteran receive compensation for exposure to the tactical herbicide Agent Orange during service in Vietnam. Holland & Knight was recognized with the ABA MPBP’s Outstanding Services Award for the eighth consecutive year, the only law firm or company to receive the award every year since its inception in 2012.

Metroplex Veterans Legal Services

A Community of Friends

The firm represented a double amputee veteran and his family as he received a 100 percent mortgage-free new home specially adapted for his disability.


We provided pro bono legal service for this nonprofit developer of affordable supportive housing for the creation of a Housing Development for Homeless Veterans, and received an award as a result.

9/11 Day of Service (aka MyGoodDeed)

Gary Sinese Foundation

Our Dallas and Austin offices hosted clinics and provided veterans with pro bono legal counsel.

Through the firms’s 2019 9/11 Day of Service efforts alone, Holland & Knight generated more than 2,000 days of service, served more than 80 nonprofits and schools, and volunteered alongside 22 clients. During the past nine years, our 9/11 Day of Service efforts have produced an equivalent of more than 50 years of service.

American Red Cross

The firm and our employees donated more than $50,000 to Hurricane Dorian disaster relief efforts in 2019.

Holland & Knight was named to the Florida Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors, which provides active-duty men and women with free legal counsel in a variety of civil matters, including actions in local courts.

Holland & Knight was invited to join select companies who have shown deep commitment to veterans at Nasdaq on Veterans Day 2019. The closing bell ceremony included a panel with U.S. Military Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who thanked the firm for its dedication to veterans and military families. Left: 2019 Corporate Responsibility Partner Meg Walsh at Nasdaq


OUR PORTFOLIO: HEALTH AND WELLNESS Through this theme, we target support to a range of nonprofit organizations, including those that further advancements in healthcare and support those with life-threatening illnesses. Today, our investments in health causes have expanded to include organizations fighting childhood cancer, serving families that have suffered extreme loss, supporting the elderly and providing rare healthcare resources during humanitarian crises. The following is a sampling of our 2019 partners.

American Heart Association: Heart Walk AIDS Legal Referral Panel American Cancer Society: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Elder Care Services Imagine KinderMourn Make-A-Wish Foundation of America

Macmillan Cancer Support Physicians for Human Rights Walk to End Alzheimer’s Renewal Care Foundation Susan G. Komen: Race for the Cure SARAH Inc. Visiting Nurse Association Wellness House

Holland & Knight’s Operations Center and Tampa office teamed up to participate in the American Heart Association’s 2019 Heart Walk in November 2019 in Tampa. The firm raised more than $32,000 to earn the Tampa Bay Lawyer’s Cup, which is awarded each year to the law firm that raised the most money for the event. Holland & Knight also won the trophy in 2017.



In 2019, we launched the innovative technology platform to better match its lawyers and paralegals with pro bono opportunities and to increase access to justice for people and organizations in need. The firm worked with legal tech startup Paladin for two years to develop the groundbreaking pro bono platform for law firms, in-house counsel and legal service organizations.

Ten years ago, the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation offered a new opportunity for Holland & Knight volunteers and employees in each of its office locations to pool their donations into a fund to support the local community. Each office runs its fund in accordance with its local culture of giving. Some offices run one annual fundraiser, such as an Auction for a Cause for a select charity or charities each year, and other offices have annual or monthly fundraising events and focused grant processes.

Cross-City Partnerships

Office-Advised Funds

own pockets through the Office Advised Funds, in addition to donations for targeted programs, such as disaster relief drives and memorial funds. Employee funds flowed to organizations ranging from K9s for Warriors to Reading Partners.

Each office raises funds from its individual members into the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, so that it can provided targeted assistance local charities. In 2019, our employees donated $175,000 out of their

Offices work together to coordinate pro bono efforts across several cities for the same event, e.g. Exponentum’s National Day of Service clinics held in our Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington, D.C., offices.

Client and Corporate Engagement

We have long believed that if we have developed a charitable investment with large impact, we want to share the best practice with as many people and organizations as we can to create exponential effect. This is why we now share our pro bono and community service efforts – ranging from our 9/11 Day of Service and MLK Day of Service to individual pro bono efforts – with many major corporations, and welcome their legal departments’ participation and partnership. Corporations that worked on some of these efforts in 2019 include:


Credit Suisse

Krystal Klean

Adventist Health



American Express


OPKO Health

American Red Cross


PNC Financial

Bank of America

Freddie Mac

Resolve Marine Group

Bank of New York Mellon

Florida Surplus Line Service

Selene Finance

Bloomberg Capital One Citi Citizens Bank Clarion Partners


Guggenheim Partners Grow Financial IBM JetBlue JPMorgan Chase

Societe Generale Smithsonian Institution Target Thomson Reuters United Technologies



Training and the Holland & Knight Institute: The firm invests significantly in the training and development of its human resources. Programs include:

Military Leave: To accurately reflect the firm’s commitments to the military and veteran community, the firm updated the military leave benefit to coincide with the military calendar year, separated training and deployments into two separate benefits, and made these policy changes retroactively effective to allow for an employee who was deployed to be benefit-eligible.

