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Instant Insights / A National Conversation on Racism: the Legal Profession's Role in Driving Equality

The tragedy of George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer has spurred a renewed conversation about who we are as a country. In the legal sphere, we are seeing members of the community come together and look inward, asking what they can do to better confront racism and inequality. At ALM, our reporters and editors have interviewed diverse law firm leaders, general counsel and law deans, as well as allies, about where the blindspots are and where we go from here. A collection of some of that coverage, along with photography from the protests and spot news, is below.

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(L to R) Rizwan Qureshi of Reed Smith and Lee Merritt of Merritt Law Firm.(Photo: Courtesy Photo) Rizwan Qureshi (left) of Reed Smith and Lee Merritt of Merritt Law Firm. (Courtesy photos)

An attorney whose firm has joined forces with the civil rights lawyer representing Ahmaud Arbery’s family said Wednesday it’s time for Big Law to step up for racial justice reform.

“If we want to address systemic issues in our country, which includes in our criminal justice system, I think corporate America needs to put their money where their mouth is,” said Reed Smith partner Rizwan Qureshi, a former prosecutor with the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. “We talk about being in a COVID-19 pandemic. But the epidemic that’s plagued our country for so long is racial inequity and how that manifests itself in the criminal justice system. And it’s deadly. It kills Black men and women.”

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Katheryn Tucker

Katheryn Hayes Tucker is an Atlanta-based reporter covering legal news for the Daily Report and other ALM publications.

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