It took a decade, but the percentage of black associates at law firms in the United States has finally returned to its pre-recession level.

In 2019, black lawyers comprised 4.76% of the associate ranks, which is the highest figure since 2009 when they were 4.66% of all associates, according to new data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). That recovery is among a handful of bright spots in NALP’s latest Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms, which includes data on partners and associates in nearly 1,000 law firm offices.

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