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.
Justin Henry | March 08, 2023
“We can't just be focused on events and activities, and we can’t just be focused on changing hearts and minds," said Alexis Robertson, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Foley & Lardner. "It has to be more of a systems-focused approach.”
Christine Charnosky | March 03, 2023
“While I am excited and honored by this new professional opportunity, I can’t possibly convey in words my full admiration and gratitude to you, my friends and colleagues,” Dean Garry Jenkins wrote in a message to the University of Minnesota Law School community Wednesday. “I am thankful for the brilliant and dedicated law school leadership team (past and present) I've had the honor to work alongside, and I appreciate the culture we've all supported, built together, and nurtured.”
Amanda Bronstad | March 03, 2023
“It’s one of the most racially diverse slates we’ve ever seen,” said Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann, of DiCello Levitt, of the leadership team, which a federal judge approved on Thursday. She and Ben Crump of Ben Crump Law, who both founded Shades of Mass, are two of the co-lead counsel.
Christine Charnosky | March 02, 2023
“My mother applied to college in 1965,” Alena Allen said in an email to Law.com on Thursday. “She only applied to Southern in Baton Rouge” because “LSU admitted its first Black undergraduate in 1964 so my mom did not view attending LSU as a viable option.”
Ahmed J. Davis | February 16, 2023
African Americans continue to be underrepresented among patent holders as Black contributions to innovation have been historically overlooked.
Christine Charnosky | February 14, 2023
“It is an understatement to say I am excited to join the vibrant and dynamic Mount Holyoke community; in truth, I am ecstatic and exhilarated,” Danielle Holley said in a statement. “My personal and professional endeavors reflect my commitment to create educational opportunities for talented and deserving students, including those who may encounter doors that are closed or unwelcome.”
Trudy Knockless | January 26, 2023
"Long ago, I learned that I can't be happy if I can't be my authentic self. ... I focused on being myself, and eventually people got comfortable with me," said Nona Lee, who rose to the heights in the white, male-dominated world of professional sports.
Law.com Contributing Editors | December 15, 2022
"We sometimes get in our own way because we don't see things as possible," New York Court of Appeals Judge Shirley Troutman said.
Christine Charnosky | December 15, 2022
“Part of our mission at Howard University is ensuring that education is accessible to students, regardless of their economic status,” Anthony K. Wutoh, provost and chief academic officer at Howard University, said in a statement.
Christine Charnosky | December 06, 2022
“While the full scholarship is amazing, the package of opportunities that comes with this is potentially life-changing for the selected student,” Mark A. Cohen, director of communications for Minnesota Law, told Law.com.
Christine Charnosky | December 12, 2022
This week, we’re analyzing what effect law schools possibly becoming test-optional and law schools pulling out of the U.S. News education rankings may have on diversifying the legal profession.
Christine Charnosky | November 15, 2022
The program “aims to widen students’ understanding of the relationship between race and American law, while identifying and working to minimize biases,” Ra’Shya Ghee, a 2013 graduate of Minnesota Law and assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, said in a statement.
Colleen Murphy | November 08, 2022
"The survey results are more or less what could be expected from members of a Bar that is more than 99 percent white," attorneys Thomas Douglas, Deborah Ibonwa and Shamara Bailey wrote in an article included in the report.
Hugo Guzman | November 02, 2022
"To boost diversity in legal leadership, everyone has to commit, and the Mansfield Rule certification process kept us accountable to that commitment while helping us formalize our existing process," Eaton Chief Legal Officer Terry Szmagala wrote.
Greg Andrews | October 20, 2022
Companies are hellbent on making sure they're diversifying their C-suites, but they don't always apply the same efforts to rank-and-file legal jobs.
Dan Roe | October 20, 2022
Six of the 10 most profitable firms aren't Mansfield-certified, setting them apart from the 78% of the Am Law 100 that earned Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification.
Dan Roe | October 18, 2022
A total of 165 law firms achieved the latest Mansfield certification as Diversity Lab urged firms to double down on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the face of a potential recession.
Christine Charnosky | October 17, 2022
This week, we’re digging further into five unique law school diversity initiatives that I wrote about so far this month.
Scott Steinberg | October 06, 2022
Today’s workforce is more diverse, well-educated, and multi-generational than ever – and wields more power in a tough hiring market. If you want to design a workplace that appeals to them, it means that you’ll have to not only be more flexible, adaptable, and open-minded.
Christine Schiffner | August 23, 2022
Black attorneys hope to foster more diversity and meaningful participation in MDL leadership committees by launching a new interest group focused on educating diverse attorneys about mass torts.
Greg Andrews | August 24, 2022
The ALM Intelligence/Corporate Counsel report found that the departments have made greater strides in hiring diverse talent for leadership roles than law firms have, but still largely tilt white male.
Dan Roe | August 16, 2022
The sixth iteration of the diversity certification requires firms to consider lawyers from each of four underrepresented categories for leadership roles.
Trudy Knockless | June 17, 2022
“The candidate pool for minorities has expanded but still has a long way to go,” said John Barker, managing partner of search firm BarkerGilmore.
