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Recently, The National Law Journal reported that, for the first time in more than 17 years, NALP noted a decrease in the number of minority and women associates in its member employers, when compared to the previous year. The decreases are less than 1% from the previous year and perhaps to be expected during hard economic times. When combined with reports of firms reducing their professional development staff and related expenditures, however, the decreases are troublesome signs that the recession, lowered attorney hiring rates, downsizing or lack of adequate training may undo years of small incremental gains made through diversity initiatives.
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