Despite an industrywide effort to diversify, the percentage of women and African-American associates working at U.S. law firms has shrunk, according to data released Thursday by the National Association for Law Placement.

The data appears to show that after many years of modest gains, widespread associate layoffs amid the financial crisis halted the growth of female and African-American representation at major law firms, said James Leipold, executive director of NALP. Representation among those groups has slid each year since 2008, according to the report, which analyzed the demographics of nearly 100,000 lawyers who work at law firms and are included in NALP’s directory of legal employers.

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