Cedra Mayfield | June 15, 2022
"The Road Map to Law School is a program that I developed to help give Black college students guidance on the law school admission process," said Ira Foster, Georgia Legal Service Program General Counsel. "The program also gives the college students guidance on what career fields and legal opportunities are available after law school."
Christine Charnosky | June 14, 2022
“We carry the weight of diversifying the profession," Florida A&M University College of Law dean Deidre Keller said.
Jessie Yount | May 31, 2022
The 2022 Diversity Scorecard shows the legal industry turned a mirror on itself to achieve the biggest year-over-year improvement on record.
Justin Henry | May 25, 2022
“So much of the data out there tell us that the tipping point of the career death spiral for so many diverse lawyers is lack of access to equitable work assignments,” said Duane Morris' diversity chief Joe West.
Christine Charnosky | May 10, 2022
While the move would be welcomed by many who believe it could, in theory, make law school more accessible to diverse applicants, its practical effect could prove muted. Still, advocates see it as a potential step in the right direction.
Christine Charnosky | May 09, 2022
This week, we’re analyzing the news that the Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions is considering eliminating the requirement of a standardized test for law school admissions.
Amanda Bronstad | April 21, 2022
About 16% of attorneys appointed to leadership roles in multidistrict litigation created in 2021 identified as nonwhite, up slightly from 14% in 2020. In 2016, only 4% went to nonwhite attorneys.
Christine Charnosky | March 25, 2022
“In many instances, the questions were irrelevant, vicious and intended to provoke her into giving an in-kind response that would be viewed as a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Patricia A. Broussard, professor of law at Florida A&M University College of Law, said in an email to Law.com on Friday.
Frederick Shelton | March 22, 2022
While there will always be firms that consider themselves elite because they only hire from Harvard or Yale, there is a growing number of students, clients and private practice attorneys who do not consider such firms elite but rather elitist.
Trudy Knockless | March 21, 2022
“One has to really get beyond the resume to get to know the person, understand their goals and objectives out of life and the practice of law,” said Stephen Kim, chief legal officer of Avicanna.
Isha Marathe | March 14, 2022
Legalweek panelists on diversity say legal tech sits at an unfortunate intersection: law and tech—two fields dominated by white, male entrepreneurs. The change will have to begin with investors seeking to fund different demographics.
Last week, Legal Speak was live on location at Legalweek 2022 in New York City, where we interviewed professionals from across the legal industry about their work and how they're helping to shape the future of the profession.
Amanda Bronstad | February 28, 2022
Prominent plaintiffs attorneys Ben Crump and Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann announced on Monday a new organization called Shades of Mass.
Christine Charnosky | February 28, 2022
The ABA said multiple comments expressed concern that the proposal creates a two-tiered DEI system that gives priority to racial and ethnic diversity at the expense of LGBTQ+ and disability diversity.
Christine Charnosky | February 16, 2022
The American Bar Association House of Delegates this week adopted several changes to the ABA's accreditation standards, including adding a controversial requirement that law schools provide "education on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism" to students.
Patrick Smith | February 10, 2022
The industry has seen some progress in representation since the Mansfield Rule was created. Still, room for improvement remains.
Jessica Mach | February 03, 2022
“We have to begin to step away from these preconceived notions of what the appropriate standard is, and be open and willing to invite new thinking, innovative approaches," said Tammy Bennett, a Dinsmore and Shohl partner.
Christine Charnosky | February 11, 2022
“We’re very interested in doing our part to increase diversity in the legal profession since so many lawyers don’t reflect the population they serve,” Suffolk Law Dean Andrew Perlman told Law.com.
Christine Charnosky | February 07, 2022
Dean and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law Risa Goluboff told Law.com that what makes the Roadmap Scholars Initiative unique is its "comprehensiveness." "It's called a roadmap on purpose because we’re helping students create a full roadmap” toward a career in law, she said.
Christine Charnosky | January 26, 2022
“As a Black woman who works in sports and entertainment, I saw the lack of Black lawyers, and I saw nothing being done to address the discrepancies,” said Jaia Thomas, founder and CEO of Diverse Representation, the organization partnering with Southern University Law Center on the boot camp.
Dylan Jackson | January 25, 2022
While the results from the National Association of Law Placement report are promising, much work remains to be done in order to retain these diverse classes through to partnership.
Christine Charnosky | January 25, 2022
“It’s gratifying to look back and see the changes in my own community," said Boston University School of Law Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig. "And, as I know it does for others, it inspires me to continue with this really difficult and often thankless work.”
Zack Needles | January 25, 2022
Law school applications are still sky high, but the legal industry seems to be growing less content with simply sitting back and waiting for future generations to find it.
Christine Charnosky | January 21, 2022
“We need to start reaching students in grade school,” said Shawntal Mallory, executive director of the new Nebraska Legal Diversity Council. “Like when we were all asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’”
Christine Charnosky | January 19, 2022
“The response to the AALS Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project has been tremendous,” said Boston University School of Law Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig, who co-founded the project. “We regularly hear from decanal and professor colleagues in law that they are using the Clearinghouse as a reference to aid their efforts in creating change at their own schools and in society as a whole.”
