Meet Kathleen Nalty

Kathleen Nalty 2019 Portrait

Kathleen Nalty is a lawyer, author, and expert in strategies for creating cultures of inclusion to retain and advance diverse talent. She specializes in helping organizations identify systemic issues that cause higher attrition rates for people in already underrepresented groups.

When creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, I am an advocate for intelligent, structured change. I have worked with companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Kaiser Permanente, HP, Walmart, and Microsoft, as well as multiple law firms and government agencies to develop strategies for attracting and retaining a diverse staff, interrupting unconscious bias, and creating an inclusive culture.

My passion is helping organizations identify where their DEI efforts are succeeding and where they can be improved.  I am very skilled at engaging audiences and have developed educational experiences that produce big aha’s, especially with respect to unconscious bias and how it undermines diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.


Inclusion is the key to success – not just in making diversity thrive but in making the entire organization perform at its highest level. With more than 22 years’ experience working with a wide variety of organizations, Kathleen can bring a highly strategic focus to any organization’s DEI initiative.

Kathleen consults with and provides engaging learning experiences for organizations of all sizes. Her workshops help participants identify hidden barriers to success for diverse talent caused by unconscious bias and create more inclusive work environments where diversity thrives so that the concepts of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” are more than just buzzwords.


Kathleen has devoted her entire career to her passion for diversity, civil rights, and inclusion. She currently works with a wide variety of organizations, including law firms, corporations, and government organizations. In 2015, she published a “how to” book for law firm leaders entitled Going “All-In” on Diversity and Inclusion: The Law Firm Leader’s Playbook that includes new tools for advancing diversity and inclusion. In April 2017, Kathleen was invited to give a TEDx talk – Diversity Makes You Smarter – at the University of Colorado.

Kathleen founded the Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI) in Denver, Colorado in 2007 and led the nonprofit as its Executive Director through January 2013. In this role, Kathleen developed the only “how to” manual for legal organizations with a comprehensive step-by-step process for removing hidden barriers to retention and creating an inclusive workplace. In 2012, Kathleen led 10 half-day training sessions across the U.S. on diversity and inclusion for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association as part of its new Academy for Diversity & Inclusion. Kathleen also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law School from 2012-2018, where she taught a course on diversity and inclusion.

Kathleen earned a B.A. from the University of Denver and a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School. She started her career as a law clerk to a federal district court judge in Denver. Kathleen was then selected to participate in the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. As a federal civil rights prosecutor in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, Kathleen worked on cases involving hate crimes, police brutality, and slavery.

After returning to Colorado, Kathleen continued to pursue her passion for civil rights and diversity by cofounding a hate violence task force as well as a regional legal diversity job fair. She also worked for the University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law as a Consultant in the Career Development Office where she specialized in assisting employers and students with diversity programs and initiatives.

Kathleen has received multiple awards for her ground-breaking work in diversity, equity, and inclusion from several organizations, including the University of Colorado Law School (March 2022), Center for Legal Inclusiveness (Lifetime Achievement Award 2018), Colorado Women’s Business Chamber, Colorado & Denver Bar Associations, Colorado GLBT Bar Association, Sam Cary Bar Association, Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Foundation, Colorado Lawyers Committee, Denver Urban Debate League, the University of Denver Center for Multicultural Excellence, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Going All In on Diversity and Inclusion--The Law Firm Leader's Playbook 2019


  • University of Colorado – Dean’s Choice Award – March 2022
  • Center for Legal Inclusiveness – Lifetime Achievement Award – 2018
  • Colorado Women’s Business Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award (semi-finalist) – September 2012
  • Denver Urban Debate League – Hall of Fame Inductee, Former Board Member – May 2013
  • Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the Colorado Bar Association and the Denver Bar Association “Diversity Trailblazer Award” Recipient – September 2011
  • Colorado GLBT Bar Association’s “Ally” Award – September 2010
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Foundation’s “Raising the Bar” Award Recipient – September 2010
  • Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s “Minoru Yasui Community Service Award” Recipient – April 2009
  • Sam Cary Bar Association’s “Diversity Leadership Award” Recipient – October 2008
  • Colorado Lawyers’ Committee – Attorney of the Year – 1994
  • U.S. Department of Justice – Special Commendation – 1991

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Unconscious Proximity Biases Course

"Unconscious Proximity Biases" Course

Legal organizations implementing hybrid workplace models are at greater risk of accelerating inequities. Learn how to avoid treating colleagues as “out of sight, out of mind” in this 1 hour CLE accredited course.

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