The legal industry’s wave of recession-induced layoffs appears to have hit African American associates particularly hard. At the 191 firms that took part in our survey this year and last, the absolute number of African American associates fell from 2,826 to 2,362. In 2008, African Americans made up 4.7 percent of the broader nonpartner pool; in 2009, they were down to 4.4 percent–a 16 percent decline that did not surprise some.
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