“The legal profession rethinks its diversity dilemma”

Diversity matters, especially to the major national corporations that have pledged their commitment to advancing diversity within the legal profession.

The law lags far behind other professions in racial diversity (14.4% minority) time and time again. Around the world, many law firms and departments face similar diversity challenges – few ethnic minority students even apply to work for them, while women lawyers are grossly under-represented at partnership level.

Therefore, law firms are changing techniques so as to bring more diversity and inclusion into the legal world.

Diversity training has proved ineffective, so re-thinking its shortcomings is key. Several lawyers who gathered last week at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Symposium in New York, even go as far to contest that business should be taken away from firms that fail to diversify. Not just in terms of race– but women, LGBT, transgender, and disabled. No matter what capacity the change in techniques will be, it is clear that despite all of the time and effort put into talking about diversity, the desired level of progress has not been attained.

The bottom line is that diversity is crucial in both business and the attendant legal profession. To compete successfully, both in-house counsel and outside law firms must work together to seek out well-qualified, diverse candidates to fulfill the goal of diversity in the legal profession.

American Bar Association
National Law Journal

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