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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 Attorneys in
Firm Leadership Positions


Diverse Attorneys
Hired in 2022


Women Attorneys
Hired in 2022


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 Bill Hopkins

Spencer Fane attorney Heather Morris

Spencer Fane attorney Nate OrrSpencer 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 Past 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 Linda Knight

Spencer Fane attorney Stacey Garrett Koju

Spencer Fane attorney C Powell square

Spencer Fane attorney Gulmina Shah






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).

Related News

Brittainy Joyner and Kristen Walker Named LCLD Pathfinders

Spencer Fane attorneys Brittainy Joyner and Kristen Walker have been named Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders for 2023.

Valentine Uduebor Selected as a 2023 LCLD Fellow

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Valentine Uduebor has been named a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow for 2023.

Ayesha Mehdi Appointed Vice President of SABA Las Vegas Chapter

We are pleased to announce Spencer Fane attorney Ayesha Mehdi has been named 2022-2023 Vice President of the South Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas (SABA-LV).

Related Events

International Women’s Day Celebration: Virtual Fireside Chat with Ritu Bhasin

Spencer Fane Women ADVOCATE is excited to host a conversation with author and inclusion expert Ritu Bhasin. Many of us feel constant pressure to mask and curate who we are — to perform as someone we’re not rather than be ourselves. And it strikes at our ability to belong. But we don’t have to live, work, or lead this way.

Ruthie White to Share Best Practices for Terminating Employment Relationships

Spencer Fane attorney Ruthie White will present on the complex web of employment law related to terminating employees during two seminars at the 2022 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues on July 27.

DeAndrea Washington Attends the University of Houston Dean’s Diversity Dialogue

Spencer Fane attorney DeAndrea Washington was recently invited to attend the Dean’s Diversity Dialogue: Texas Big Law, Black Law Partner/Corporate Counsel Summit organized by the Dean of the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC), Leonard M. Baynes, and retired UHLC professor, Anthony R. Chase.