In the legal industry of today and tomorrow, firms and corporations understand that Diversity, initiatives are key to hiring and retaining top talent.
We know that diversity is good for business. Paulette Brown, Past President of the ABA and the first African American woman to ever serve in that position, recently remarked on what studies demonstrate to be true: “[C]ompanies with women on their Board of Directors outperform those with all-male boards. Companies with more racial diversity outperform companies with less, and law firms with greater diversity outperform firms with less diversity, even controlling for other variables.” (view source)
Yet today, the legal profession is still one of the least diverse of all comparable professions. Less than 10 percent of top BigLaw firms’ rainmakers are women or minorities. If the trend continues, then law firm leadership will not continue to evolve. At BigLaw firms, women account for only 17% of equity partners, and only 7 of the nation’s 100 largest firms have a woman as chairman or managing partner. Although African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans now constitute about a third of the population and a fifth of law school graduates, they make up fewer than 7 percent of law firm partners and 9 percent of general counsels of large corporations. In major law firms, only 3 percent of associates and less than 2 percent of partners are African Americans.
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When it comes to diversity, we practice what we preach. Every piece of the puzzle matters because diversity extends beyond the visible surface of ethnic background and gender, but a whole spectrum of factors, including but not limited to socioeconomic status, age, nontraditional careers, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
Nationally renowned diversity and inclusion leader Pauline Higgins once observed: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” RMN is committed to help you get out on the dance floor and strut your stuff!