Koriambanya (Kori) leads all efforts related to the firm’s primary diversity and inclusion drivers of excellence, education and equity across all of Shook's offices. Focusing on the recruitment, hiring, development, engagement and advancement of attorneys from underrepresented groups, integrating diversity, inclusion and talent development firm-wide along with firm-wide leadership development, she works closely with the Executive, Diversity & Inclusion, Search, Professional Development and Associates committees as well as the Women’s Management Council, Mentoring, Pipeline and Parents task forces, Human Resources, the administrative operations team and Executive Operations team. She is a nationally sought-after speaker on diversity and inclusion, change management, inclusive leadership, cultural fluency, and talent engagement and development topics.
Kori uses her strategic, analytical and persuasive skills developed as a trial attorney as well as her experiences as an immigrant black female attorney in majority firms and as a member of a family that is multiracial, multinational and multireligious to lead others in difficult conversations on diversity, confronting key inclusion barriers and engaging others in strategy development and execution. She identifies pathways for professionals from underrepresented groups to leverage opportunities for career success by addressing organizational barriers and change management, equipping diverse talent for success. Kori focuses her work on empowering leaders to interrupt bias and manage diverse teams inclusively and crafting solutions to disrupt organizational systems and structural barriers to achieve equitable results. Under her leadership, Shook has:
- created an innovative strategic approach that includes evaluating systems for bias and cultural competency blind spots;
- developed strategic inclusive leadership development for attorneys and professional staff;
- developed targeted programs for minority and LGBT professionals aimed at reducing attrition and increasing engagement and crosscultural sponsorship;
- expanded ownership of inclusion change across the organization and increased integration of white men;
- increased education and awareness programs on diversity and inclusion, leadership and engagement;
- expanded measurements of diversity and inclusion efforts;
- shifted the conversation on attorney engagement to include greater focus on investing in and equipping talent; and
- improved focus on individual and organizational accountability.
Shook continues to receive national recognition for its innovative diversity and inclusion initiatives. Shook has won the WILEF Gold Standard seven years in a row, exceeding all the criteria (one of only two law firms to achieve this feat every year), has been ranked one of Working Mother magazine's 50 Best Law Firms for Women several times and scored a perfect 100 percent on the Human Rights Council Corporate Equality Index nine years in a row. The firm also has won the Coca-Cola "Living the Values" award three times - the only firm to do so - and in 2017 received Coca-Cola's first General Counsel Award for its innovative and bold diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives.
Kori’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been clearly demonstrated by her dedicated service to professional and community organizations, such as currently serving as chair of the Defense Research Institute's Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee of the Women in the Law Committee. Kori is an active member of the Jackson County Bar Association Foundation, which has provided diversity scholarships since 1998 to minority students attending four area law schools and provides support and sponsorship to a variety of education programs consistent with promoting diversity and inclusion and the interests of the African-American legal community. As a member of the Missouri Joint Commission on Women in the Profession, she has delivered and facilitated groundbreaking training on gender bias and advancement of women in the workplace. She serves on the boards of Newhouse Women's Shelter, the Jackson County Bar Association Foundation, SHB Foundation, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation and the Diversity Guidance Team at her church. She also regularly contributes as a CLE speaker on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics for the Missouri Bar.
A graduate of Drake University Law School, Kori was a partner at a regional litigation boutique firm with a national product liability footprint; her practice focused on general civil litigation, torts, product liability and employment law. Before that, Kori litigated labor and employment law cases on behalf of employers and for a metropolitan school district. Her work led to her recognition as a “Rising Star” by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, an “Up & Coming Lawyer” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, and one of the “Best of the Bar” by the Kansas City Business Journal. When she is not focused on creating belonging in the legal profession, Kori is teaching her two strong-willed daughters to dance in public, reading, dreaming of the beach, and giving back to her community with her husband at her side.
Innovative Mentoring Increases Diversity and Inclusion, PD Quarterly (February 2018).
WILEF's Gold Standard Certification Given to 44 US Law Firms, Who's Who Legal (June 2017).
Open Communication on Flex Is Vital to Recruiting the Next Generation, National Association for Law Placement, Inc. Bulletin (June 2017).
