This week’s episode is the first in a series from The Careerist Vivia Chen focused on the shortage of African American lawyers, especially in Big Law, where only about 2% of partners are black.

Chen’s series examines how the profession has progressed—or not—with regard to opportunities for African American lawyers. She also explores how younger black lawyers perceive the state of diversity in the profession. And finally, she takes a look at how black women lawyers—who often face “double-barreled bias” survive—and thrive—in the industry. In this episode, we hear from Frederick Nance, global managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs. With 42 years of experience practicing law, Nance provides a historical perspective about what’s changed and what hasn’t for black attorneys, particularly at major law firms. 

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