The Legal Lens on Inclusion and Diversity

We must do more to ensure equitable access to legal career and professional development opportunities. That is why Zebra is taking some key actions internally and with its outside counsel.

People sit at a boardroom table
by Cristen Kogl
July 25, 2022

Similar to how Zebra relies on a network of external partners, distributors and suppliers to get our products and solutions in the hands of our end customers, Zebra’s attorneys work closely with and rely on external law firms to provide legal service and expertise in relevant practice areas.  There are also certain law firms the Zebra legal team considers to be key firms, as they provide strategic and additional value-add service to the team. And just like Zebra is working to increase supplier diversity as part of our inclusion and diversity efforts, the Legal team is committed to achieving the same diverse representation among our internal team and the law firms that make up our expanded team. 

Inclusion and Diversity Efforts with Our Key Firms 

The legal team prioritizes inclusion and diversity (I&D) by hosting and participating in training and discussions, openly communicating about the company’s I&D initiatives, offering internships and mentorships, and partnering with Zebra’s Inclusion Networks as well as others to ensure employees have the support and resources they need. It’s important to Zebra that our key firms also prioritize inclusion and diversity. We know that many do—half of our large U.S. key firms are Mansfield Rule certified, which shows commitment to inclusion and diversity in hiring practices. However, to get a holistic view of each key firm’s I&D commitments, our Key Firm Evaluation Committee assessed our key firms through a survey which asked them to provide information on the following:

  • I&D initiatives

  • Community outreach efforts such as pro bono work

  • Affinity/resource groups and/or mentoring programs 

  • Certifications and awards

  • Demographics (All U.S.-based firms were asked to voluntarily provide their gender, race/ethnicity and additional demographics on Zebra matters. The international firm was only required to provide data on gender.)

Understanding our key firms’ I&D initiatives allows us to be certain that we are working with firms that are vested in I&D efforts. 

These survey results helped inform the committee on each of the key firm’s current efforts so they can be used to set future reasonable objectives or recommendations focused on increasing inclusion and diversity in the legal profession. The Zebra legal team has now launched a I&D Key Firm Program Committee to develop objectives and programs with our key firms that scale over time. Based on the baseline data received and industry benchmark data, this committee’s programs are currently focused on working with the key firms on mentoring and internship of diverse legal professionals at the mid to large U.S. key firms.

Developing Our Zebra Legal Team Members

Additionally, the Zebra legal team has looked to opportunities offered by our key firms and others to continue developing our own team members. I am one of the more than 400 chief legal officers and law firm partners that are part of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). We have pledged to create a truly diverse U.S. profession through programs designed to attract, inspire and nurture talent with the goal of having a more diverse generation of attorneys ascend to leadership positions. The LCLD’s Fellows program is one of them.

I am pleased to share that two Zebras – Nina Mohseni, Senior Manager, NALA Trade Compliance, and Paul Borovay, Senior Counsel, Trademark, Copyright & Advertising – have been named as members of the 2022 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows. Launched in 2011, this landmark program is an intensive, yearlong professional development program that mentors the legal industry’s diverse leaders of tomorrow. The program connects high-potential attorneys with leading general counsel and managing partners, and their peers for mentoring and career guidance. More than 50 alumni of the program have become general counsel, managing partners or judges, or have opened their own firms since their fellowship year.

Congratulations, Nina and Paul!

Why This Matters

I&D is a priority at Zebra, and it’s important that those we work with share our same values. The legal profession has an unfortunate history of not equitably rewarding the careers and contributions of women, people of color, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented minority groups. Together with our firms, we have the opportunity to change this!


Editor's Note:

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Cristen Kogl
Cristen Kogl was appointed senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Zebra Technologies on September 1, 2018. Ms. Kogl joined Zebra in 2015 and has held a variety of progressive positions including vice president, corporate counsel and vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant corporate secretary.
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