Gender Pronouns: Employees are increasingly open about their gender identities in the workplace. As part of Holland & Knight’s efforts to further develop an inclusive culture, the firm implemented a policy for employees to include pronouns in their email signature blocks. The firm worked with the LGBT Affinity Group to implement this change.

Internal Awards and Recognition: We recognize and show our gratitude to our employees through several annual or biannual awards programs: The Living the Commitment Awards for those who most uphold the Holland & Knight Commitment, the Chesterfield Smith Award for an individual who has lived up to the values of one of our founders throughout a career, and the annual Pro Bono All-Star Awards for those who completed over 50 pro bono hours, Community Service All-Star Awards for those who completed over 50 community service hours, and the Public and Charitable Service All-Star Awards for those in each office who contributed most across pro bono, community service and charitable giving efforts.

Summer Associate Training Program New Associate Training Program Section Training Advanced Skills Training Program Series on Legal Writing Client Service Training D&I and Pro Bono Trainings HK Emerging Leaders Rising Stars Program HK on the Rise Ongoing and online library of more than 350

CLE programs created by the firm and offered by Westlaw LegalEdcenter, Practising Law Institute and Hotshot Legal

Career Development and Mentoring: Each Holland & Knight associate has a dedicated in-house career development coach to provide guidance and support for his or her goals and professional growth. In addition, every associate is assigned an attorney mentor to provide coaching and guidance on how best to succeed at the firm. The firm also provides an affinity mentoring program, where attorneys may request an affinity mentor, in addition to the primary mentor assigned through the firm’s formal mentoring program, to provide additional guidance and coaching.

Health and Wellness: In 2019, the firm launched HK Live Well, which is a strategic initiative supporting and enhancing our colleagues’ well-being through education, inclusive programming and other activities and resources designed to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles, to empower individuals to take responsibility for their own holistic well-being and to promote a sense of community.

Benefits to Support Parents and Families: The firm offers a number of benefits to support individuals and other families, including medical coverage for fertility treatments; subsidized backup child and adult care; tools and resources through Rethink to help families care for a child with a learning, social or behavioral challenge, or a developmental disability; payment for the shipment of breast milk while traveling on firm business.



Climate Initiatives

The American Bar Association (ABA) adopted a resolution in 2019 urging attorneys to take on a more active role in pro bono work for climate change. The effort was spearheaded by Environment Partner Amy Edwards, who served as chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) that developed the climate resolution. She presented it to the ABA House of Delegates in August, gathering enough support that it passed without opposition.

As an example of our pro bono services targeted towards climate action, Holland & Knight’s Philadelphia office co-hosted the launch of the Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability (OOS). During the event, attendees shared their organizations’ sustainability commitments and goals, and also learned about the city’s climate collaborative and Holland & Knight’s climate-focused pro bono/community service effort.

Pro Bono Work

Renewable and Alternative Energy

Holland & Knight was one of five original signatories to a groundbreaking initiative to deliver free legal services worth $15 million by 2020 to advance climate action around the world. The first-of-its-kind program, Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy will offer pro bono legal assistance to entrepreneurs, community-based nonprofits and governmental organizations taking on key sustainability challenges across multiple sectors in energy, transportation and land use. As one of the founding members, Holland & Knight pledged to donate legal services worth at least $2 million by the end of 2020.

The firm has a vibrant and growing renewable and alternative energy practice of industry thought leaders who use their experience to contribute to both corporate and pro bono clients working to improve our global environment. For example, in 2019, a Miami team assisted a bank in a $15 million financing of solar plants in Puerto Rico.

Looking Internally One of the firm’s goals for 2020 is to join the Law Firm Sustainability Network so that Holland & Knight can evaluate its internal environmental impact and footprint and report on metrics and goals for the decade ahead.


GOVERNANCE: STRUCTURE AND POLICIES Holland & Knight pays careful attention to its governance structure and the impact that its leadership and policies structure has over the management and stewardship of the firm. Key bodies in the firm’s governance that impact its corporate responsibility include:

Governing Board

Executive Partners

Our Directors Committee is the firm’s highest policymaking body. It is comprised of 27 people and meets every two weeks by phone and has an in-person meeting roughly once per quarter. It is chaired by an African American female equity partner, Kelly-Ann Cartwright. It is more than 40 percent diverse, based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or veteran status.

Governance Committee

Our Directors Committee Governance subcommittee is comprised of 15 people. It is chaired by a female equity partner, Lynn Calkins. The committee also includes five women and three minority attorneys.


Our Practice & Operations Committee meets every six weeks and includes Senior Management; Section Leaders for Business, Government, Litigation, Real Estate; Professional Development & Growth Partner; Executive Partner Liaison; Chair of our Directors Committee; Chair of our Industry Sector Initiative; Billings and Collections Partner; Chair Emeritus of our Business Section; our Diversity Partner and our Innovation Partner. Senior Administrative Staff includes Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Professional Development & Human Resources Officer, Chief Client Intake Officer, Director of Real Estate, Director of Security and our Information Governance Partner

Of our four Section Leaders, one is a woman and one is Hispanic.

