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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

“At Spencer Fane, we believe diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental principles essential to the firm and our clients’ success. Therefore, we seek to foster and develop a diverse array of attorneys and professional staff who bring varied ideas and perspective to our clients’ complex legal challenges.”

Patrick J. Whalen, Chairman


Mission and Impact

With respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the firm focuses on identifying, attracting, and retaining diverse talent. Our mission is to build, maintain, and leverage a diverse and inclusive law firm that strengthens our clients and communities. We implement this mission through a variety of initiatives including:

  • Educating our firm members on DEI issues and providing opportunities for discussion;
  • Recruiting law students to ensure a diverse applicant pool and participating in recruiting events aimed at enhancing the diversity of law firms’ workforces;
  • Mentoring and training all attorneys towards their goals of becoming more effective service providers to our clients and advocating for their success;
  • Supporting diversity-focused networks, such as our Women ADVOCATE affinity group, the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity; and
  • Directing and encouraging our DEI Committee to promote, monitor, and evaluate our policies.

Women Leading Key
Practice and Office Teams


Minority Partners
Hired in 2020


Women Attorneys
Hired in 2020


Committed to Improving the Diversity of Our Firm


DEI Committee

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, working in collaboration with the Executive Committee and other Firm leadership, assists our efforts towards the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing educational opportunities for our attorneys and professional staff, measuring and monitoring each success and challenge, investing in formal and informal mentorship, and supporting attorneys and professional staff with a dedicated budget. We breathe life into fundamental principles that make our law firm strong, and a better place to work.


Spencer Fane attorney Mary Bacon

Spencer Fane attorney James Crumlin

Spencer Fane attorney Heather Morris

Spencer Fane attorney Jeremy Rucker

Spencer Fane attorney DeAndrea Washington

Spencer Fane attorney Elizabeth Wente square


DEI Recruitment Strategy

At Spencer Fane, we actively seek to recruit and retain qualified individuals with diverse characteristics and backgrounds. We promote equal opportunity at law schools as part of our on-campus recruiting, and actively encourage the referral of qualified minority candidates.

We are an active member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Commitment to Diversity Initiative, and participate in regional diversity job fairs, including the Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair in Kansas City, the St. Louis Diversity Job Fair, and the 1L Pledge to Diversity Program in Denver. We also participate in on-campus interviews at many of the regional law schools around Denver, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Springfield, and St. Louis.

“Our firm recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for our firm members to learn about and discuss diversity and inclusion issues so that we can continue to work together to enhance our culture. We believe diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles essential to the firm and our clients’ success.”

Elizabeth Wente, DEI Committee Chair



Advance. Develop. Visualize. Own. Champion. Advise. Thrive. Engage.

Women ADVOCATE is an affinity group within Spencer Fane that aims to advance women within the firm and their civic and business communities. Recognizing that the sustained success of our female lawyers supports a competitive advantage for the firm, the Women ADVOCATE group is dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of female attorneys. We provide resources to develop our members and champion their interests and efforts. We encourage our female attorneys to visualize the career path that they want. As a group we then work to engage each member in leadership and growth opportunities and advise so each member can own their career path. Women ADVOCATE also implements internal and external initiatives that cultivate both individual talent development and firm-wide business development. Our goal is to create an environment where our female attorneys, and all members of Women ADVOCATE, thrive.


Spencer Fane attorney Jessica Gale

Spencer Fane attorney Peg Donahue Hall

Spencer Fane attorney Megan Meadows

Spencer Fane attorney C Powell square







Our firm embraces its responsibility to increase diversity, equitable access to opportunities, and inclusion of people of color within our firm and community. We are proud to join our peers in the legal industry in this endeavor to raise awareness and eliminate practices that perpetuate racial bias in our community.

Leadership Council on Legal DIversitySpencer Fane Joins Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the firm has joined the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). Spencer Fane joins over 350 law firms and corporate partners in support of the LCLD’s mission to help “a new and more diverse generation of attorneys ascend to positions of leadership.”

Law Firm Antiracism AllianceSpencer Fane Joins Law Firm Antiracism Alliance
Spencer Fane is proud to have a culture that values diversity and inclusion and continually strives to elevate the voices of people and communities of color. In our commitment to promote racial equity in the law, we are pleased to announce the firm has joined the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA).


Annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast

We strive to be a firm that demonstrates the necessity of diversity in our work places and communities. Every year the Nashville office hosts an Annual Fellowship Breakfast in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event gathers community members and leaders together to reflect upon the life and legacy of Dr. King. To learn more, please click here.


Related News

Courtney Powell Named to The Journal Record’s ‘50 Making a Difference’ List

Spencer Fane attorney Courtney Powell was recently included among The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” list for 2021. This honor recognizes women in Oklahoma for their achievements in their professions.

Sandy Wirtel Awarded by NCJFCJ for Pro Bono Work

Spencer Fane attorney Sandy Wirtel, a member of the Jackson County Pro Bono Attorneys or “Pro Bonos” group, was recently selected for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)’s Impact of the Year Award.

John Browning Provides Historical Insight for the Oklahoma Bar

Spencer Fane attorney John Browning recently published two articles on historical topics in the Oklahoma Bar Journal.

Related Events

Walsh Giving Day – Diversity: Fueling Better Business

Spencer Fane attorney Ayesha Mehdi will present a webinar at Walsh College covering diversity in the workplace, including how businesses can impact society as a whole.

The Driving Diversity in Law and Leadership [Virtual Summit]: Los Angeles

Spencer Fane partners Mary Bacon and Elizabeth Wente will speak at an upcoming webinar covering diversity in the legal field. Mary and Elizabeth are members of the Spencer Fane Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Spencer Fane Joins in Support of Partnership for Justice and Remembrance Online Lecture

Spencer Fane was pleased to recently sponsor the Partnership for Justice and Remembrance event hosted by the KC Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA), the UMKC Cockefair Chair, and The Community Remembrance Project-MO.