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Instant Insights / All Eyes on Big Law’s Diversity Problem

The lack of minorities and women at the top of Big Law is not a new situation, but the enduring problem is prompting high-profile discrimination claims against firms and has garnered the attention of mainstream media. In this Instant Insights, we examine the problem and how firms are reacting to the spotlight.

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A growing percentage of women, minority and LGBT lawyers in law firms nudged legal industry diversity in a positive direction in 2018, but black lawyers and other demographic groups remain underrepresented, according to a new study released Wednesday by the National Association for Legal Placement.

In its annual report on U.S. law firm diversity, NALP found that the representation of minority partners increased by the largest amount in the 26 years the legal employment association has been compiling diversity information at law firms. The NALP study—which draws on race, ethnicity and gender data for more than 109,000 partners and associates, as well as 6,900 summer associates—also pointed to overall increases in the percentage of women among partners at U.S. firms.

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Scott Flaherty

Scott Flaherty, based in New York, covers the business of law with a focus on legal ethics, lawyer misconduct, conflicts-of-interest and litigation involving law firms. He can be reached at [email protected] On Twitter: @sflaherty18

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