We are thrilled to announce that Keller Postman UK associate, Akilah Jeffers has won the D&I Initiative of the Year Award at this year’s Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards.
Hosted by Law.com, these awards celebrate top female lawyers who have made invaluable contributions in making the UK legal profession increasingly more diverse in the past year.
Since December 2021, Akilah has been Vice Chair of the Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England and Wales, working to increase diversity and inclusion throughout the legal sector. And, since joining Keller Postman UK in June 2021, Akilah has spearheaded DE&I initiatives at our firm to generate awareness of, and help overcome, the issues that women and ethnic minority lawyers face. Having first opened in London only a year beforehand, DE&I was very much a priority for Keller Postman UK, but without a champion to move it forward.
D&I Initiative of the Year
Proving to be the champion we needed, Akilah established and chaired an Achieving and Celebrating Ethnicity and Diversity (ACED) Committee at our firm. Then, collaborating with other members of our team, she organised a series of events with the specific aim of raising awareness of DE&I issues.
Simultaneously, she has been involved in other enterprises, including a Law Society working group that mentors potential and current solicitors from under-represented backgrounds. Akilah also helped organise a successful panel event to celebrate International Women’s Day, and she followed up by co-ordinating equally successful events focussed on Black History month. She also chairs the Keller Postman UK BAME Committee.
To supplement these activities, Akilah launched a bi-monthly firmwide newsletter highlighting diversity issues and profiling women and BAME employees at the firm. She also arranged a Brunch and Learn event with the first Asian and Muslim Vice President of the Law Society to speak about the challenges she overcame, and organised diversity awareness training for ACED committee members. To deliver racial and cultural awareness that is accessible, she has introduced fun activities such as firmwide quizzes.
Additionally, Akilah currently mentors BAME employees, paralegals and career changers who aspire to become solicitors – so far with a 100% success rate – as well as establishing links between Keller Postman UK and school students from BAME/low-income families, equipping them with the right skills and mindset to pursue a legal career.
Demonstrating sustained commitment, energy, enthusiasm, and sheer hard work, Akilah has been an example to us all. And her determination and force of personality have shone through.
She has brought best practice to our firm when it comes to creating structures, conceiving ideas, and arranging events to raise awareness and increase engagement.
We are delighted that her passion, commitment, and efforts have been recognised by the Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards judges.
To see the full list of winners, please see here.