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Mark Dubois and Corey Brinson

The killing of George Floyd sparked large protests in all fifty states. Protesters of every color and from every walk of life demanded that we acknowledge that black lives matter in America. These protests are broad in their reach and support. They feel different from previous calls for racial justice. They are strongly supported by young people, by white people, and by people in small, rural and suburban towns with very few black and brown people. In fact, according to a national Quinnipiac poll, 67% of voters support these racial-justice protest and nearly 60% had a favorable opinion of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Not surprisingly, many in the legal community want to show their solidarity with the movement. Some national law firms have committed to giving millions of dollars to social justice and civil rights organizations. Some law firms offered their time. Connecticut’s Wiggin and Dana offered 10 million dollars in free legal services to minority-owned businesses. And some law firms declared Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, a firm holiday. These efforts are laudable. Law firms understand the importance of being in harmony with their clients, staff, and communities even as the legal profession struggles with its own diversity efforts, as 85% of lawyers are white in an increasing America of black and brown people.

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