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The SKKM family is so proud of managing partner Karen Koehler for receiving the Carl Maxey Diversity award from the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ).  

The Carl Maxey award represents a sustained commitment to diversity in the legal profession by, among many criteria, making extraordinary efforts to promote diversity within their firm and WSAJ, and representing those who challenge discriminatory practices.  

Some of our firm’s younger and diverse members express their gratitude for Karen’s leadership:

“It’s easy enough to profess support for diversity and for historically marginalized people. Karen shows how to use her abilities to change people’s lives, and to change society, for the better.”  Lisa Benedetti, Attorney.

“As a woman of color in the legal profession, I know the difference between a firm that touts the importance of diversity and a firm that lives it. Our firm, led by Karen, lives it.”  Melanie Nguyen, Attorney.

“It is not enough to hope for diversity with kind words and well wishes—you must take action to accomplish this goal.  Karen, a woman of action, always takes time to ensure diversity is represented in the legal profession.”  Fred Rabb, Attorney.

“Growing up, my mom taught me to always be looking for who wasn’t represented at the table. More than that, she showed me what it looks like to use her power to demand better from the communities she was a part of.”  Alysha Koehler, Intern.

In Karen’s acceptance speech, she challenges the legal profession to do more:

  • Fighting for diversity isn’t pretty. You don’t always make friends fighting for diversity. Sometimes you have to be rude.
  • We need to do a better job not just by talking about [diversity] but by doing it. And each member [of WSAJ] needs to look in their heart and stand aside, and step aside, and put tradition aside to make room for the new, so that we can be more diverse as we lead the charge for civil justice.
  • I hope everyone will rise to the challenge especially in this George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, protest-of-a-generation year. We can do it. Yes we can.

Karen, we are so proud of the work you have been doing for years, and inspired by your leadership in causes to come.