Despite the increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion in law firms, the legal profession remains among the least diverse of any profession today.
According to the American Bar Association’s National Lawyer Population Survey, in 2007 just 4% of active attorneys identified as Black or African American. Since that time, the number has remained largely flat at around 5%, despite decades of diversity efforts and studies that diversity is good for business.
Law firms say that they recognize that the ongoing lack of diversity is a problem, and they say they are committed to fixing it. But what steps are they taking and why haven’t the programs they’ve put in place been more effective? Also, what role are general counsel playing as companies seek to leverage the carrot of their business to promote change.
In episode two of Black Lawyers Speak, Bloomberg Law interviews:
- Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber
- Elie Mystal, justice correspondent at The Nation
- David Wilkins, vice dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School
- Chaka Patterson, senior vice president and general counsel, Adtalem Global Education
- Kim Rivera, president, strategy and business management and chief legal officer at HP Inc.
- Raqiyyah Pippins, partner at Arnold & Porter
- Stephen Robinson, partner, litigation; co-chair of the global Diversity Committee at Skadden
- Kinika Young, senior director of health policy and advocacy at Tennessee Justice Center
- Warren Allen, founding member of WTAII PLLC
Black Lawyers Speak, a five-episode podcast series, is part of [Un]Common Law, Bloomberg Industry Group’s new home for audio documentaries. Subscribe to the Black Lawyers Speak series wherever you get your podcasts:
Listen to episode one of Black Lawyers Speak: Stories of the Past, Hopes for the Future here.
--With assistance from Ruiqi Chen and Ayanna Alexander
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