Reimagining Law: DEI in the Legal Profession – What’s Working and What Isn’t

In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to John K. Kim, Counsel at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in Bloomington, Ill. John discusses the importance of diversity in the legal profession, which DEI initiatives are working and which aren’t, and how a virtual work environment may impact diversity at law firms and legal organizations.

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  • 0:43 – What would you say to people who don’t think diversity in the legal profession matters?
  • 3:08 – What has your experience been working in downstate Illinois, outside of the more diverse Chicago area?
  • 4:59 – How have you dealt with working in nondiverse settings?
  • 5:40 – What DEI initiatives are working and what aren’t?
  • 9:20 – How much impact can corporations have on diversity in the profession when hiring outside counsel?
  • 11:46 – How holistic are DEI initiatives right now?
  • 12:40 – Do you think the option to work remotely will help improve the diversity of firms and legal organizations?

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John K. Kim

John K. Kim is Counsel at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., where he chaired the Corporate Law Department’s Diversity and Inclusion and Ethics and Professionalism Committees. Prior to State Farm, John was in private practice in Bloomington and Peoria. He received his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law and a B.A. from Wheaton College (IL). Before attending law school, John worked as a refugee and asylee caseworker in Nairobi, Kenya, and for a faith-based organization in Washington, D.C.

John currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and chaired the Judicial Evaluations Committee – Outside Cook County. Locally, John served on the Board of Directors for the McLean County Bar Association, where he’s currently part of the Law Day Committee. John was also a Board member for the Peoria County Bar Association and chaired the Diversity Committee.

John serves on the Boards of Directors for Prairie State Legal Services and the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. He is a long-time volunteer at the only free and charitable clinic in McLean County, the Community Health Care Clinic. He also focuses his pro bono efforts on a variety of immigration matters in partnership with The Immigration Project.

About Reimagining Law

The Reimagining Law video series explores how legal and judicial professionals are adapting the delivery of services to meet the unique needs of today’s consumers. Reimagining Law is produced by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.

This episode was recorded on October 14, 2020.

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