The May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd—captured on cellphone video by Darnella Frazier— enabled the conviction of his killer. To view the brutal inhumanity of the methodical killing of a human being who was handcuffed and powerless while in police custody shocked the world. Its uniqueness, though, simply may have been that it was captured on video for the world to experience and that it actually led to the conviction and incarceration of the rogue police officer murderer. Floyd’s killing and the response to it also stirred reaction from societal institutions that might normally shy from entanglement in any issue that may have even the whiff of controversy. And that includes law firms.

Here is a standard corporate playbook in response to enhanced societal concerns about racism:

  • We condemn racism and harassment in all of its forms.
  • We will donate money to [name civil rights organization].
  • We value diversity and will increase diversity programming.
  • We will build up the diversity section on our website. 
  • We will hire diversity consultants.