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Why patches won’t work African-American and Latino attorneys are poorly represented in national law firms and in major corporate law departments. Their representation in the legal profession is lower than it is in other professions, despite law firms and corporate law departments launching initiatives to promote diversity within their ranks. Law firms need to focus on fixes rather than patches to the problem of racial disparity. Diverse attorneys need reasons to stay Panel discussions seem to take place on a weekly basis addressing what large law firms can do to better attract and retain ethnically and racially diverse attorneys as well as female, gay, lesbian and bisexual attorneys. Experts say all the programs that encompass professional development are key. The challenge to diversify begins with law school Law is one of the least integrated professions in the United States. Minorities make up a quarter of the country’s population � yet only one out of 10 lawyers is a minority, according to the ABA. The underlying problem is the decrease in minority students applying to and attending law school. Top law firms could do more to ensure that the profession more accurately represents society as a whole. Firms that prove their diversity commitment win What most firms fail to realize is that it is their approach to diversity � not just the depth or sincerity of their commitment � that separates the firms that succeed from the ones that don’t. Senior managers must genuinely support all diversity initiatives or else their actions will be perceived as mere window dressing. Accounting firm shows legal profession the way Accounting giant Deloitte & Touche recognized a gender disparity among its partners early on and started a women’s initiative in 1993. Within five years, they had increased the number of women partners from three to 134. Law firms are taking a break from their diversity committees to learn from Deloitte’s success.


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