Khevna Patel works toward equal access to opportunity and maintaining diverse viewpoints that are critical to a law firm’s success.
In her two years at Brown & Crouppen, Patel has introduced new initiatives and partnerships, expanded the firm’s online presence and increased its number of women attorneys by 33 percent and minority hires overall by 65 percent. The changes included partnering with Webster University’s Diversity & Inclusion Conference and diverse bar organizations, building relationships across law firms, local law schools and career fairs, and more.
She has been selected to serve on the board of directors of the National Human Resources Association for the 2020-21 term. She also participates in the Society for Human Resources Management, the South Asian Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association and the NAACP.
“I learned very quickly that as a diverse candidate myself, you had to work twice as hard to achieve your goals or had to fight for getting what you deserved,” she said.
Added her nominator: “Khevna is key in holding space for important and sometimes difficult conversations regarding diversity and inclusion. She is a wealth of resources and ideas on ways to grow and improve, both externally and within the firm”
What makes you most proud of your law firm?
Their genuine commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. They welcome and often implement new ideas. They seek to be a leader in our community. For example, Brown & Crouppen honored Juneteenth as a holiday by closing the office beginning this year and each year moving forward, and it encouraged other businesses to join in the celebration.
What motivates you most in your work and as an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion?
#Blacklivesmatter — we have an opportunity to have deeper conversations around racial injustice. We need to converse and collaborate to reflect on the impact of diversity and inclusion initiatives and responsibilities to ensure racial equality. We have one chance to help to shape someone’s future, to be able to educate someone on diversity and to take action — it’s one thing to have the conversations, and it’s another to take actions to make those conversations a reality.
What goal remains unfulfilled for you as an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion?
Build structure and accountability around Brown & Crouppen’s D&I Initiatives. Increase staff and community participation in the firm’s D&I efforts. Creating a page on our website dedicated to D&I. Creating a career growth plan at B&C. Continue to build an inclusive environment
What must Missouri’s legal community do to promote meaningful and long-term diversity within its legal/justice system?
Consistency and having open conversations are the key. Educate. Respect. Participate. Celebrate.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you:
I speak four languages: English, Spanish, Hindi and Gujarati. I was born in India and moved to the United States when I was 9 — and I did not speak any English. I lived in California for one year and then moved to St. Louis, and I have lived in the area ever since.