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Should We Leave The Issue Of Diversity In The Hands Of Biglaw? (Above the Law)

Above the Law, November 10, 2017

Should We Leave The Issue Of Diversity In The Hands Of Biglaw?

“The New York City Bar Association recently released its 2016 Diversity benchmarking report. As in previous years, the report indicates that both women and minorities at the law firms that participated in reporting made some progress in their ranks and in leadership positions. Much more notable than the small improvements noted in the report is the fact the progress for people of color and women in law firms is still not significant enough and painfully slow. The statistics in the report show that every year, more minorities and women join law firms at entry-level positions, but those same statistics show that minorities and women are leaving in greater numbers at senior levels. In 2016, 15.6% of minorities and 14.3% of women left the firms that participated in the report voluntarily. The rates of voluntary attrition for these groups is reportedly 150% and 135% above the 10.6% rate for white men, respectively. The numbers are no better for these groups at the equity partner level. Additionally, though the numbers of women in leadership positions and equity partners at participating law firms has increased in the last decade, those include few, if any, women of color. At the very bottom of most of the statistics are Latina women attorneys, who make up only 0.4% of all partners at participant firms.”

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