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Given the current economic climate, it’s easy to see why long-range efforts to boost minority hiring and retention might fall further down the to-do list, as law firms attend to more urgent concerns. But memo to managing partners: Don’t expect clients to back off the push for greater diversity. Recession or no recession, many top in-house lawyers continue to care deeply about the issue. Indeed, they worry that the recent downturn is hitting minority associates especially hard, threatening the limited advances that law firms have managed to make. All big-firm associates may be facing a far shakier future, the thinking goes, but the outlook for minority lawyers could be especially bleak if firms let diversity efforts lapse.

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