Restoring Lost Hope–How to Drive Systemic Change in Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Today, Legal Innovators released an in-depth whitepaper on how to best drive structural change through a data-driven methodology in diversity within the legal profession.

Legal Innovators released an in-depth report for legal professionals on practical ways to nurture, advance, and retain diverse attorneys. The special report is backed by data and examples of successful approaches.

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The legal profession has a significant diversity problem, especially in the higher ranks of law firms. Only 19% of equity law partners are women, even though women outnumber men in law school. Black lawyers comprise only 1.8 percent of law firm partnerships, and the total representation of associates is just 4.6 percent, a backtrack from 2009.

History demonstrates that economic downturns, like the one triggered by the global pandemic, can set back diverse attorneys’ progress. Given the current focus on racial equity, Legal Innovators asserts it would be a particular mistake for law firms to shelve plans to diversify their ranks. Diversity is no longer merely a moral imperative but a business necessity.

The nation, law firm leaders, and corporations are rightfully examining their hiring and talent development programs. This report helps them make the business case for diversity while detailing ways to shift diversity from a “nice to have” to a “must-have” business imperative.

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In the report, Legal Innovators details how law firms and corporate legal departments can:

  • Gather data on both numbers of minorities represented and work culture, and then create and publicize action plans with measurable goals.
  • Nurture a culture of inclusion and a sense of belonging with progress on efforts measured and reported transparently.
  • Assure goals are communicated and that leaders and supervisors be held accountable both with rewards and penalties when appropriate.

“The time for platitudes and diversity aspirational speak has passed. Now is the time to make the kind of sustaining and lasting progress we all seek,” said Bryan Parker, CEO and co-founder of Legal Innovators.

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