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bounce an idea around, it’s nice to be able to ask the partner next door for a little help. T ere’s a collaborative feeling in the work place,” he shares. Simon partially attributes his having always been out at

work to living in Los Angeles and his practice area (enter- tainment law). And now, he says, the prevailing gestalt among clients at KBK is one that is accepting of LGBT attorneys and diversity in general. LGBT associate Cliff ord Davidson joined KBK six months

ago in search of a more intimate setting where he would know the people who decide his professional future. Davidson was not unhappy at his former job (far from it). As a young associ- ate in Proskauer Rose LLP’s 80-attorney Los Angeles offi ce, Davidson served as counsel of record for the Anti-Defamation League, as amicus curiae, in the California Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases, which recognized marriage equality as a fun- damental right in California. Still, as he became more senior, Davidson grew increasingly uncomfortable being far from the international fi rm’s center of power in New York. “I didn’t leave Proskauer out of a need to fl ee a large fi rm,

and I had nothing but great experiences in the Los Angeles offi ce,” says Davidson. “It was more that I was looking for the next step in my career.” Glen Ackerman, a board member of GAYLAW (a bar

association serving LGBT lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in the Washington, D.C. area) and a manag- ing partner of Ackerman Legal PLLC, an eight-associate general practice fi rm, stresses that regardless of a fi rm’s size, the individual is the ingredient. He urges attorneys to take ownership of who they are and seek out mentors and deliver a high-quality product. “At the end of the day,” Ackerman adds, “no one

makes a hiring decision because someone is gay. It is what they bring to the fi rm that matters most. And so it follows, when an LGBT attorney feels comfortable and appreciated at a fi rm—however large or small it might be—they are most likely to thrive.” D&B

Patrick Folliard is a freelance writer based in Silver Spring, Md. 1


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