You know how I’ve long berated Big Law for dragging its feet on diversity? My standard spiel is that firms talk a good game but have little to show when it comes to results.

Well, hold on to your hats, people. Believe it or not, there are signs that firms are actually taking diversity seriously. According to the 2018 Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey, there are some solid improvements for lawyers of color. Behold the good news:

  • Minorities now account for 17 percent of lawyers at firms (nearly a percentage point higher than last year, continuing a steady upward trend).
  • For partners, minority representation is now 9 percent (3 percent increase since 2007). Lawyers of color now make up 25 percent of associates and 13 percent of counsel. And for management and executive committees, minorities now represent more than 9 percent of members.
  • Law firms are recruiting more lawyers and law students of color, and women make up the majority of these new hires. For 2017, minorities made up 26 percent of new hires and 32 percent of summer associates.

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