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Instant Insights / Black History Month Highlights Lack of Progress in Diversifying the Legal Profession

The numbers of black partners remain woefully low at major law firms. At the same time, the legal profession is still not attracting young black people interested in pursuing a law degree. In this Instant Insights—as we recognize Black History Month—we look at efforts underway at the pipeline point and within Big Law to change the dynamic, as concern persists that law schools and firm leaders are not addressing the problem effectively.

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Nate Lampley, with Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

Like many of my fellow African-American partners at Am Law 250 firms, I was moved by the insightful observations from Don Prophete in last month’s Corporate Counsel magazine. My own experience demonstrates that the combination of a conscious decision by a GC and a meaningful commitment by a law firm to give real opportunities to diverse attorneys can change the trajectory of a person’s career. I experienced this myself.

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