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Recently 170 GCs pledged a call to action in an open letter to law firms: “Improve Diversity or Lose Our Business”. This message and ultimatum are much needed in an industry with 19% women equity partners, 16.1% diverse attorneys and 3.2% LGBT attorneys. This, however, is not the first time we’ve seen this approach. In 2004 there was the “A Call to Action: Diversity in the Legal Profession”, which was written by Sara Lee’s General Counsel Roderick Palmore. Soon after, 60 GCs had signed on in support. In 2016, the ABA issued their own “call to action”. In July of that same year, the ABA’s House of Delegates passed Resolution 113, which called on clients to direct a greater percentage of the legal services they purchase to diverse attorneys. There are many more examples beyond these three. This begs the question, how effective are these public calls for change?

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Erin Hichman

Erin is a senior analyst with ALM Legal Intelligence. Her experience includes covering legal technology and trends, mental health, diversity, and speaking at industry events. She has extensive experience researching IT, technology and related services. Prior to joining the Legal Intelligence team, Erin was a senior analyst with ALM Consulting Intelligence, where she led IT Consulting research, covering topics such as cybersecurity, cloud and analytics. In addition, Erin has experience as an analyst with Technology Business Research, covering IT and consulting firms; and with Deloitte as a consultant focusing on IT process improvement and business analysis projects to increase efficiency. Erin holds both a BS in Industrial Engineering and MS in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Integrated Technology Management from Cal Poly, SLO.

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