30 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – MARCH 2024 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM ROUNDTABLE ALB: Can you please tell us more about your responsibilities as Chief Diversity Officer at your law firm, and what is the significance of the role? KELLY BATTS, chief diversity officer, Cooley: My responsibility as chief diversity officer (CDO) is to help shape Cooley’s culture, promote diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) as our company’s core values and ensure these are reflected in every aspect of Cooley’s operations. We believe that nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment empowers us and our employees to innovate within the dynamic landscapes of the industries we serve. I was incredibly excited to be hired as Cooley’s first CDO in October 2023 – it was a significant move for the firm as we strengthen our long-standing DEI leadership position in the global legal community and beyond. ROBERT ANDREWS, chief inclusion & diversity officer, Mewburn Ellis: My overarching responsibility as CDO is the design and implementation of Mewburn’s Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) There has been a continued rise in prominence of the role of chief diversity officers in law firms globally as the legal industry has gradually taken stock of the need to pursue DEI goals. Apart from creating a forward-looking workplace, cultural awareness also adds value to the firm’s calibre in the eyes of clients. ALB hears from diversity leaders on how empowering inclusion can make a law firm stronger. ONWARDS, UPWARDS, FORWARDS Image: metamorworks/ BY SARAH WONG