The legal industry isn't winning any awards for diversity. After all, law is one of the whitest, malest professions in America. And the industry has been stubbornly slow to evolve. The number of women and minorities in the law has barely changed over the past 15 years, for example. That's probably why law firms have the worst reputation in the country for commitment to diversity, according to a recent survey.
But it's not all bad news! There are places in the law where diversity has persisted and even thrived. With that in mind, here are FindLaw's top seven posts on the legal industry's diversity successes.
Way back in 2012, Vault and the American Lawyer both ranked BigLaw firms in terms of diversity, based on sex, race, and sexual orientation. Here's who came out on top.
Damaris Hernandez started her legal career as the beneficiary of a scholarship meant to promote economic diversity in law school. Last month, she became the first Latina to make partner at Cravath.
Are Harvard and Yale really the best law schools in the country? Not when you calculate in factors like debt and diversity. Under that standard, Louisiana State University beats Yale, and the University of Alabama out performs Harvard, according to a 2013 ranking.
For all the talk about the grueling nature of legal practice, plenty of law firms are actually great places to work. That includes Bingham McCutchen, who was ranked as one of the best companies to work for, in part because of its commitment to diversity and pro bono work. The $220,000 associate salary doesn't hurt either.
If you're a woman or a minority in the law and you want to make partner, consider transferring to Seattle, Minneapolis, or Miami. When it comes to diverse partners, firms in these markets, and a handful more, outperform the rest of the country.
The Access Group, a nonprofit representing 200-plus law schools, recently bought up Lawyer Metrics, a company founded by a professor working on ways law firms can increase diversity. Could it help expand diversity at law schools as well?
If law firms aren't winning the diversity race when it comes to women and ethnic minorities, the legal industry does come out ahead when it comes to one form of diversity: inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.