I firmly believe that a law firm with a diverse workforce has specific advantages over those with a more homogeneous team of lawyers, particularly if the firm operates in a global environment with a wide range of businesses and industries.
Many law firm clients, from manufacturers to retailers, rely on a rich tapestry of customers around the world who may speak different languages, embrace different cultures and have different customer needs. As described by my colleague Carl Cooper, the chief diversity officer of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (K&LNG), in a recent white paper, “Addressing the issues presented in that business context is not a ‘one size fits all’ proposition. Rather, it is a situation in which a culturally diverse group of professionals will be better equipped to understand and creatively respond to those issues.” (“Synergy at the Intersection of Diversity and Pro Bono,” K&LNG, 2004.)
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