October 07, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C.— Kalpana Kotagal, a partner in Cohen Milstein’s Civil Rights & Employment practice group, has been appointed co-chair of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Office of Inclusion and Engagement (I&E) Alumni Advisory Board. Ms. Kotagal, who also leads Cohen Milstein’s Hiring and Diversity Committee, was one of five co-chairs appointed by law school Dean Theodore Ruger. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Penn Law in 2005, where she was a James Wilson Fellow. Ms. Kotagal was also Articles Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

I&E was launched in May 2019 in order to cultivate greater diversity, equity, and inclusion at Penn Law and in the legal profession. The Alumni Advisory Board will focus on fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment that’s responsive to student and alumni concerns, and on ensuring safe spaces for those who wish to communicate about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Penn Law—including individuals who believe those values are not being sufficiently addressed. In addition to the five co-chairs already named, the Alumni Advisory Board will be comprised of 15 additional members selected through an application process. 

Ms. Kotagal is a co-author of the "Inclusion Rider”—referenced by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand in her 2018 Best Actress acceptance speech— together with Dr. Stacy Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Fanshen Cox of Pearl Street Films. Ms. Kotagal is also currently serving as an advisor to noted filmmakers on a film addressing issues of gender pay disparities. 

A noted public speaker, Ms. Kotagal is often called on to address issues of employment and civil rights law, class actions, mandatory arbitration, and diversity in the workplace to a wide range of audiences, including at TEDxLinz, Democratic Attorneys General Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Impact Fund, among many others. 

Ms. Kotagal is a member of the Advisory Board of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and sits on the Board of Directors of A Better Balance. She is also a member of American Constitution Society Task Force on #MeToo in the Legal Profession and is a member of the Dean’s Council for Penn Law Women at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also served as a member of the Center for Worklife Law’s Working Group on Pregnancy Accommodation and the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).


Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff-side class action litigation. As one of the premier law firms in the country handling major complex lawsuits, Cohen Milstein, with more than 90 attorneys, has offices in Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Palm Beach Gardens, FL; and Raleigh, NC. For more information about the firm, please visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com or call (202) 408-4600.

Media Contact: Anna Susman, 646-200-5285, cohenmilstein@berlinrosen.com

Click here for additional information on the Alumni Advisory Board.