JordanFurlong + diversity   70

The results of the Ontario bencher election are a major setback | Precedent
The results of this year’s bencher election are an enormous disappointment. The legal profession in this province has handed a decisive electoral victory to a block of candidates that campaigned together on a single-plank platform: to abolish the statement of principles.

Why did this group of lawyers devote so much energy to one issue? Let’s start with some brief background. Over the past two years, the Law Society of Ontario has required all lawyers to confirm, in their annual report, that they’ve written a personal statement that acknowledges their obligation to promote diversity and inclusion. In our view, that’s not so horrible. In fact, asking the profession to consider, once a year, how it can help combat racism sounds like a good idea.

Not everyone agrees with that sentiment. Case in point: the block of bencher candidates who ran on a pledge to eliminate the statement of principles. On its website, this group argues that the new requirement is a clear violation of freedom of expression: it forces every lawyer to “comply” with the Law Society’s “prescription of what to say and what to think.” The group promises that, once in power, it will make sure the Law Society “gets out of the business of controlling the thoughts and speech of its members.” That turned out to be a winning pitch. Every lawyer who signed onto that platform — there are 22 of them — is now a bencher.
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
New Take on 'Mansfield Rule' Sets In-House Diversity Goals | Corporate Counsel
The Mansfield Rule isn’t just for law firms anymore.
On Thursday the Diversity Lab, an incubator focused on diversity and inclusion issues in the legal industry, launched the newest iteration of its campaign to boost diversity in legal departments and outside counsel ranks.

“Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition” will require participating in-house legal teams to consider at least 50 percent women, minority lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities as applicants for key leadership roles. Legal departments that sign on are also asked to consider at least 50 percent diverse lawyers for outside counsel hires for new or expanded work.
clients  women  diversity 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
Why the War for Talent Is Escalating for Law Firms - Attorney at Work
The diversity imperative. Law firms have gotten the message from corporate clients that legal teams handling their business need to be more diverse. Virtually all law firms that we talk to are encouraging us to recruit diverse attorneys. As a result, the competition to recruit such lawyers is extremely intense. Moreover, statistics show that minorities and women leave their firms throughout their careers at a much higher rate than the overall average. Firms are just beginning to grapple with the fact that the traditional “assignment and mentoring” approach to associate advancement tends to reinforce unconscious bias against diverse lawyers. As a result, many firms have to focus on different methods to ensure the retention of diverse lawyers.

Difficulty implementing succession planning. Law firms are unique organizations in that clients tend to be tied to one attorney who is the point person for all, or nearly all, of their legal work. Studies show that nearly 35 percent of their business is tied to lawyers who are over age 60. Yet firms have struggled with transitioning those clients to more junior lawyers within the firm. Much of this is tied to the largely origination-based compensation of most firms, which makes it difficult for senior lawyers to transition work for the good of the firm, and also make it difficult to incentivize the up-and-coming lawyers. As a result, those lawyers are more apt to change firms or leave private practice entirely. (And in many cases, the client leaves the firm as well.)
firms  talent  diversity  succession  generations  strategy 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Barnes & Thornburg Boosts Parental Leave for Attorneys and Staff | The American Lawyer
The new policy, which became effective Jan. 1, provides 16 weeks of parental leave at 100 percent pay for all of the firm’s employees, legal and nonlegal staff alike. This new policy also extends to new parents who adopt.

The idea for the updated policy was generated nearly a year ago, when the Indianapolis-based firm launched an initiative to identify barriers to advancement at the firm, especially for women. One of the things that became apparent to the attorney and staff-led committee was the need to revamp the firm’s parental leave policy, said Dawn Rosemond, the director of diversity, professional development and inclusion.
“We wanted to be the best option for our talent—those there and those coming,” Rosemond said.

“The message that we wanted to send was we care about the whole person, certainly care about families and certainly care about the quality of life people have when they come to work for our firm,” said Rosemond, who in 2005 became the firm’s first African-American female equity partner.

Previously, the firm’s parental leave policy allotted 12 weeks of paid leave for attorneys and paralegals. Depending on the type of birth, salaried staff were given six to eight weeks of leave, with its hourly staff receiving reduced pay.

