Under Oath: Mitch Kunert
June 7, 2021
Mitch Kunert is a Nyemaster Goode shareholder who practices in the areas of labor & employment and commercial litigation. He also serves as co-chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is actively involved in Des Moines’ LGBTQ community. As we celebrate Pride Month 2021, Mitch is the perfect subject to feature in our new “Under Oath” series, in which we’ll get to know many of our attorneys better.
Q: Why did you choose to practice law?
MK: I have always had a passion for the law ever since I was a child reading To Kill a Mockingbird and watching law-related movies and shows, such as Perry Mason. Those close to me would probably also jokingly say I love to argue. In all reality, law school only strengthened my decision. I really enjoyed my legal education at Drake Law School.
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since becoming a lawyer?
MK: To stop and listen. It is important to hear both sides to any argument. Listening is not only essential to understanding an argument but respectful of the opposing viewpoint.
Q: You have been active on Nyemaster’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee for a number of years and co-chair it this year. Why is D&I such an important issue for you?
MK: As a gay man, I understand the importance of feeling included. Many of the D&I Committee’s initiatives are focused on inclusion. Inclusion is the bedrock for attracting and retaining diverse talent. An inclusive and diverse environment allows wider perspectives to be integrated when brainstorming, problem solving, and developing new ideas. It also allows individuals to feel welcomed and appreciated.
Q: How has the D&I Committee helped increase Nyemaster’s commitment to diversity?
MK: By creating awareness through education. Inclusion can only be fostered by individuals being aware of the diverse backgrounds of those with whom they work. The D&I Committee strives to create initiatives that help us all learn.
Q: What are some of the things you love being involved with in your community?
MK: Anything that supports the LGBTQ community in Iowa. I am a director with Capital City Pride because I know how important it is to feel supported and included, and I want to help others within the community feel the same way.
Q: What issues are passions for you and why?
MK: Definitely ensuring that all individuals are treated equally. Life is difficult enough. Some individuals feel like their lives are less important or they're not entitled to the same rights as others because of their differences, such as their sexual orientation or skin color.
Q: Who is your role model and why?
MK: My kids. I often tell them to never lose their empathy, respect, and curiosity.
Q: Tell us about something outside of work that brings you joy?
MK: New adventures with my kids and partner, Ben. Seeing my kids’ reactions to something new is exciting for me and takes me back to when I was kid. Their excitement brings me joy.
Q: What do you do for fun?
MK: I love to spend time outdoors with my family. I am also an avid runner and cyclist. If it involves moving my body, I’m in!
Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
MK: An Ironman. Actually, I’ve done two. The physical and mental determination during the race is indescribable. I love to use it as an anecdote when attempting to teach my kids that a task that might seem impossible is not if you put in the hard work.