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Three years ago, Edward Cooke, a black labor and employment attorney, made the rounds at major law firms in the District, which included Pepper Hamilton and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, according to a person familiar with the events. His pitch: Make good on your pledge to diversity by hiring a cadre of minority lawyers together. Nobody bit. This year, Cooke, a partner at Venable with a $2 million book of business, got a call from Mintz, Levin Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. The firm took Cooke up on his offer, hiring him and seven other minority attorneys. The firm hopes the move, which more than doubles the number of minority partners at the Boston-based firm, will help address the largest problem with attaining law firm diversity: retention. “Firms are more frequently inclined to bring minority lawyers in as onesies and twosies and assume that that is going to create a comfort zone,” Cooke says. “For most, in fact, it doesn’t.” � Emma Schwartz

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