Kelly M. Brown

Principal Advisor & Founder

“I’m a remix. I’m a blend of the rich mix of people who add to my thinking, broaden my perspectives, and inspire me. In this way, we’re all remixes, when we’re open to the rich diversity that’s often hiding in plain sight.”

Why I Do What I Do

I love helping law firms build inclusive interactions among people across all differences in the workplace to enhance communication, teamwork, group problem-solving, innovation, and organizational culture.

I have experienced the persistent lack of diversity in the legal profession firsthand. As a lawyer and law firm executive, many times I was the only woman of color at the table. But I have also experienced the power of inclusion and working together across differences in the workplace to realize the benefits of diversity. I have also had this range of experiences on a deeply personal level. As a person of mixed race, at an early age, I had to learn to navigate the complexities of building bridges across differences. That inspired a lifelong interest in human connection and collaboration.

I founded BSD to help law firms design and implement inclusion-based strategies and programs that increase the amount, quality, and impact of interactions across differences in the workplace.

“Kelly is an excellent presenter, and I think it’s essential that the people providing us with these types of insights understand how law firms work (as Kelly does). I appreciated that her advice was strongly grounded in research and focused on concrete behavioral change.”

Program Participant
Presentation on Inclusive Interaction

Experience

I have deep experience in the legal industry having worked at the highest levels of law firm management. I was a business lawyer, served as chief of staff to the Chair of a top 50 global law firm, launched and led that firm’s key client team program, and led diversity and inclusion strategy efforts across multiple areas. I complement that experience with deep knowledge and expertise in communicating and collaborating across differences, including experience in mediation and restorative practices, organizational design, strategy development, innovation management, leadership development, and teaming.

I have partnered with law firms to successfully redesign and refocus inclusion and diversity strategy; to enhance connection, communication, and collaboration across differences and distances; and to bring together unlikely pairings to build inclusive workplace teams that achieved exceptional results (having a lot of fun along the way!).

My combined professional and personal experience allow me to consider inclusion, diversity, equity, belonging, and interactions across differences within law firms from multiple perspectives. I often say I feel I am built to do the work I do.

Education

I hold an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where I was a student fellow with the Mack Institute for Innovation Management. I also hold a JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.

I spent one of the most memorable years of my life at the Universidad de Granada (UGR) in Spain as part of my undergraduate studies, soaking in the richness of the Spanish and North African cultures, adding an important chapter to the remix that is my life.