Our Industry Sector Initiative is led by three partners, two of whom are women.


Each of our 27 offices is led by an Executive Partner Eight of our U.S. offices are led by diverse executive partners.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Led by a Diversity Partner, a Director of Diversity & Inclusion, and a Business Analytics and Diversity Manager

Diversity Council D&I Engagement Initiative Affinity Groups Local Office Diversity Committees

Public and Charitable Service (PCS) Department

Led by a PCS Chair, a PCS Coordinator and a Corporate Responsibility Partner

PCS Attorneys for each Office and Section

9/11 Day of Service Coordinators from each Office

Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation Board members from each Office

Opening Doors Coordinators from each Office

Holland & Knight Commitment

Originally adopted by our Directors Committee in 1985 and restated in 2015, the Holland & Knight Commitment articulates the values that guide each lawyer, professional and employee of the firm. As stated in our cover letter to this report, it includes providing superior legal services; nurturing client relationships; encouraging teamwork; creating a diverse, inclusive and energizing workplace; giving back to the community through pro bono, community service and charitable giving; and advancing the profession by promoting the rule of law and the interests of the legal profession and judicial system.

RECOGNITION: AWARDS AND HONORS Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality: Received a”perfect score” on the Annual Corporate Equality Index for the sixth consecutive year

ABA’s Military Pro Bono Project: The only firm to receive the Outstanding Service Award every year since its inception in 2012.

Mansfield Rule Certification: Recognized as one of only 51 firms to earn the Mansfield Certified Plus 2019 designation, which means women, minority and LGBTQ lawyers represent at least 30 percent of firm leadership roles and committees

2019 Chambers USA Diversity and Inclusion Awards: The firm was shortlisted as a U.S. Pro Bono award finalist.

Hispanic National Bar Association 2019 Corporate Partner of the Year: Recognized the firm’s longstanding support of HNBA and its unwavering commitment to D&I 2019 Bank of America Diversity and Inclusion Award: Recognized for focused attention on the training, development and promotion of diverse attorneys and for staffing Bank of America matters with diverse legal teams 2019 Chambers USA Diversity and Inclusion Award: Recognized as the”Most Pioneering Firm for Female Lawyers” and shortlisted for”Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion” The American Lawyer Magazine Diversity Scorecard: High rankings in the 2019 Diversity Scorecard, including Top 5 for Hispanic Partners, Top 20 for African American Partners and Top 20 for Total Minority Attorneys Law360 Diversity Snapshot: High rankings in the 2019 Diversity Snapshot, including Top 5 for Best Law Firms for Minority Partners Ameren 2019 Best in Class Diversity Award: Recognized by the utility company for the firm’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) 2019 Partner of the Year: Recognized by the Greater DC Chapter of NAWBO during the annual Women of Excellence Awards program

2019 Chambers D&I Awards Latin America Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: 2019 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year was awarded to the pro bono partner for our Mexico City office, Carlos Ochoa. Pro Bono Work for Hurricane Michael Relief: The firm was honored for its pro bono work for the city of Lynn Haven, Florida, after Hurricane Michael devastated the community. 2019 Commitment to Justice Pro Bono Award: Her Justice, a nonprofit organization providing women living in poverty in New York City with free legal counsel, bestowed this award upon two Holland & Knight attorneys. 2019 Pro Bono Service Award: The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for outstanding efforts to make legal representation available to those otherwise unable to afford it was given to a Holland & Knight attorney in Tampa, Florida. 2019 A Community of Friends (ACOF) Corporate Partner Award: the firm was one of three honorees to receive the award. 2019 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Miami Jurisprudence Award: The leader of the firm’s Miami office, Willy Ferrer, was presented with the award. Firm attorneys have garnered this award three times in the past. Pro Bono Partnership Volunteer of the Year: For Providing Services to Families with Special Needs Children, one of our attorneys was named Volunteer of the Year.



Tiffani G. Lee Diversity Partner Miami 305.789.7725 tiffani.lee@hklaw.com

Hamlet Bonilla Business Analytics and Diversity Manager Operations Center 813.901.4404 hamlet.bonilla@hklaw.com

Paul J. Kiernan Chair, Public and Charitable Service Department Washington, D.C. 202.663.7276 paul.kiernan@hklaw.com

“A lawyer is somebody in the law who must possess certain cultures, attributes and experiences – without which that lawyer will not be great, will not be somebody in the law and, ultimately, will not survive as a lawyer. Three related experiences, in my opinion, collectively collar those fundamental qualities … The lawyer as a civic and professional leader, the lawyer as a learned person and the lawyer as a helping person is the role which gives life to the lawyer and which makes and permits that lawyer to be somebody in the law. Such qualities were necessary long ago, and they today are absolutely essential if, in the eyes of others, a lawyer is truly to be somebody in the law.”

– Chesterfield Smith (1917-2003), former Holland & Knight managing partner and American Bar Association President, 1973-1974



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