In this column, shareholders with Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry answer questions about your partnership goals and what to do once you get there. This time, Jennifer W. Karpchuk, a shareholder with the firm’s SALT practice group, and Alissa Gipson, an associate in the firm’s tax controversy and planning practice, answered the question.

Q: It has been almost a year since the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and many conversations regarding diversity and inclusion have waned—yet the ever present lack of diversity and inclusion in the legal workplace remains a topic of immense importance. In July 2020, the American Bar Association (ABA) published its second annual Profile of the Legal Profession, providing statistics and trends on the legal profession’s demographics. Since 2010, the population of lawyers has grown faster than the population of the country; however, the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities and females in the legal industry remains much lower than the country’s respective population percentages. Nevertheless, there has been progress: In 2019, lawyers of color represented nearly 10% of law firm partners and 25% of law firm associates, up from 6% and 20% respectively in 2009.  Meanwhile, in 2020, 37% of lawyers were female, up from 31% in 2010.

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