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John S. Yi, left, and Maria L. H. Lewis, right, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Sitting in a diversity and inclusion orientation session when I joined my firm as a first-year associate in the fall of 2014, I quickly became reacquainted with the low numbers and low retention rates of diverse associates at big law firms generally, statistics I was only previously aware of in the abstract. In addition to the sharing of these sobering numbers, the firm also shared, for its part, its ongoing efforts to raise these numbers and to support its diverse associates in various ways. Thinking back to that day has caused me to reflect on the continuing challenges that large law firms face in recruiting and retaining diverse attorney talent despite the fact that many firms have placed diversity and inclusion at the forefront of their initiatives.

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