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Editor’s note: After this article was published in the June edition of The American Lawyer, Turo CLO Michelle Fang released a set of actionable steps for general counsel looking to promote diverse legal talent. 

As minorities see incremental growth in representation within Big Law, black attorney ranks have remained mostly stagnant for nearly a decade, according to The ­American Lawyer’s 2019 Diversity Scorecard. And despite a renewed push for diversity among in-house counsel, black lawyers don’t anticipate sudden changes without a measure of accountability among law schools, law firms and clients.

Since 2011, black lawyers have seen both the slowest growth among the Am Law 200’s ranks—from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent—and the lowest levels of representation when compared with other minority groups, such as Asian Americans and Hispanics. In that time, total minority representation has risen from 13.6 percent to 16.9 percent.

While most diversity experts would agree that representation among minorities remains far below parity with the total U.S. population, Asian American and Hispanic attorneys make up 7.3 and 4.1 percent of Big Law benches, respectively. Additionally, both have seen a 1.1 percent uptick in representation since 2011.

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Dylan Jackson

Dylan Jackson writes about the business of law and race. He can be reached at [email protected] or 305-347-6677. On Twitter @DylanBJackson

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