Only a wild-eyed optimist would have expected the American Bar Association’s new study on women of color in law firms to produce a headline like this: “Law Firms Make Miraculous Strides on Inclusiveness!” Or this: “Law Firm Gender and Color Gap Finally Closed!”

Paulette Brown and Arin Reeves, the ABA study’s co-chairs, certainly weren’t counting on such cheery news when they got started on the project three years ago. A good thing, too, since the results would have left them sorely disappointed.

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