For Barnes & Thornburg, this type of distinction was contrary to the type of inclusive environment it wanted to create in revamping its policy, Rosemond said.

“If we’re going to be committed to inclusion in a true fashion, that meant inclusion relative to our lawyers as well as nonlawyer professionals,” she added.

Barnes & Thornburg is the latest in a handful of Am Law firms that have, in recent months,  extended increasingly generous leave policies to nonlawyer employees.

Dechert announced late last year a new policy that provided for at least 12 weeks of paid leave for all U.S. employees, in addition to doing away with primary and secondary caregiver designations. Fenwick & West expanded its parental leave policy, allowing for 16 weeks of paid leave for attorneys and professional staff.
women  diversity 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
What the Data on Law Firm Comp Shows About Partner Pay Equity |
The greatest disparity between genders happens at the equity-partner level. Female equity partners’ total compensation lagged almost $95,000 behind male equity partners’, on average, at $356,078 to the men’s $449,691 a year. Five years ago, that gap was actually slightly smaller, with female equity partners earning almost $90,000 less than men on average. (A recent study by Major, Lindsey & Africa found a gulf even wider this year between female and male partners’ pay.)
compensation  diversity  women 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Bricklayers and Architects (080) | Legal Evolution
One way to find out what our client likes is to ask her about other similar matters she has dealt with directly or observed. What did she like or dislike about those situations looking past the specific outcome? Was the resolution too slow? Did it consume too much of her time? Did the framing of the issue cut against her general policy agenda? There are many tactical choices that can help us align how we achieve an outcome with our client’s preferences. How we drive outcomes can differentiate us as more than a technician. Architecting tactical selections that advance the outcome and support our client’s larger goals marks us as strategic advisors.
clients  design  diversity 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Succession Management Pillar 4 of 5: Leadership Succession and Knowledge Transitions | Rainmaking Oasis, LLC
In the context of this succession topic, we are defining knowledge broadly: it could be in the form of unique institutional knowledge a senior partner has of the firm or of clients, it could be a distinctive area of expertise that no one else in the firm has fully developed or it could be other important community-facing connections and ties. Any one of these could diminish something valuable the firm currently benefits from.

Our Pillar 4 post recommended several steps to help firms analyze its demographics in anticipation of possible retirements over the next ten years. It is important to consider what special skills and knowledge each partner aged sixty and older contributes to the firm and to assess the strategic importance of senior partner expertise, roles, gaps and threats.

There are a number of considerations and steps to take:
succession  km  leadership  diversity 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
Diversity Efforts Are Basically Worthless | The American Lawyer
That kind of describes the legal profession’s efforts to promote gender equality and diversity over the last three decades. To put it simply: They’ve been largely useless and a waste of time.
That’s one of the news flashes from the study by the American Bar Association’s commission on women and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. I wrote about the study in my last post, focusing on how female lawyers of color in particular are disadvantaged. (For example, almost 70 percent of women of color—compared to 60 percent of white women—say they were paid less than their colleagues with similar experience and seniority, while only 36 percent of white men report the same.)

“The core tool has been bias training, and that’s not enough,” says University of California, Hastings College of the Law professor Joan Williams, who worked on the study. “The problem is that bias training gets into cognitive behavior discussions, which are interesting but not helpful. We need to get away from those deep soul-searching conversations.”
diversity  women 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
At Law Firms, Rainmakers Accused of Harassment Can Switch Jobs With Ease - WSJ
Law firms stand out in a corporate landscape where rainmakers accused of bad behavior often receive second and third chances, according to interviews with dozens of lawyers, legal recruiters, consultants and leaders at some of the country’s largest firms.

Firms’ sole assets are lawyers and their client relationships. As demand for work from the biggest law firms has softened since the financial crisis, poaching top partners has become one of few ways to boost revenue.

Many firms ask about prior complaints in new-hire questionnaires but do nothing to vet the answers, lawyers say. Firms rarely ask partners for references at their old firm, for fear of alerting competitors a star lawyer is in play.

