Corporate partner Diane Bell was profiled in The Glass Hammer on her career path as an LGBT attorney. Diane, who has worked in Katten's corporate practice for 13 years, describes the firm's culture as one that embraces diversity and has not only made her feel accepted, but also respected and valued, for her orientation. Providing an example, she describes initially being hesitant to bring her partner to firm events. "It was eye-opening to see that it was far more than acceptance that they were offering, in that they were almost offended I wasn't bringing my partner, as though I wasn't proud of the firm," Diane stated.
At Katten, Diane focuses her practice on private company mergers and acquisitions. The firm has helped her to develop critical skills, meet wonderful people, and build relationships with clients, something both she and Katten value strongly. In two meaningful cases, in particular, she recalls how good it felt to provide counsel and obtain successful sales for two family-owned businesses. Diane said, "I'm really happy with the kind of lawyer I've turned out to be."
On finding success in law, Diane recommends that younger associates seek out mentors in senior attorneys, explaining that her continued career as an attorney today is due, in large part, to the guidance of a former managing partner in Katten's Los Angeles office, who supported her during the recession. She added success also comes from being true to yourself and, since the beginning of her career, has been transparent about her orientation. By letting "her true self shine through," as she explains in the article, she established good relationships and gained more respect from colleagues.
Diane is the co-founder of Katten's LGBT Coalition, which recruits, retains and fosters an inclusive culture for LGBT attorneys at the firm. She is also a board member of Lambda Legal, a nonprofit focused on achieving full recognition of civil rights for the LGBT community and individuals with HIV. ("Voice of Experience: Diane Bell, Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP," June 2019)