Dylan Jackson | January 11, 2022
The elevation of Rekha Chiruvolu comes months after the firm hired away Covington & Burling pro bono manager Sharmaine Heng to lead its "impact lawyering" initiative.
Hugo Guzman | January 07, 2022
Only 10% of GCs report any kind of yearly diversity-and-inclusion progress, the FTI Consulting and Relativity study found.
Christine Charnosky | January 07, 2022
"We encourage folks to ‘clean your house first before inviting people over,'" said Amber Hikes, chief equity and inclusion officer at the ACLU, during a panel discussion this week presented by the Association of American Law Schools.
Andrew Maloney | December 29, 2021
Sidley, which just boosted its diversity of office leaders, now has several approaches in its talent goals.
Patrick Smith | December 15, 2021
“The emotional stress of being the only one, due to lack of community, is real,” one industry consultant said.
Dylan Jackson | December 15, 2021
Some best practices include providing written compensation criteria and tying partner and practice leader compensation to DEI.
Christine Charnosky | December 03, 2021
“People like to complain about the dearth of viable, prepared candidates,” said Camille Nelson, dean of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law. "They say they can’t find great applicants, which I don’t believe, but if that’s the case, what are they doing about it? Everyone starts from a place of scarcity to justify the absence of women, people of color, queer, not 100% able-bodied.”
Christine Charnosky | December 02, 2021
The Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has, for the second time this year, released a revised version of a proposal aimed at bolstering its existing diversity and inclusion standard.
Dan Roe | November 30, 2021
Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton and Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell are providing mentorship and career opportunities to diverse law students at FAMU, FIU, the University of Miami, and elsewhere.
Dan Packel | November 19, 2021
When the pandemic hit, firms backed away from discussions about hiring early-career lawyers on a contract basis from Legal Innovators. But the pipeline is now flowing.
Victoria Hudgins | November 19, 2021
A year after many companies said they would focus and support diversity, lawyer and Billseye co-founder Alcide Honoré says the door for opportunities is widening for Black-owned companies. However, some still aren't serious about their DEI efforts.
Varsha Patel | November 16, 2021
A Law.com International investigation has uncovered how tokenism is rife across the UK's legal industry with a host of Black and minority lawyers describing how their names and images were used on client pitches and promotional materials they had nothing to do with.
Christine Charnosky | November 16, 2021
Educational Testing Service has established a new Legal Education Advisory Council aimed at enhancing fair and equitable pathways to law school and beyond.
Justin Henry | October 27, 2021
“We believe that providing superior client service depends on our ability to draw on the insights and experience of attorneys from diverse backgrounds,” a Fox Rothschild firm leader said Wednesday.
Lauren Krasnow | October 25, 2021
In the first column in a series exploring what it means to be a Fully Human Lawyer, Lauren Krasnow writes about how ignoring our differences requires not wholly seeing one another.
Kris Satkunas | October 25, 2021
Corporations are stepping up the pressure on outside counsel to improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Jessie Yount | October 18, 2021
K&L Gates is the latest in a recent run of firms seeking to incentivize work to promote diversity and inclusion.
The Legal Intelligencer | October 18, 2021
The editorial staff of The Legal Intelligencer recognizes diversity as a continuing concern in the legal community. This is our biannual discussion, an attempt to propose concrete solutions for the issues the legal profession faces in recruiting, hiring and retaining diverse attorneys.
Kent A. Gardiner | October 15, 2021
Former Crowell & Moring chair Kent A. Gardiner on how firms can better overcome barriers with the help of their senior leaders.
Zack Needles | October 06, 2021
This week, we look at how and why diversity-focused law firms are beginning to recruit the next generation of attorneys before law school.
Dylan Jackson | September 29, 2021
"What makes or breaks an associate or partner’s career is what happens at the practice group level," said Caren Ulrich Stacey, CEO of Diversity Lab.
Heidi Turner | September 28, 2021
Because gamification is frequently misunderstood, people often diminish it in conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. An examination of gamification as a whole, however, shows how it lends itself to addressing serious issues.
Jacob Polacheck | September 24, 2021
“Any increase in focus on candidate pools for various leadership positions also brings focus to the process for achieving those leadership positions," Angela Payne James of Alston & Bird said.
Dan Packel | September 22, 2021
The firm has a thriving franchise practice, and it's launching a speaker series to encourage greater diversity in the ranks.
Jane Wester | September 16, 2021
NYSBA president T. Andrew Brown said the new task force will examine the regulations, laws and structures “that are collectively holding us back as a society from achieving true equality.”
Dylan Jackson | September 13, 2021
Before the launch of this round, many in Diversity Lab were worried that the pandemic would discourage participation.
Renee Nunley Smith | August 27, 2021
As firms and companies focus on weathering an ongoing pandemic, diversity efforts should not be set aside as a problem for another day.
