The Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI) in Denver isn’t even 5 years old, but it’s gone from identifying diversity issues in the local law community to becoming a leader nationwide in creating ways to ensure inclusiveness in the legal industry. It was an idea whose time had come. The legal sector has consistently ranked near the bottom of professions for diversity. In 2011, only CEOs ranked lower, with 10.8 percent being racially or ethnically diverse, compared with 11.1 percent of attorneys, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.more»
A Colorado nonprofit’s success in increasing inclusiveness in the legal profession has positioned it at the national forefront of what remains a serious problem within the community. The Center for Legal Inclusiveness, based in Denver, has partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based Minority Corporate Counsel Association to produce 10 training sessions across the country. The alliance is the culmination of CLI’s work for the past five years surrounding retention of diverse attorneys, a problem that had been identified through research but not yet tackled.more»
According to the results of the 2011 Associate Survey conducted by the Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI), as well as the sentiment of a June 2011 CLI focus group comprising diverse law firm partners, a key discovery was made that may shed light on why diverse attorneys leave law firms at higher rates than their non-diverse counterparts. The results found that diverse attorneys encounter hidden barriers in legal organizations that operate to exclude them from career advancement opportunities at greater rates than non-diverse attorneys. A similar conclusion has been reported in numerous national research studies.more»
Let's get one thing straight: Flextime is not synonymous with part time. In fact, many of those who practice flextime schedules would say just the opposite: that they work similar hours to their co-workers, just in a different way. Lawyers who practice under alternative schedules say they are more productive, successful and focused than if they worked traditional schedules. And a growing number of younger attorneys are looking for alternative schedules as part of their benefit packages.more»
Why are young attorneys of color leaving law firms at higher rates than non-diverse attorneys? Five national research studies conducted since 2006 clearly reveal that there are hidden barriers to success for attorneys of color in law firms (ABA 2006, 2009; Minority Corporate Counsel Association 2009; Catalyst 2009; Hispanic National Bar Association 2009).more»
The legal profession is in a crisis when it comes to diversity. Among accountants, architects, doctors, and engineers, attorneys are last in racial and ethnic representation. Representation among female attorneys (especially at senior and leadership levels); lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
attorneys; and disabled attorneys is similarly lacking.
Law firms and legal departments remain in a quandary about how to make their organizations more diverse. Although many have allocated significant time and financial resources toward recruiting and hiring diverse attorneys, they seem to have neglected the critical issue of retention, essentially creating a revolving door
for diverse attorneys.