After attending conferences with CLOC, Consero or Cosmonauts in recent months that included various inspiring sessions on diversity, equality and inclusion, there is no doubt DEI in hiring and staffing law firms is more important than ever.
And although there has been noticeable improvement in recent years, especially at the more junior level, after analyzing the trends in the 2021 National Law Association for Placement (NALP) report with my colleagues Neil Willson and Daniel Kotsides, it is obvious that there is still a long way to go.
By analyzing the demographic changes of law firms for the previous 10 years provided in the 2021 NALP Report on Diversity, we came up with the following projections…which frankly are a bit shocking.
Assuming the trend of the past 10 years continues:
- Considering the current population of people of color in the US is approx. 40%, it would take about 35 years for the number of lawyers of color to match the diversity ratio found in the wider US population.
- Considering the current population of women in the US is approx. 50%, it would take about 25 years for the number of women lawyers to match the gender ratio found in the wider US population.
- Furthermore, it would take approximately 40 years for women and over 50 years for people of color to be equitably represented at the level of partner.
The projections are harder to define for LGBTQ+ lawyers as the percentage of the US population identifying as LGBTQ+ has increased year on year. However, a conservative estimate using the current percentages from the NALP report would suggest:
- Considering the US current population identifying as LGBTQ+ is approx. 7%, it would take about 20 years for the number of LGBTQ+ lawyers to match the diversity ratio currently found in the wider US population.
- Further, it would take about 50 years for the number of LGBTQ+ partners to match the diversity ratio found in the wider US population.
Diversity matters and legal ops professionals can play an integral role in ensuring the rate of change increases annually to speed up this process in order to achieve the long overdue diversity in legal.
For further information, please contact:
Nicolas Leroux, Chief Executive Officer Kalexius