Committee Reports

2007 Diversity Benchmarking Report

With the ascent of Barack Obama, a multi-racial attorney, to the Presidency of the United States, the question of diversity in the legal profession will forever be viewed in a different light. As we celebrate this momentous turning point, the 2007 benchmark results of the New York City Bar law firm signatories underscore both progress and a compelling need for ongoing effort. Women and minority attorneys represent an important part of the talent pool and have entered law firms in substantial numbers. Yet their ascent to leadership roles represents the exception far more than the rule and they have not yet reached the tipping point where they regularly have a voice at the table of large and medium-sized law firms. There are certainly exceptions and President Obama has ignited our collective sense of possibility but systemic practices and norms in the legal profession remain as powerful obstacles for many attorneys. The highlights of the 2007 benchmark study illustrate the efforts, challenges, and progress of firms seeking to create greater diversity in the legal profession.