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Nearly 60% of law firms have a designated diversity manager or director, up by 8% from last year and by 13% from the previous year, according to a new survey. All firms said they have a diversity committee, whereas 4% of firms did not have one the previous year. The survey was done by Altman Weil, a Newtown Square, Pa.-based legal consultant. The survey canvassed U.S. firms in the AmLaw 200 and includes responses from 80 participants collected in March and April. “This year, for the first time, more than half of law firms surveyed report having a Diversity Director,” Altman Weil Senior Consultant Virginia Essandoh said in a news release. “This continuing investment in diversity is a positive sign, and is reflected in recent industry studies showing some increases in large firms’ diversity demographics.” Nearly 80% of the diversity managers are lawyers, compared with 67% in 2007. But the number of people holding the position full-time decreased to 53%, from 61% in 2007. Forty-four percent of the lawyer-managers also had an active law practice. Of those, 65% had a billable-hour requirement. The median annual compensation was reported at $184,000, up 5% from the previous year. Diversity managers who are lawyers made a median salary of $195,000, compared to $162,500 for the nonlawyers. The total budget allocation to fund the position and supporting staff was $477,500. All diversity managers served on their firms’ diversity committees. Seventy-one percent were also involved in recruiting, and 67% were involved in lawyer and staff hiring.

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