Nicole D. Galli | August 30, 2021
Against this backdrop, folks focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the legal profession are also worried about the impact on DEI efforts in the profession.
Hugo Guzman | August 30, 2021
"Time will certainly tell what kind of impact the ongoing pandemic will have on diversity in our industry," Wanji Walcott says.
Samantha Joseph | August 17, 2021
“When I think of mentorship, I really think that I want to lighten the load of people who are coming behind me, and not make them have to … relearn the things that I've already learned, and really show young people how to navigate and be successful in the legal field," said Kasowitz Benson Torres partner Nefertiti J. Alexander.
Dylan Jackson | August 19, 2021
Working in Wilmer Hale's anti-discrimination practice group "makes me feel less like it’s something that I can just do to pay my loans and move on," one associate said.
Samantha Joseph | August 17, 2021
"You need to find a way to do it," he said.
Trudy Knockless | August 10, 2021
When looking solely at the gender composition in the Fortune 1000, the numbers are increasing at a more rapid pace, according to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's 2020 General Counsel Survey.
Hugo Guzman | August 04, 2021
The new general counsel, Sean Pittman, noted COVID-19, health care and wealth disparities, police brutality and voter suppression as issues that underline the importance of the National Bar Association.
Dylan Jackson | August 04, 2021
Big Law firms such as Shearman & Sterling and Willkie Farr & Gallagher are increasingly bringing in AI companies into their recruiting process.
Cedra Mayfield | August 09, 2021
The founder and CEO is Marcie Dickson. And ex-American Bar Association President Linda Klein is among Alterity Resolution Services' 15 founding members.
Dylan Jackson | August 02, 2021
The stagnation in Black attorney head count growth comes as overall minority numbers have inched up and as the legal industry has put a considerable focus on improving diversity in the profession.
Lizzy McLellan | July 27, 2021
Traditional methods of assigning work to lawyers "can lead to this initial inequality that just gets more entrenched and more severe over time," Diversity Lab's Lisa Kirby said.
Zack Needles | July 28, 2021
In a recent message to the company's outside counsel, BASF General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer Matt Lepore said remote work flexibility "has become an important D&I topic," adding that the pandemic created "an inflection point for us to embrace a new way of working that fosters, not hinders, diversity and inclusion."
Simon Lock | July 26, 2021
Many of the UK’s largest law firms have quietly fallen short of their own stated diversity targets according to an in-depth analysis.
Avalon Zoppo | July 12, 2021
The House Judiciary Committee is exploring ways to diversify federal courts through the judicial selection process.
Varsha Patel | July 09, 2021
The internship will not require participants to wear formal outfits or have their own laptops.
Dan Clark | July 01, 2021
“It helps you see the legal questions from both sides and be able to provide clients with practical legal advice," said Laura Bautista, of the Association of Corporate Counsel Greater Philadelphia.
Karen Sloan | July 01, 2021
The American Bar Association is scheduled to consider a slate of changes to its diversity and inclusions standards in August.
Jacqueline Thomsen | August 27, 2021
“Appointing Black United States Attorneys at this critical juncture in the history of the department will signal a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion,” reads the letter from the DOJ Association of Black Attorneys.
Dylan Jackson | June 29, 2021
"Including staff was something the firms really wanted. Senior level staff play an increasingly important role in running firms," Kirby says.
Karen Sloan | June 24, 2021
Recent data from the American Bar Association has cast new attention on longstanding racial gaps in bar passage rates. Experts say the problem can be addressed if regulators are willing to adopt new approaches.
Hugo Guzman | June 23, 2021
“Especially given the client space and conversations we’re having, I would think the vast majority of companies and law departments have a plan to increase diversity,” Major Lindsey & Africa's Greg Richter said.
Sarah Tincher-Numbers | June 17, 2021
What do corporate legal departments expect of their outside counsel when it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts? The answer to that isn't one-size-fits-all, but in short: a lot more than they used to.
Dylan Jackson | June 17, 2021
"I don’t think money is going to be the answer to retaining diverse lawyers," Major, Lindsey & Africa recruiter Merle Vaughn said.
Dylan Jackson | June 08, 2021
Roughly 31% of Black lawyers said they have contemplated suicide during their professional career, far and above the 19% of white respondents that said the same.
Rochelle Gumapac | June 04, 2021
The work to increase diversity and effectuate real change has begun but because it will be hard and long-term, even generational, firms should use all the tools available to them to make it happen.
Dylan Jackson | May 26, 2021
Firms are encouraging lawyers and staff to volunteer or do pro bono work in honor of the day.
Richard Binder | May 28, 2021
The panel that convened on the anniversary of George Floyd's murder agreed that the DEI needle still has a lot of moving to do.
Michael A. Mora | May 28, 2021
"There are inventive things judges can do in cases, like the ability to use a traditional notion of appointing leadership in an MDL, but thinking more creatively and broadly of who can be a member of that leadership," said U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg.