Embracing the LGBT Community Makes for Good Business, Kansas City Star (March 16, 2017).
Best of CLE Spotlight - Kori S. Carew, The Missouri Bar News Blog, (January 2017).
Case Study: Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Bloomberg BNA (September 2016).
Diversity Directions, Ingram's Magazine (March 4, 2016).
Shook Wins Diversity Award, Missouri Lawyers Weekly (February 15, 2016).
Renewed Hope for the Future of Lawyers, The Missouri Bar (December 17, 2014)
Kansas City, Missouri, Companies Score Higher On LGBT Friendliness Than Kansas, KCUR (November 21, 2014).
Fighting the Culture of Silence in the Face of Tragedy, MultiCultural Law, September/October 2017.
Courageous Conversations in Contentious Times, For the Defense - DRI, October 2017.
Effective Communication: You Say Tomaydo, I Say Tohmahto, For the Defense - DRI, September 2017.
Black Women at Work: Magic but Real, LinkedIn, April 1, 2017.
Moderator, Executive Roundtable - Emerging Trends: Recalibrating Diversity and Inclusion, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, November 3, 2017.
Presenter, Communication Skills for Success: Effective Client Communication in a More Diverse World, National Association of Women Lawyers CLE Webinar, November 3, 2017.
Interviewer, An Afternoon with Dr. Cornel West, Jackson County Bar Association, Kansas City, Missouri, October 7, 2017.
Panelist, Diversity and Inclusion and Women in the Law - We Are All in This Together, DRI Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, October 6, 2017.
Panelist, Beyond Check the Box: Law Firm and Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Programs That Work to Effectively Retain and Advance Women of Color, Corporate Counsel Women of Color Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 27, 2017.
Presenter, Sponsoring, Mentoring, Both? Modern Models to Advance Legal Careers and a Legal Profession, Annual Meeting of the Missouri Bar/Missouri Judicial Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, September 15, 2017.
Presenter, Creating & Measuring Strategic Business Relationships That Impact the Bottom Line, Urban Financial Services Coalition 2017 National Leadership Summit (July 27, 2017).
Presenter, Celebrating Our Failure: I'm Not Failing, I'm Learning, University of Missouri - Kansas City Women of Color Leadership Conference (June 16, 2017).
Panelist, Performance Review: A Simulation, 2017 Charting Your Own Course Career Development Conference (February 5, 2017).
Panelist, Effective Advocacy: Taking It to The Next Level, "Communication That Translates: You Say Tomaydo, I Say Tohmahto," DRI Women in the Law Seminar (February 2, 2017).
Presenter, Using Flexibility to Recruit Your Next Generation of Superstars, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance National CSO Meet & Greet (November 29, 2016).
Presenter, Intersection of Social Activism and Inclusion in the Workplace: The New Lens, Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals Fall Conference (November 17, 2016).
Panelist, Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices, KC Chamber's POWER of Diversity Breakfast (July 27, 2016).
Presenter, Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession: Barriers, Challenges, and the Future – What the Employment Litigation Bar Can Do to Build on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, Missouri Bar Employment Litigation Seminar (June 23, 2016).
Presenter, Using Flexibility to Recruit Your Next Generation of Superstars, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (June 21, 2016).
Panelist, The Role of Diversity Professionals, DRI Diversity for Success (June 9, 2016).
Panelist, How to Advance Diversity in Your Workplace, Washburn University Corporate and Law Firm Diversity Symposium (March 9, 2016).
Panelist, Relationship Recovery and Other 'Moments of Truth,' Charting Your Own Course Conference (February 7, 2016).
Presenter, Cultural Competency and Leadership, Newhouse Board of Directors Retreat (January 23, 2016).
Panelist, Diversity and Inclusion and the Impact of Cultural Competency, Education Policy Fellowship (January 20, 2016).
Presenter, Implicit Bias and Cultural Competency: Why It Must Be Addressed to Have Effective Diversity Successes, Association of Legal Administrators Greater Kansas City Chapter (November 19, 2015).
Presenter, Cultural Intelligence and the Prodigal Son: Effectively Working Together and with Clients, Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (October 2, 2015).
