2013 Diversity Benchmarking Report
The state of diversity in New York City law firms is nuanced. After a decade of collecting data on diversity workforce metrics, the New York City Bar Association (the “City Bar”) has identified clear progress and positive trends, as well as persistent concerns and new challenges. In 2013, the City Bar expanded its benchmarking research to allow for a more comprehensive analysis of the data. It started collecting quantitative data on the availability and value of diversity structures and support and reached out to change agents such as management committee members, women and minority partners, diversity directors, and inhouse leaders for in-depth conversations about diversity at their organizations and across law firms. These conversations provided a broader context for the evolution of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and clarified that the numbers do not tell the whole story. The quantitative and qualitative data provided by the signatory firms further demonstrated that the signatories’ efforts have had a positive impact on the professional landscape, with New York’s data trending more positively than the national equivalents highlighted in recent reports. The input shared was insightful, illuminating a deep and comprehensive understanding of both the challenges faced — and the road ahead — for rendering greater diversity a reality. The City Bar hopes this can be used as a model for firms nationwide to see greater progress in the next ten years.