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Diversity Initiative 2023: Krystal Kane

The Legal Intelligencer

Blank Rome pro bono attorney Krystal Kane was recently recognized in The Legal Intelligencer’s 2023 Pennsylvania Professional Excellence Awards in the Diversity Initiative category. Below is an excerpt from her honoree profile. 


Krystal Kane, Blank Rome

Kane is very dedicated to allyship, and to pro bono work that serves the LGBTQ+ community. Her personal pro bono practice focuses on legal name changes, and she handled 20 of these in 2022. She works regularly with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and Philadelphia VIP to do this critically important work.

Kane’s advocacy does not stop at her individual name change practice, though. Through her connections with the Philadelphia LGBTQ+ Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association, in April 2022, Kane organized a legal name change clinic in Philadelphia. She handled volunteer training via CLE, advertising through local organizations, and client preparation. Ultimately, over 40 people were able to secure legal name changes through this initiative. It was so successful that a group of attorneys in the Montgomery County Prothonotary’s Office used this model to operate their own clinic, in conjunction with Legal Aid. These projects are ongoing and will continue into 2023.

What is one change you’d like to see all Pennsylvania firms make in order to promote diversity in the legal profession?

I think that a lot of firms do an excellent job with outreach to diverse candidates and law students, but I would love to see that outreach and support extend to college or even high school students who are potentially interested in legal careers. This could create a pipeline of students from diverse backgrounds and first-generation college students as well, and could do so much to fight the systemic inequities that these students face.

Three years out from the nationwide protests against systemic inequality in America, do you feel the legal community is continuing to make good on its DEI goals, or is it struggling to live up to those promises?

I think that there has been more progress in the legal community than there has been in society in general, and that the legal community itself is committed to these efforts. For example, the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance is doing very important work to fight structural racism through pro bono work and education.

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"Diversity Initiative 2023: Krystal Kane," was published in The Legal Intelligencer on June 24, 2023.