Patrick Smith | May 27, 2021
“I think there is a lot of desire to do this work and address racial inequity, but not as much willingness to actually take action to make change,” one diversity professional said.
Sixteen law firms on the 2021 Diversity Scorecard, nine of which are in the Am Law 200, do not have any Black attorneys in their partnerships.
Dylan Jackson | May 25, 2021
The death of George Floyd caused law firm leaders to speak out about racial justice. And they've continued to do so on other issues such as election interference and voting rights.
Patrick Smith | May 24, 2021
As a wave of attention on racial and social justice issues spread through the country and the world, law firms managed to make progress on diversity despite the pandemic.
Lizzy McLellan | May 25, 2021
"It really is the first large-scale program with economic consequences," Leila Hock, Diversity Lab's director of legal department partnerships and inclusion initiatives, said.
Jane Wester | May 20, 2021
"One of the challenges that I’m anticipating but also looking forward to is being involved with culture change," said Lewis.
Karen Sloan | May 17, 2021
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has named the inaugural recipients of the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program, a $40 million initiative to foster the next generation of Black civil rights attorneys.
Karen Sloan | May 13, 2021
By the fall, 14% of law schools will have Black women in the dean's suite.
Karen Sloan | May 17, 2021
A requirement that law schools train students in "bias, racism and cross-cultural competency" is among a slate of changes to the law school accreditation standards that the American Bar Association is weighing.
Justin Henry | May 04, 2021
“The problem with diversity in recruiting is that not enough recruiters are actually making an effort to promote diverse candidates,” recruiter Merle Vaughn said.
Karen Sloan | May 05, 2021
The arm of the ABA that oversees law schools is set to consider a slate of changes intended to foster diversity, student well-being, and professional development.
Varsha Patel | April 27, 2021
A stream of changes have been announced by law firms one after another, mirroring the well-known NQ pay war.
Cheryl Miller | April 23, 2021
"I'm not a self-professed leader," Jenkins said. "But people don't always understand that the paucity of African American judges puts you in a very unique position. So I'm not unaccustomed to being called upon by members of my community, being looked to for inspiration. That's been almost all of my career."
Dylan Jackson | April 26, 2021
An ABA survey has found that women and minority attorneys have disproportionately suffered in the pandemic.
Jennifer W. Karpchuk and Alissa Gipson | April 09, 2021
Emphasizing diversity and inclusion promotes the consideration of candidates based on their potential benefit to the firm, rather than the natural trend of choosing individuals most like those already working at the firm.
Alaina Lancaster | April 08, 2021
Torrey McClary and Ranee Adipat, who joined Ropes & Gray from King & Spalding share why it's still meaningful to have female leadership in 2021 and how COVID-19 could affect health care transactions.
Frank Ready | March 31, 2021
The Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation “Courageous Conversations #StopAsianHate” webinar shined a light on some of the different stereotypes that Asian American legal professionals encounter in the workplace.
Max Mitchell | April 02, 2021
"It's not rocket science. You have to look forward to the next generation," Denise Smyler, the former GC of Pennsylvania, said.
Sophia Lee | April 02, 2021
It was the tragic events of March 16 in the Greater Atlanta area—where eight people were shot and killed, six of whom were women of Asian descent—that have at last focused the national spotlight on the increasing reports of violence against members of the AAPI community.
Katheryn Hayes Tucker | April 01, 2021
Reed Smith global managing partner Alexander "Sandy" Thomas and litigation and dispute resolution department global chair Peter Ellis said the events of 2020 led them to create a Racial Equity Action Plan to help the firm, its communities and clients heal and make a lasting impact.
Jacqueline Thomsen | March 30, 2021
“This list powerfully affirms that nominees who are racially diverse and whose professional background reflects a broad range of practice are available to serve on the federal bench," said Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP LDF.
Jacqueline Thomsen | March 30, 2021
Biden's first slate of judges include a number of historic picks, including a nominee to be the first Muslim American judge appointed in the U.S.
Jacqueline Thomsen | March 30, 2021
Out of the 11 nominees—the most unveiled by a president by this point of his term in recent history—nine are women, and four have backgrounds as public defenders. A number of others have Big Law experience, including two nominees who are currently working at large firms.
Jacqueline Thomsen | March 25, 2021
“I feel there's a cost when voices are missing from the room,” one judge testified. “That cost is not theoretical. It is real. Diversity makes for a better judiciary, and that in turn helps fulfill our promise of justice for all.”
Victoria Hudgins | March 24, 2021
In a Q&A, Justis Connection founder and CEO Kisha Brown discusses growing her Black lawyer network, the challenges of creating relationships with corporate legal departments and how most legal marketplaces miss the mark on diversity.
Karen Sloan | March 24, 2021
A record number of first-ever Black editors-in-chief of flagship law reviews will likely prompt more diverse law students to seek leadership roles and will help expand the authors and topics that get published.
Patrick Smith | March 19, 2021
"That we are now grieving lives lost was too easy to predict," Akin Gump chairwoman Kim Koopersmith said.
