Although lawyers are often responsible for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations and at a national level, the legal industry as a whole remains one of the least diverse professions in the United States. According to the American Bar Association’s “2020 Profile of the Legal Profession,” it is overwhelmingly White and male.
Although many law firms have made public statements supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), real progress has been slow. Now, more and more clients are losing patience and demanding diverse legal representation. In fact, large companies like Facebook, HP, and Novartis are pressuring the law firms they hire to improve racial and gender diversity.
“Clients are absolutely demanding action and not just words, when it comes to your DEI strategy. Clients are expecting measurable results,” says Angelique Vincent-Hamacher, Director at Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte, N.C. “The days of just having some statement about your commitment to diversity, those days are over.”
In order to better serve clients, attract and retain talented attorneys, and foster outstanding workplaces, many law firms are leading the DEI charge. Among these innovative organizations are five law firms on the East Coast of the U.S. that are doing DEI right. Let’s take a closer look.