Law firms in the Kansas City area have long recognized the value of diversity of people and ideas to the legal profession. Despite the individual efforts of law firms and their good intentions, the desired level of professional diversity has continued to elude the Kansas City legal community. For this reason, the managing partners of Kansas City’s leading law firms have joined together to work collectively toward increasing the diversity of legal the Kansas City area.
On December 9, 2004, many of Kansas City’s major law firms joined local government agencies and law schools in signing KCMBA’s Diversity Initiative. A key piece of the initiative was the Action Plan, which included a commitment to the creation of the Heartland Legal Diversity Job Fair (HLDJF), which had its inaugural event in the Fall of 2005.
The primary purpose of the HDLJF is to increase the participation of under-represented groups in the practice of law in Kansas City. The founders and organizers of the HDLJF strongly believe that the inclusion of diversity in its many facets, including, without limitation, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status, age and veteran status, enriches us all.