When the recession began, many in the South Florida legal community worried the diversity gains made in recent years would take a serious hit if law firms used last-hired, first-fired policies to cut staff, disproportionately affecting minorities.

The Daily Business Review‘s annual diversity survey, however, indicates minorities actually made gains at several firms in spite of the recession, and overall the bar has been raised. Law firms needed a higher diversity score this year to make the top 25, and several firms that increased their scores saw their ranking drop relative to other firms — some even fell out of the top 25 in spite of better scores for minority recruitment and retention.

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