FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2022
Tracey L. Mancini
Marketing Communications Manager
Phillips Lytle LLP Partner Kelly E. Marks to Lead Firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives
As Diversity Partner, Ms. Marks will build on Phillips Lytle’s decades of work to drive positive change within the legal industry
Buffalo, N.Y. – Phillips Lytle LLP has named Kelly E. Marks, Partner and Leader of its Tax Practice, Diversity Partner—a vital position that supports the development, coordination and implementation of the firm’s strategic diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. These initiatives focus not only on the firm, but also on the broader legal community. A member of the Governing Committee at Phillips Lytle, Ms. Marks will chair the firm’s DEI Steering Committee and spearhead its work to build a more diverse, inclusive workforce.
Phillips Lytle’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has grown steadily over the decades. In 1990, the firm launched the Phillips Lytle Diversity Scholarship at the University at Buffalo Law School, one of the first scholarships of its kind in the nation. Since then, the firm has increased its investments in several other initiatives aimed at expanding diversity within the legal profession, and its attorneys have provided significant pro bono service to disadvantaged communities.
As Diversity Partner, Ms. Marks will serve as an impactful voice for DEI perspectives, ensuring Phillips Lytle’s wide-ranging initiatives are successfully advancing diversity, equity and inclusion goals for the firm and community.
“Our talent-driven growth plans prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Phillips Lytle Managing Partner Kevin M. Hogan. “For years, we have focused on building a more diverse workforce for the legal industry, and now we’ve placed even greater emphasis on diversity as a central business objective. Our Diversity Partner serves in a similar capacity as a chief diversity officer, leading our active DEI initiatives and creating new programs that help us meet the need to bring together different perspectives, experiences and identities to solve the biggest legal challenges facing our clients. It’s critical to our competitiveness as a firm.
“With her impressive commitment to serving others, Kelly will bring dedication and strategic thinking to the role, as she collaborates with our attorneys and staff to attract, retain and develop talent from traditionally underrepresented groups in the legal industry,” Mr. Hogan added. “She knows what it takes to make an impact and is driven to make it happen.”
“We seek to cultivate an inclusive environment where our colleagues are supported and can do their best work. We look to recruit diverse attorneys and invest in talent pipelines that connect to diverse communities,” Ms. Marks said. “In taking on the role of Diversity Partner, I’m excited to help accelerate Phillips Lytle’s DEI efforts to drive positive change. A diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce fosters creativity and growth, enabling us to deliver exceptional results for our clients while engaging meaningfully with our communities.”
Phillips Lytle’s DEI work centers around three key actions—recruit, develop and promote diverse attorneys and staff. The firm engages in national and minority bar association recruiting efforts, supports diversity scholarship programs and community engagement; consistently engages attorneys to encourage idea-sharing and ensures policies contribute to an inclusive and equitable culture; and provides robust training programs, responsive mentorship and competitive compensation packages.
Ms. Marks is a tax attorney practicing in the areas of partnership and corporate tax; real estate investment trust tax; and the taxation of mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals, joint ventures and equity compensation. She has expertise in New York State tax law, including sales and use tax. Ms. Marks also has experience in providing tax advice and guidance on governance issues to exempt organizations, including hospitals, educational organizations, scientific research institutions and health maintenance organizations.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Marks spent nine years in advancement and development at two higher educational institutions and a national health care organization, serving in managerial and development officer positions. This unique industry experience informs her efforts to drive lasting change in the community.
Ms. Marks earned a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A. from the University at Buffalo, her J.D. from the Albany Law School of Union University and an advanced corporate tax certificate from New York University School of Law. She serves on the Boards of Directors of the American Red Cross Greater Buffalo Chapter and Second Generation Theater Company as well as Co-President of the UB School of Management Tax Institute Planning Committee.