Robert Storace | March 23, 2021
"Only a movement creates change. Moments do nothing," attorney Dan Brody said. "It's on us to use these moments to create a movement."
Amanda Bronstad | March 03, 2021
U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs instructed lawyers to consider a diverse team to lead about 20 lawsuits against Blackbaud. Five weeks later, she followed through.
Karen Sloan | March 18, 2021
The number of Black editors-in-chief at flagship law reviews was fairly stagnant until 2013. This year, eight top law reviews have elected their first-ever Black editor.
Phillip Bantz | March 23, 2021
"How many in the community, myself included, have had to have difficult conversations with our parents, about their safety and strategies, to make sure they’re as safe as possible?" said Lynn Whitcher, GC at San Diego-based tech and telecom firm MD7.
Katheryn Hayes Tucker | February 25, 2021
“It’s not about going to top law schools and only recruiting attorneys of color, but using your resources as global law firms, and partnering with practitioners like Lee, and providing your ... services, and frankly, your army of lawyers to actually work hard to effectuate change," said Reed Smith partner Rizwan Qureshi on why his firm joined forces with civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt.
Jessica L. Mazzeo and Rasheda Stewart | February 16, 2021
In order to truly rebuild in a way that history will not again repeat itself, we need to respond appropriately to the many tragic lessons we learned in 2020.
Zack Needles | February 15, 2021
It's become painfully clear that the lack of diversity at large law firms is self-inflicted—the product of an antiquated and homogenized notion of who qualifies as "Big Law material." The question now is: can large law firms permanently change this mindset?
Sophie Deering | February 17, 2021
While diversity is something that all industries should be striving to achieve to ensure equality in the workforce, this is especially important in the legal industry.
Frank Ready | February 18, 2021
Legal departments are attempting to hold outside providers accountable for improving the diversity and inclusion on display within their ranks. However, many in-house teams may still be in the early stages of harvesting the data necessary to effectively track those efforts while also attempting to seek out new, minority-owned providers to engage.
Zach Warren | February 11, 2021
Amidst this new rush to measure diversity, it's also worth asking the question: What data should the legal industry actually be measuring?
Raychel Lean | February 09, 2021
"I think it's time that we call up our allies and we ask them to lead the fight, not necessarily follow," Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas said.
Brenda Sapino Jeffreys | February 02, 2021
For women associates of color especially, the needle is moving so slow that "just doesn’t bode well for partner numbers down the road," NALP executive director James Leipold said.
Christine Simmons | January 07, 2021
Among law firm clients and in corporate boardrooms, a different set of diversity standards is taking shape.
Diversity leaders at three Am Law 200 firms open up about their jobs, the industry’s biggest challenges and what makes them optimistic.
Catherine Smith and Trina Jones | December 08, 2020
This nation's lack of Black women in the federal judiciary is not due to a lack of talent but, rather, due to a lack of imagination and political will among those in power.
Katheryn Hayes Tucker | December 11, 2020
"I have a commitment to the fair application of justice, first in my role as chief justice but also to leave a legacy to those who follow in my path," said retiring Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson.
Dan Roe | November 24, 2020
From his earliest days, Robert Grey, a 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, has been a tenacious advocate for equality.
Ross Todd | November 19, 2020
“The reality is that race, unfortunately, in America still matters. I wish it were not an issue, but it is,” said U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, speaking as part of a National Judicial College panel.
Dan Clark | November 23, 2020
Without the client push, origination credits are unlikely to change, and diversity efforts will suffer.
Jonathan Ringel | November 13, 2020
Over 46 years Larry Thompson has been elected King & Spalding's first Black partner, led fights against terrorism and corporate crime for President George W. Bush and served as the top lawyer for PepsiCo.
Samantha Joseph | November 10, 2020
"Typically, as minorities, we are tasked with making people feel better about their white guilt, rather than understanding their implicit bias," said Nadine Girault, who is now chief assistant public defender, soon to transition to executive chief public defender of Broward County, Florida.
Dan Clark | October 27, 2020
In-house attorneys at Intel and U.S. Bank, along with the CEO of Diversity Lab, discussed ways to partner with and pressure law firms to reach diversity goals during the Women Influence Power & in Law Conference on Tuesday.
Robert Storace | November 06, 2020
The May killing of George Floyd sparked outrage and led to protests throughout the world. Connecticut attorneys also spoke out and formed a policing task force aimed at addressing the concerns of all stakeholders.
Karen Sloan | October 21, 2020
New figures on entry-level lawyers hiring from the National Association for Law Placement reveal that slightly more than 62% of 2019's Black law graduates secured jobs that require a J.D., compared with 80% of white law graduates.
Zack Needles | October 05, 2020
From continually crowding around the same shallow well for new hires to perpetuating ineffective and exclusionary professional development methods, the recently heightened scrutiny of Big Law's diversity efforts has laid bare the fact that too many law firms insist on doing things the way they've always done them—even after it's become abundantly clear those ways don't work.
Zack Needles | October 12, 2020
One upside to the increased focus on how law firms are getting diversity wrong is the increased flow of ideas regarding how to get it right.
