Diversity & Inclusion
Hovey Williams LLP believes that a talented and diverse firm culture provides a key competitive advantage not only for ourselves but for our clients as well. Hovey Williams LLP is dedicated to seeking out and retaining the finest individuals to ensure top business growth and performance. In doing so, we are fortunate to have a workforce that represents the varied and diverse community that we serve. The diversity at Hovey Williams LLP encompasses differences in ethnicity, gender, language, age, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, military service, thinking styles, experience, and education. We believe the wide array of perspectives that results from such diversity promotes innovation and business success.
Hovey Williams LLP believes that it is important to do more than simply profess these beliefs. In the past several years, our firm has taken measurable steps to support, promote, and improve diversity and inclusion in our firm and legal community at-large. The firm, in collaboration with retired partner Robert Hovey, supports a scholarship at KU Law School in recognition of the historical underrepresentation of women and minorities in engineering, science, and intellectual property law. It is our hope that the Hovey Williams Award for Inclusion and Diversity in Intellectual Property encourages students from various backgrounds to consider a career in this rewarding field. Hovey Williams LLP is also a proud supporter of the Diverse Student Coalition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. More recently, Hovey Williams LLP became an early adopter of the KCMBA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan, publicly expressing our commitment to not only recruit and hire diverse lawyers, but maintain an active commitment to their mentoring, professional development, and advancement in our firm.
Hovey Williams LLP is also proud to have a number of women in leadership roles within the firm and community. Nearly 50% of our firm’s owners are women. These same women devote their time and talent outside of work to a variety of civic and professional organizations that support and promote STEAM education for elementary school students, women in business and the legal profession, provide safe havens for victims of domestic abuse, volunteer to provide legal services for the arts, pro bono legal work for an organization that supports the families of killed and injured first responders, and volunteer with animal rescue projects. The attorneys of Hovey Williams LLP also provide community service to organizations that raise money to provide shelter, medical care, and emergency services for those affected by HIV/AIDS and provide domestic violence, sexual assault, and hate crimes education and victim advocacy to the LGBTQ community.
Hovey Williams LLP treats all individuals with respect and dignity. We strive to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment in which all individuals realize their full potential within the company, regardless of their differences. We recognize the importance of reflecting the diversity of our clients and workforce. The diverse capabilities that reside within our attorneys and staff position Hovey Williams LLP to anticipate and fulfill the needs of our diverse clients, both domestically and internationally. Managing diversity makes us more creative, flexible, productive, and competitive.
Hovey Williams Establishes Award for Inclusion and Diversity in Intellectual Property
Hovey Williams LLP has an ongoing commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal community, particularly in the area of intellectual property law. Along with Robert Hovey, the firm has established an award fund at the University of Kansas School of Law to support law students interested in pursuing a career in IP law and to promote diversity and inclusion in the field. “Diversity is critical to the success of an intellectual property law practice, particularly when representing clients across the globe,” said Andrew Colombo, a partner at Hovey Williams, on behalf of the firm. “However, there is a historical underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences and intellectual property law. It is our hope that this endowment will encourage KU Law students from various backgrounds to consider a career in this rewarding field,” Colombo said. This initiative is one of many steps the firm has taken over the years to promote diversity and inclusion in IP law. The firm named its first female partner in 2003, and by 2019 reached 40% female ownership. Since 2012, the firm has also supported one of its female partners, Crissa Cook, in teaching a course in patent law at the University of Kansas School of Law, which has become a regular part of the curriculum. Hovey Williams LLP remains committed to supporting and seeking out diverse legal talent in the IP field to join its team. http://blog.law.ku.edu/giving/hovey-williams-establishes-new-student-ip-award/
Hovey Williams Launches Inaugural Intellectual Bootcamp For Diverse Students
On September 30, 2022, we launched our first ever Intellectual Property Bootcamp – a hands-on crash course on intellectual property for diverse undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and law students.
We packed the house with attendees from UMKC, Johnson County Community College, Wichita State, Washburn, St. Louis University, Washington University, and KU, who were exposed to the realm of patents and trademarks, particularly through introductory seminar sessions and hands-on learning opportunities facilitated by Hovey attorneys.
Jaclyn Alcantara and former Associate, Denise Dantzler facilitated this successful event. They masterminded this event and enlisted our Partners, Of Counsel, Agents, and Associates’ participation. The Bootcamp kicked off with a networking breakfast, then our Partners Andrew Colombo and Blair Barbieri introduced the attendees to patent law and to copyright and trademark law, respectively, during our informational sessions. After the networking lunch, the attendees completed a hands-on learning hypothetical exercise with Partners, Associates, Of Counsel, and one of our Patent Agent serving as group leaders. The Bootcamp ended with a candid Q&A panel comprised of a Patent Agent, a Partner, an Of Counsel and an Associate, who each shared their work experiences, background, specialties, and offered advice for those interested in a career in IP law.
In addition to engaging speakers, networking opportunities, and interactive breakout group activities, participants were given Hovey Williams swag, a certificate of completion, and a delicious catered lunch. It was a very successful event with nearly 70% attorney/patent agent participation (we had to turn many applicants away due to space limitations). We plan for the Bootcamp to become an annual event, with our 2nd annual event planned for September 2023. This timely event was held just one day before the month of October which is ‘Global Diversity Awareness Month’.
We Proudly Support Kansas City Legal Community’s Unity Event
We continue our commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts by offering, sponsoring and participating in events that support, promote, and improve diversity and inclusion in our firm and legal community. In 2021, Hovey Williams made a five year commitment to proudly sponsor the Kansas City Legal Community Unity Event. The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) and the area’s diversity bar associations’ Annual Unity Event celebrates diversity and inclusion in the Kansas City legal community. The 2022 Unity Event celebrated the Midwest Innocence Project and recognized current and past winners of the Sly James Diversity and Inclusion Award. KCMBA’s Diversity Section, in conjunction with the Presidents of Kansas City’s diverse bar associations, including KC LEGAL, the Jackson County Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City, the Association for Women Lawyers, and the Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City, established the Sly James Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2016 for members of the Kansas City area legal community for their contributions to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Our Associates Lauren Byrne and Chandler Schmidt attended the 2022 event and represented Team Hovey.
The 2023 Unity Event was held on October 19th at the KCMBA Event Center. We were proud to continue our tradition of supporting the celebration. Our Attorneys Andrew Colombo, Kenzie Lawrence and Jaclyn Alcantara attended and represented Team Hovey. They enjoyed a fun night of networking and entertainment with our Kansas City legal community.