Panelist, Building A Diversity Initiative That Works, Center for Legal Inclusiveness Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit (May 4, 2015).
Presenter, Diversity in Law Firms/ In-House Counsel, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division’s Statewide Diversity Symposium (April 17, 2015).
Presenter, Cultural Intelligence and Humility: Effective Teams, Newhouse Women's Shelter (March 5, 2015).
Panelist, Growing in Place, DRI Women in the Law – Partnering with Our Clients for Success Conference (February 25, 2015).
Panelist, Committed to Becoming Indispensable: The Career Resilient Associate, Charting Your Own Course Conference (February 5, 2015).
Presenter, Cultural Intelligence and the Prodigal Son: Effectively Working Together and with Clients, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (October 1, 2014).
Panelist, Changing Profession Plenary, The Future of Lawyers: Challenges and Solutions to Practicing in a Rapidly Changing Profession, Missouri Bar Annual Meeting (September 2014).
Presenter, Breaking Barriers in Diversity: the 21st Century Leader's Competitive Edge, National Council of Women Bar Association's 2014 Women’s Bar Leadership Summit (August 8, 2014).
Presenter, Dollars and Sense: The business case for gender equity and work/life balance in law firms, The Missouri Bar Master Series Telephone Seminar (August 5, 2014).
Panelist, Cultural Awareness and Generation X, Y, and Me!, National Association for Law Placement/Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals’ 9th Annual 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Summit (June 6, 2014).
Presenter, It's A Big World! Working Well Across the Globe, Association of Legal Administrators Annual Conference (May 22, 2014).
Presenter, Diversity and Inclusion in Practice and Profession, Missouri Bar Master Series CLE (February 4, 2014).
Panelist, The Role of Diversity Professionals in Business Development, Minority Corporate Counsel Association's 14th Annual Creating Pathways for Diversity Conference (September 16, 2013).
Panelist, Crossing the Generational Divide: Bridging the Gap Between Women Lawyers of All Ages, National Association of Women Lawyers Annual Meeting (July 25, 2013).
Panelist, Law Firm and In-House Counsel Diversity Practices: What's Working, American Bar Association's 25th Anniversary Minority Counsel Program (May 16, 2013).
Presenter, Advanced Trial Tactics—Effective Exhibits and Courtroom Technology, National Business Institute (June 17, 2011).
Presenter, Advanced Trial Tactics—Summations and Jury Instructions, National Business Institute (June 17, 2011).
Panelist, Navigating the Minefields of Law Firm Politics, National Bar Association Region VIII Conference & CLE (May 21, 2011).
Facilitator, Confronting Diversity-Challenging the Old Norm, ALFA International/ACC Atlanta Diversity Program: Diversity in the Ever-Changing Legal Marketplace (October 21, 2010).
Presenter, Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy—Putting Together a Powerful Closing Argument, National Business Institute (June 25, 2010).
Presenter, Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy—Using Demonstrative Evidence to Enhance Juror Understanding, National Business Institute (June 25, 2010).
Facilitator, Beyond Getting in the Door: Tips for Success for the Diverse Attorney, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association in partnership with the Jackson County Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City, Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City, and KC Legal (June 11, 2010).
Presenter, The Finer Points of Trial Practice—The Unique Perspectives of the Minority and/or Female Attorney, National Bar Association Region VIII CLE Conference (April 16, 2010).
Presenter, Premises Liability Case Preparation and Trial—Defending the Premises Liability Case, National Business Institute (June 10, 2009).
Presenter, Premises Liability Case Preparation and Trial—Proof Problems and Practice Pointers in Slip, Trip and Fall Cases, National Business Institute (June 10, 2009).
Presenter, Contempt of Court: A Lesson from Legal History, Missouri Bar CLE (February 1, 2008).
Presenter, Deposition Practice Essentials, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice L.L.C. CLE (December 14, 2007).
Presenter: Diversity in Litigation, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice L.L.C. CLE (May 25, 2006).
Presenter, Preparation and Defense of Your Witness in Deposition, National Bar Association Region VIII Conference & CLE (May 20, 2006).