Thought Leaders

Andrews Kurth to Participate in Women in Law Hackathon

Diversity Lab, in partnership with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law, launch the Women in Law Hackathon aimed at advancing women in the legal profession
March 29, 2016
Houston, Texas

(Houston, Texas)—Andrews Kurth is pleased to announce that it is one of 54 firms to participate in the Women in Law Hackathon, a new Shark Tank-style pitch competition aimed at generating innovative ideas to close the gender gap in law firms.

Nearly two-thirds of the participants in the Hackathon are managing partners, practice group chairs, or other high-level leaders in their respective firms. They are working together virtually in teams from January to June 2016 to devise initiatives that will help retain and advance experienced women lawyers in law firms. Each team is comprised of six partners from across the country, two talent/diversity thought leaders, and a Stanford law student.

On June 24, 2016, the teams will pitch their ideas to a group of high-profile judges at Stanford Law School. The top three teams selected by the judges will grant their prize money, donated by Bloomberg Law, to nonprofit organizations that are helping to advance women in the legal profession and beyond. The first place award is $10,000, second place is $7,500, and third place is $5,000. Diversity Lab is contributing an additional $5,000 for a Crowd Favorite award voted on by the audience, which also will be donated to a non-profit.

Robin Russell, Houston Office Managing Partner, has been selected to represent Andrews Kurth. Robin has been with the firm nearly 30 years. She has served on the firm’s Policy Committee for over ten years and has served or currently serves on numerous firm committees including the Women’s Initiative Team, a group created in 2004 to recruit, retain and advance women lawyers at Andrews Kurth.

The Women in Law Hackathon is the brainchild of Caren Ulrich Stacy, Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Lab, whose pioneering work has included creating the OnRamp Fellowship, the first re-entry program launched in the legal field for women returning to the workforce after an extended hiatus.

“Law firm leaders have been working internally for decades to solve the gender parity challenge, but very little progress has been made; currently women represent only 18 percent of the partnership in large law firms,” remarked Ulrich Stacy. “Now, these law firms are trying something different.”

In conjunction with the Hackathon, Stanford Law School (SLS) developed a policy course to research why the gender gap persists in the legal profession and propose possible solutions. Students enrolled in the course, supported by three faculty advisers, will author a white paper on the issue, which will be available to Hackathon participants prior to the June event. “SLS faculty and students are committed to making headway on this issue and closing the gender gap,” said Susan Robinson, Associate Dean for Career Services at Stanford Law School. “The Hackathon is an innovative approach to a persistent problem. We welcome this important dialogue and hope this will serve as a turning point for women in the legal profession.”

“There has never been such a large collaborative effort where rival law firms join together to solve the gender parity issue,” said Ulrich Stacy. “Nor has a major law school previously created a class to examine and help solve the problem. There is an unprecedented concentration of brain power being applied to this issue through the Hackathon. And, thanks to Bloomberg Law, we have the necessary funds to support and implement the Hackathon ideas going forward.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to act as the lead sponsor for the inaugural Women in Law Hackathon,” said Melanie Heller, Vice President and General Manager of Bloomberg Law. “It’s no secret that more needs to be done to drive the advancement of women in the legal profession, and we’re proud to partner with top tier law firms around the country to tackle this issue.”

Women in Law Hackathon participating law firms include: Akerman; Akin Gump; Alston & Bird; Andrews Kurth; Arnold & Porter; Baker Botts; Bass, Berry & Sims; Blank Rome; Cooley; Covington; Dentons; DLA Piper; Farella Braun; Faegre Baker Daniels; Fasken Martineau; Fenwick & West; Fish & Richardson; Fried Frank; Gibson Dunn; Goodwin Procter; Haynes & Boone; Hogan Lovells; Holland & Hart; Holland & Knight; Husch Blackwell; Jenner & Block; Kilpatrick Townsend; Kirkland & Ellis; Kramer Levin; Littler Mendelson; Miller Canfield; Morrison & Foerster; Morgan Lewis; Munger, Tolles & Olson; Neal Gerber; O’Melveny & Myers; Orrick; Paul Hastings; Perkins Coie; Pillsbury; Reed Smith; Seyfarth Shaw; Sidley Austin; Simpson Thacher; Skadden; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Sutherland; Troutman Sanders; Vinson & Elkins; Weil Gotshal; White & Case; WilmerHale; Wilson Sonsini; and Winston & Strawn.

About Diversity Lab 

Diversity Lab creates and tests new ways to close the gender gap and boost diversity in organizations at the leadership level. Data, behavioral science, and design-thinking are at the core of everything that the Lab does. The Lab’s inaugural initiative, the OnRamp Fellowship, is the largest re-entry platform matching experienced women returning to the workforce after a hiatus with organizations for six- and twelve-month Fellowships. The Fellowship started as a pilot with four law firms and has now grown to include more than 30 of the world’s top law firms, legal departments, and banks. The Lab also celebrates and highlights what other individuals and organizations are doing to advance women through the website and shares knowledge – in collaboration with 25 other talent and diversity experts – through its blog

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change. For more information visit

About Bloomberg BNA/Law

Bloomberg BNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, is a leading source of legal, tax, regulatory, and business information for professionals. The network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance – the information that matters most to their customers. Bloomberg BNA’s authoritative coverage spans the full range of practice areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits, health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and environment, health & safety. From renowned dailies, including the Daily Labor Report®, to in-depth Tax Management Portfolios™ to esteemed legal treatises, Bloomberg BNA offers its customers a wide variety of information solutions to best meet their needs.

About Andrews Kurth

Since 1902, Andrews Kurth has built its practice on the belief that “straight talk is good business.” Real answers, clear vision and mutual respect define the firm’s relationships with clients, colleagues, communities and employees. With 10 offices worldwide, Andrews Kurth represents a wide array of clients in multiple industries. For more information about Andrews Kurth, please visit

# # #