Diversity in the Legal Profession
August 17, 2016
The legal profession as a whole isn’t doing a very good job at diversity. A Washington Post article noted that 88 percent of lawyers are white, making law the least diverse profession in the country.
This represents both a problem for those who are underrepresented and a loss for the profession and companies. Diversity leads to broader thinking and better intellectual output, and it’s the font from which innovation organically flows.
For the legal profession to effectively address the issue of diversity, the author suggests initiatives in the areas of scholarships, recruitment and role models. Scholarships should be offered to minority students who have the skills and drive to succeed in law school but lack the financial resources.
Recruitment practices should not be limited to simple job announcements, but rather should be tailored to reach minority and ethnic student populations where they are most receptive. That includes things like minority and multicultural campus groups, minority law student associations, and activities such as job fairs.
Providing role models is important. Many young people are deprived of the simple reassurance of seeing people in the legal profession who look like them. If you are an employer of minority lawyers whom you believe to be rising stars or established experts, don’t be afraid to get them into the public eye. If you’re a minority legal professional with a solid grasp of your subject matter, consider getting out there yourself.
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