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Diversity & Inclusion

UKS values diversity and inclusiveness within the firm and seeks to promote these values within the legal profession and the community at large.  UKS’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is comprised of both its attorneys and staff which include women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2016, UKS memorialized this commitment by becoming an inaugural signatory to the Connecticut Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.  The Pledge unites Connecticut legal organizations to achieve the goal of fostering more diverse and inclusive environments and sets out a collaborative plan to make the goal a reality.

To learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, click here.

Understanding that commitment to change also requires action, several members of UKS’  Diversity and Inclusion Committee were instrumental in initiating a statewide collaborative program with the Connecticut Bar Association which awards scholarships and opportunities to diverse college students in Connecticut for enrollment in LSAT preparatory courses. Students who can properly prepare for and perform well on the LSAT have a better chance of being accepted to law school and thereafter pursuing successful legal careers.  The partnership originated as a result of efforts to address the lack of representation in the legal field and to increase the pipeline of diverse talent that enters the legal profession in Connecticut. 

Information about the scholarship program can be found at

UKS is also an active member of the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (“LCD”), Connecticut Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Connecticut Bar Association Affinity Groups.  As a part of the firm’s commitment to increasing the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse individuals in the legal profession, UKS partners with Eversource Energy each year to provide a first-year law student the opportunity to be a summer associate. UKS also participates in the LCD Summer Internship Program which places diverse undergraduate college students interested in the law at participating firms in the hope that once these college students are exposed to the legal profession, they will be inspired to pursue a career in law and contribute to the pipeline of talented lawyers in the State of Connecticut. UKS is also an active member of the National Conference for Community and Justice (“NCCJ”) whose mission is to promote “inclusion and acceptance by providing education and advocacy while building communities that are respectful and just for all.”  NCCJ and UKS celebrate “the diversity of races, religions, cultures, genders, abilities and sexual orientations.”

Throughout its existence, UKS has been committed to hiring, training, mentoring, advancing and retaining women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  Understanding that the law can be a transient profession, UKS is equally proud of the career achievements of its diverse alumni who have secured positions as general counsel for companies both nationally and internationally, accepted positions of prominence in state government and even started their own businesses.  UKS’ historic commitment to diversity stems from its commitment to its people and its community and stands grounded in the knowledge that it is the right thing to do.  UKS strongly believes that a diverse and inclusive work force benefits both UKS and its clients by providing a diversity of legal and business opinions and perspectives which allow for better reasoned decisions and extraordinary outcomes.

Updike, Kelly & Spellacv, P.C.’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement and Policy

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. ("UKS") strives to foster and maintain a culture of diversity and inclusion, understanding the value that attorneys from diverse backgrounds bring to our firm. Our goal is to recruit, mentor, retain and advance attorneys of all races, genders, ages, ethnicities, disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and/or expressions, national origins and religious preferences. Our attorneys come from different backgrounds and experiences and possess diverse ideas, opinions, abilities and personal qualities. The firm's commitment to diversity produces creative thinking, resulting in more effective legal and business solutions for our clients.

To achieve its commitment to diversity and inclusion, UKS has an active Diversity & Inclusion Committee, dedicated to the advancement of these goals and objectives. The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is made up of six attorneys and is led by a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. This Committee spearheads efforts to embed diversity and inclusion throughout the firm's processes, policies and practices. UKS is a signatory to the Connecticut Legal Community's Diversity & Inclusion Pledge and is committed to promoting acceptance, embracing differences and finding strength in diversity.

“Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to Updike, Kelly & Spellacy.  We believe that our firm provides the best service when we have diverse teams with different perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas.”

John J. Alissi, President

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Evan S. Goldstein, Shareholder

Michael P. Botelho, Shareholder
Jonathan L. Canestri, Associate
Richard M. Dighello, Jr., Shareholder
Valerie M. Ferdon, Associate
Jennifer Groves Fusco, Shareholder