October 31, 2008

Baker & Daniels Receives Diversity in Practice Award From Indiana Lawyer

Baker & Daniels LLP was selected the recipient of the Diversity in Practice Award in the law firm category by the Indiana Lawyer during an awards breakfast on Oct. 24. Katrina Gossett, a summer associate at Baker & Daniels for the last two summers, was one of three individuals receiving Diversity in Practice Awards in the law student category.

The awards recognize and celebrate those who have excelled in their commitment to diversity in all its aspects and to inspire others to strive for similar excellence in diversity efforts.

Baker & Daniels was honored in the law firm category for providing a workplace where those from a variety of backgrounds feel accepted, valued and able to contribute. The Indiana Lawyer recognized Baker & Daniels for an active diversity committee that is its centerpiece to support and promote diversity in all aspects of management, operations and administration.

Baker & Daniels was also praised for hiring a full-time diversity and pro bono coordinator in 2007, and the firm's management was applauded for implementing an action plan after an internal diversity assessment to include diversity and inclusion training for all its employees. Additionally, Baker & Daniels publishes a quarterly diversity e-newsletter and annually awards two $10,000 diversity scholarships to second-year law students, ensuring them a position in the firm's summer associate program.

Katrina Gossett was honored in the law student category for demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion through previous work history and choices of volunteer work. Diagnosed as an infant with spinal muscular atrophy, she uses her own disability to educate those around her. Gossett — along with her guide dog, Duke — conduct educational sessions to help co-workers understand how to interact with Duke. She hopes to not only assist people with disabilities but also help her colleagues and members of the community better understand her own disability.

Gossett is in her third year at the University of Chicago Law School after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. She intends to focus her legal career in employment law, helping educate employers on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and ending discrimination against those with disabilities. Last summer, Gossett represented Indiana in the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant in Rockville, Md.

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