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Digging Into Legal Diversity Rankings (Bloomberg Law)

Bloomberg Law, June 7, 2017

Digging Into Legal Diversity Rankings

“For the fourth year in a row, White & Case scored the highest ranking in The American Lawyer’s annual diversity report, which measures the largest U.S. law firms based on the percentage of minority lawyers they have at the firm and in their partner ranks….Gabrielle Brown, director of diversity and inclusion for the New York City Bar, said the metrics can only measure so much. ‘There are such a wide array of options to consider diversity and progress, and this is such a narrow perspective,’ said Brown. For instance, a firm could have high overall diversity, but low percentage of minority partners. Even in this instance, it’s difficult to know why there aren’t more minority partners, she said — whether the firm is struggling to retain diverse lawyers, or if there has been an effort to hire younger diverse attorneys. Brown said, in her opinion, lists like AmLaw’s Diversity Scorecard are helpful inasmuch as they are used to highlight success stories. ‘I think that if we use this as a way to model what White & Case is doing … then we could see some change,’ she said. ‘If we’re just putting people on blast, it’s problematic, and it could stall progress.'”

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