Yusuf Zakir is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Holland & Knight and coordinates the firm’s partnership with LEAP. Below, Yusuf shares more about the importance of diversity and inclusion, as well as his experience in the field.
“I believe, to my very core, that diverse and inclusive organizations and teams perform better in every way. There is nothing more powerful than having a diverse group bring their ideas and perspectives together to solve challenges. When we allow for diversity, equity, and inclusion to shape our work, our solutions, our culture, and our lives, we do better. Our work at Holland & Knight is to create an organization and a legal profession where all talented individuals – including those traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession – can have, and can see, a path to long-term success. LEAP speaks directly to both my personal passion and our firm’s mission by not only identifying a strong pipeline of diverse talent, but more importantly, by truly positioning that talent for success by equipping them with the best tools, guidance, and information possible. It is a thorough, detailed, and rigorous curriculum intended to ensure an equitable playing field. I have appreciated the opportunity to volunteer with LEAP, alongside my fellow Holland & Knight colleagues, in helping pave the way for the next generation of diverse talent.”
Based out of Holland & Knight’s Los Angeles office, Yusuf Zakir is the firm’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, Yusuf works closely with the firm’s Diversity Partner, Diversity Council, and firm leadership to continue to build an organization and a culture where all talented individuals, including those traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession, can have a path to long-term success. He helps develop and implement strategies and initiatives to build a more diverse and inclusive organization that produces better results and better serves the firm’s clients.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Yusuf helped manage diversity and recruiting initiatives at an Am Law 100 firm. Yusuf began his legal career as a securities litigator and also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Virginia A. Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Yusuf earned a B.A. in Business Management and Philosophy from the University of Toronto and graduated magna cum laude from Loyola Law School.
Yusuf is heavily involved in community engagement and outreach. He serves as a board member for the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP) and as the secretary of a nonprofit faith-based organization.
At LEAP, we are proud to partner with such a dedicated individual and firm as we work together to advance our shared goals of making the legal sector more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.