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Promoting diversity and inclusion in our legal profession is not a new concept. Law firms and legal departments alike have tried various approaches to improve diversity in their ranks, including an emphasis on recruiting and hiring, implementing internal affinity and resource groups, and formalizing mentoring programs—all with little progress.

Newer initiatives, such as Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule, measure whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and minority lawyers for promotions, senior-level hiring and significant leadership roles in the firm, and is intended to diversify law firms at the highest levels. Still in its infancy, its success has yet to be measured. Other initiatives, such as the Colorado Pledge to Diversity, focus upstream on organically building a pipeline of entry-level diverse candidates to address the perennial complaint from employers that only a limited pool of diverse candidates exists. The Colorado Pledge connects participating employers with diverse students right out of the gate in the students’ 1L/rising 2L summer.

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