Committee Reports

2014 Diversity Benchmarking Report

Last year’s 2013 Diversity Benchmarking Report, reflecting on a decade of data, indicated upward trends for minority and women attorneys, greater representation of LGBT attorneys, and a greater commitment to diversity resources. However, it also reflected challenges in the equity-partnership model for minorities and women, and high levels of voluntary attrition for these groups. The New York City Bar’s signatory firms saw both diversity gains and losses in 2014. Firm support for diversity efforts continued to grow over the last year. However, attrition remains a persistent challenge. Representation of minority attorneys fell in 2014. Representation of women fell at the special counsel level but was steady for all associates, countered by an increased representation of women in the leadership ranks. Diversity Support Signatory firms continue to indicate the importance of firm engagement and investment in diversity progress with increased financial resources, staff resources, and greater accountability for firm partners from the 2013 to the 2014 results. The vast majority of firms anticipated an increased financial commitment to their diversity efforts in 2015. Women Attorneys In 2014, the representation of women partners hit a peak and signatory firms saw improved results for women among top leadership bodies. However, at the same time, new partner promotions declined from 33.2% in 2013 to 29.2% in 2014 reaching the level last seen in 2006. Women associates, who represent the critical pipeline of talent, also left signatory firms at elevated rates in 2014, consistent with the decline reported in 2013. Minority Attorneys The 2014 benchmarking data illustrated multiple setbacks for minority attorneys, with small declines in representation at key levels, reduced racial and ethnic diversity across the associate pool, and a small increase in the percentage of signatory firms with no attorneys of color on the management committee. Additionally, the prevalence of attorneys of color in non-equity versus equity roles increased in 2014, and minority attorneys continue to report considerably higher attrition rates than average in the 2014 calendar year.