A black partner responds to a gcs on law firm diversity. According to a recent op-ed in The American Lawyer, the lack of diversity is a travesty. The majority of lawyers in the legal profession are white, and there are no black partners in Am Law 250 firms. It’s time for a change in attitude.
A recent report by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) shows that law firms are not sufficiently diverse. The organization is urging law firms to reflect the diversity of the general population or risk not hiring outside counsel to represent the interests of their clients. This latest report shows that the profession has reversed its progress in hiring black male lawyers, and that the number of Latino and Asian partners is also extremely low.
Despite a long history of general counsel and corporate legal officers calling for more diversity in the legal profession, the numbers of black male lawyers have continued to decrease. This new report shows that this trend has stalled and the number of Latino and Asian attorneys remains low. While racial diversity has declined over the years, the numbers of black male attorneys remain extremely low. The recent study also found that female attorneys were more likely to be hired by law firms if they had more female partners.
Despite this decline in law firm diversity, the industry is increasingly embracing the ESG movement and calling for law firms to improve diversity. In February, the Washington DC-based association announced that it would require law firms to use the new scorecard when selecting outside firms. This scorecard will take into account data from participating firms. It will look at factors such as recruitment, retention, and promotion to determine if firms are meeting the minimum racial and ethnic diversity standards.
While the issue of law firm diversity continues to plague the legal profession, there is a growing number of companies embracing it. In the US, Vodafone has recently refreshed its global legal advice panel and selected firms based on shared commitment to diversity targets. Coca Cola has announced diversity targets for US advisers and threatened a 30% cut if the law firm doesn’t meet these standards.
A new report from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has found that a majority of law firms are not meeting the racial diversity criteria. The organization has identified that many firms don’t have enough black attorneys, despite its mandate to hire more minority lawyers. In addition to this, the GCs who have endorsed the diversity letter have little accountability for their own firms.