Gail S. Tusan | November 02, 2020
My father has helped me to adopt a balanced perspective on the pros and cons of defunding the police, and we together, through listening to each other, were able to reach consensus on what must change in terms of citizen/police encounters and a framework for a properly funded, accountable police presence in American cities, communities and neighborhoods.
Vanessa M. Kelly | October 21, 2020
Over a 21-day period, participants perform one action to understand how issues of power, privilege, oppression and equity impact society. The action may be a reading, listening to podcasts, watching videos, or observations, as a way to form and deepen community connections.
Samantha Joseph | September 29, 2020
“When you talk about microaggressions, it seems so innocent and harmless. But it’s the repeated nature of hearing similar comments or expectations or questions that really ultimately impact the receiver of those comments.”
The Yale Law School Black Law Students Association Executive Board '20-'21 | August 31, 2020
Our school has shown us time and time again that they are more than willing to engage in performative activism, offer wide smiles and empty promises, write us eloquent paragraphs with meaningless words, and claim to fight for equality, as long as it is convenient for them.
Dylan Jackson | August 24, 2020
Big Law is failing Black lawyers. The stories of those who have left can help explain why.
Patrick Smith | September 04, 2020
George Floyd's tragic death has pushed firms to confront their shortcomings on racial equality. The under-examined Black partner lateral market could see some changes as a result.
Karen Sloan | September 18, 2020
Jasmine Caruthers and A.C. Parham, both students at the University of South Carolina Law School, said their pro bono work researching the use of no-knock warrants on behalf of the lawyers representing Breonna Taylor's family was eye-opening.
Dan Clark | September 17, 2020
"Our participation in Ethisphere’s Equity and Social Justice Initiative will help us maintain our commitment to being an anti-racist company over the long term," Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, said in an email to Corporate Counsel.
Dan Packel | August 19, 2020
Firms such Wachtell, Paul Weiss, Freshfields and Winston & Strawn are guiding clients toward ESG goals.
Phillip Bantz | September 10, 2020
“We’re really looking for ways to mobilize as many attorneys as possible in the fight for social justice," said Traci Love, executive director of Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, which created the initiative.
Eugene Pettis | July 02, 2020
The weight of this issue requires full engagement toward change. Authentic conversations have the power to peel back the layers of hurt and pain in one’s life, to clear away the historical harm that has calcified through avoidance and neglect.
Catherine Wilson | August 07, 2020
The newly installed president of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association recalls being rattled when he was stopped by police and wants to use his experience as a vehicle for change.
Erica Silverman | August 18, 2020
“To join a corporate firm, I would want to know that Black and brown attorneys are needed and valued, because they increase the talent pool, not just fill a quota or create an impression of diversity,” said James Smith, 23, a second-year law student at Temple University from Northeast Philadelphia.
Amanda Bronstad | August 17, 2020
Data gathered by Law.com shows very little progress in ethnic diversity of MDL leadership teams: only 5% of appointments, on average, went to lawyers who identified as “nonwhite” in MDLs created from 2016 through 2019.
Dylan Jackson | August 13, 2020
The firm's pro bono work for the conference is one of the most prominent examples of a big firm seeking to take a more active role in racial justice issues.
Grace Speights of Morgan Lewis and Tara Elliott of Latham & Watkins discuss the current landscape and the conversations they’re having about race.
Albert S. Dandridge III | July 03, 2020
Hallmark does not make a card to assuage this pain. Godiva does not make anything to combat this bitter taste. There are no floral arrangements to hide what we saw. There is no elevator music to mask what we heard.
Phillip Bantz | July 07, 2020
"It is one of those crucible, fulcrum moments that come around every 20 or 30 years."
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, dean of Boston University School of Law, and Danielle Conway, dean of Penn State Dickinson Law, say it’s time for meaningful change at law schools.
Erica Silverman | June 30, 2020
"I found more fulfillment working with startups and small businesses, and especially leveraging my expertise to help Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs."
Zack Needles | June 16, 2020
On Thursday, the Association of American Law Schools launched the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project with the stated goal of establishing commitment to "a sustained Antiracist agenda," beginning with "The Listening Phase": "Before we begin to lead as a group in working to address systemic racism, it is critical to listen to the voices of Black deans, indigenous deans, and other deans personally impacted by police violence."
Dan Packel | July 02, 2020
Diversity Lab CEO Caren Ulrich Stacy had worried that participation would drop as firms focused their attention on the economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis. But the result was quite the opposite.
Ryland West, Diego M. Radzinschi and John Disney | June 03, 2020
As protests sparked by the death of George Floyd took place around the country, ALM photographers were on the ground capturing the events as they unfolded across three cities.
A. Michael Pratt | June 18, 2020
Greenberg Traurig litigation partner A. Michael Pratt pens a letter to his son upon his college graduation. Typically a time to celebrate, current events weigh heavy on their minds.
Karen Sloan | June 23, 2020
This week's Ahead of the Curve examines the seeming disconnect between Black law students who feel their schools aren't doing enough to end racial injustice, and law deans who say the academy is reckoning with race like never before.
David Thomas | June 22, 2020
After Dorsey & Whitney ended its prosecutorial relationship with the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office, will other firms reconsider their role in the system?
Phillip Bantz | June 15, 2020
“We know of no other instance when two premiere C-suite organizations like ours have formed an alliance,” said ACC president and CEO Veta Richardson.
Karen Sloan | June 18, 2020
Black law students groups at 17 schools in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have signed an open letter to their deans asking them to take concrete steps toward racial justice.
Amanda Bronstad | June 16, 2020
Gilford, a partner at Sidley Austin in Los Angeles who works with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said racism cuts across all African Americans. "We’re not protected by our status as professionals," she said.
A. Scott Bolden, D.C. managing partner of Reed Smith, and Ben Wilson, chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, discuss their own experiences with racism, how they practice authentic leadership and their hopes for greater understanding and inclusion in the legal profession and the nation beyond.
Dylan Jackson | June 03, 2020
Black attorneys and legal industry leaders recounted their own experiences with racism and their hopes for the future.
Orlando R. Richmond, Sr. | June 08, 2020
Butler Snow partner Orlando R. Richmond Sr. explains the three top reasons lawyers of color are minimized and ultimately leave law firms and what steps firms should take to turn the situation around.
Donald Prophete | June 08, 2020
Will self-described supporters of diversity and opportunity in the profession finally step-up and engage in meaningful efforts to address the lack of accessibility to meaningful work, business and opportunities for Black and other minority lawyers?
Amanda Bronstad | June 10, 2020
For Ward, a principal at Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles and African American, the issue of racial justice is personal.
CJ Donald | June 09, 2020
"If we waste this moment, we will certainly be here again, talking past each other, waiting for future generations to cure the ills of our society," CJ Donald says in laying out very specific steps firms can take to improve the trajectory of diverse lawyers and staff.
Vivia Chen | June 11, 2020
Lauren Skerrett says the reaction from Kirkland & Ellis has been positive after she wrote about the choice between keeping silent or getting "blackballed" at big corporate firms.
Dan Packel | June 08, 2020
Despite a $5 million commitment from Kirkland & Ellis, law firms are no match for corporate America when it comes to pledging dollars. But firms' pro bono capabilities can amplify their impact.
ALM Staff | June 18, 2020
In the days after George Floyd's death, some firms have pledged donations to racial justice groups or have committed to take up other actions. We have compiled excerpts of statements here.
Robert Grey | June 11, 2020
With 10,000-strong of its trainees in the market, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity is hopeful this recession will have less of an impact on minorities than the Great Recession. LCLD president Robert Grey recaps what leaders of member organizations are doing to make sure that's the case.
Krishnan Nair | June 09, 2020
The global movement is a call for meaningful, long-term change to the establishment—of which law firms are fully paid up members.
Bryan Parker | June 02, 2020
As a black CEO and former Big Law M&A lawyer, Bryan Parker offers practical tips on what law firms and the legal industry need to do to facilitate meaningful change.
Paul Weiss' Brad Karp said he wants to form “a consortium of leading law firms and public interest organizations” across the U.S. to help achieve racial justice and eradicate systemic racism.
Dan Clark | June 04, 2020
“It can be challenging to bring your whole self to work. It is not easy to pretend it is business as usual,” June Baldwin, senior vice president and general counsel of the Public Media Group of Southern California, said. “This is an atrocity that shows America has never lived up to its promise.”
Phillip Bantz | June 01, 2020
"We didn’t think of this necessarily as a political issue,” said Minority Corporate Counsel Association chair Stuart Alderoty, general counsel of fintech firm Ripple Labs Inc.
Marcia Coyle | June 09, 2020
"Although we recognize that our police officers are often asked to make split-second decisions, we expect them to do so with respect for the dignity and worth of black lives," Judge Henry Floyd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit wrote for Tuesday's unanimous panel.
Jacqueline Thomsen | June 04, 2020
“In many respects, the pandemic has helped to just rip the Band-Aid off and make more visible the racial fault lines that exist in America,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Mike Scarcella | June 05, 2020
"Recent events have brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness a painful fact that is, for too many of our citizens, common knowledge: the injustices faced by black Americans are not relics of the past," the justices of the Washington Supreme Court said.
Ryan Tarinelli | June 09, 2020
Jeh Johnson, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, will lead the evaluation, according to DiFiore's statement. Johnson is a former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
David Thomas | June 03, 2020
As protests sparked by George Floyd's death continue, the firm is ending its 40-year practice of sending associates to help the city prosecute misdemeanors, saying the cases disproportionately affect black communities. Will other law firms follow its lead?
Christine Charnosky | February 14, 2022
This week, we’re looking at racial and socioeconomic disparities in standardized testing and how some law schools are seeking to address the problem.
Presented by BigVoodoo
Legal Speak is a weekly podcast that makes sense of what’s happening in the legal industry.
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