“It can be particularly difficult to find out about misconduct in the legal industry,” said Christine Chung, a partner at New York-based law firm Selendy & Gay who has been involved with hiring lateral partners from big law firms for almost a decade. “If the person left the old firm for a bad reason, you may not figure it out.”
partners  women  diversity 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Double-Barreled Bias Against Black Women Lawyers |
Just .56 percent of partners at major law firms are black women. That’s not a typo.
As part of her series focused on the struggles and successes of women and minority lawyers, The Careerist Vivia Chen in this episode interviews Michele Coleman Mayes, a leader in the profession who is general counsel for the New York Public Library and former GC at Allstate and at Pitney Bowes.

They focus on the challenges for black women lawyers, and the inherent cultural bias against them, particularly in Big Law.
Mayes also shares what she thinks needs to happen to change the momentum for the better.
partners  women  diversity 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
Build an Inclusive Culture Before Recruiting for Diversity
Nahm: I would first stress that an organization needs to build an inclusive culture before it starts recruiting for diversity. But once you've got the culture where you want it, there's so much opportunity for companies to recruit with diversity goals. A lot of people say that diversity is a pipeline problem. I would say that companies can absolutely find the talent they want if they are willing to be intentional about it. Companies can be proactive by going outbound and building relationships with diverse talent pools so a diverse slate of candidates can be considered. Second, make sure the recruiting team is diverse. Not only recruiters, but hiring managers, and anyone who takes part in the hiring process. If you have a diverse group of people making the hiring decisions, you're automatically diversifying the points of view in the hiring conversations. Third, start early with talent development. One of the ironic consequences of so many companies investing in hiring for diversity is that it has gotten really competitive to hire diverse talent. You've got to get more creative, and build personal relationships with talent when they are still in school, in boot camps or working in other industries. Send your people to meetups on certain topics, or send them to conferences to tell their story and the story of the company. Candidates want texture and authenticity. If you can match that appetite for authenticity with things you are doing that are authentic, you will have an edge over competitors that are just trying to fill a diversity quota.
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Law firms employ fewer black lawyers than other minorities; which firms have best representation?
Minority law school enrollment recently topped 30 percent, but law firms are not making substantial progress in hiring and promoting minority lawyers, according to a Law360 survey.

Nearly 85 percent of lawyers at more than 300 firms surveyed are white, “a number that has not meaningfully budged over the past three years,” according to a summary of the findings. The Law360 story on the findings is here (sub. req.).

The survey found that only 15.3 percent of lawyers and 8.8 percent of partners identify as a lawyer of color. Among equity partners, 7.9 percent identified as minorities. At every level, minority representation grew by less than a percentage point over the previous year.

Black lawyers are the least represented at every level. Overall, only 3 percent identified as black, while 3.6 percent identified as Hispanic and 6.8 percent identified as Asian-American.

Though Asian-Americans have the largest representation at law firms, they are the least likely minority to be partners. Twenty percent of Asian-American lawyers are partners compared to 28 percent of black lawyers, 33 percent of Hispanic lawyers, and 48 percent of white lawyers.

In a separate story (sub. req.), Law 360 identified the best firms for minorities, based on their percentage of minority lawyers. Above the Law summarized the findings on the best law firms for minority equity partners.
diversity  firms  partners 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
As Clients Get Tougher on Diversity, Some Firms See a Selling Point | The American Lawyer
When it comes to diversity, more companies want their law firms to show, not just tell.
The number of corporate legal departments demanding detailed data on the diversity of their outside legal teams is taking off, according to Tom Bender, co-president and co-managing director of 1,300-lawyer Littler Mendelson.
In 2016, seven clients asked for the labor and employment firm's overall demographic data and for specific diversity information about the lawyers assigned to work on their matters, Bender said.
This year, those requests have skyrocketed.
So far in 2017, Bender said 24 clients—more than three times the number last year—have asked to see diversity data for the firm or for specific attorney teams, or both.
"No one has told us, 'We picked you because the relationship partner is a woman.' But they have told us, 'We respect and value the premium you put on diversity,'" Bender said.
women  diversity  clients 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
Bigger Data, ‘Tech Terror’ and Diversity Disparities Mark CodeX’s Fifth FutureLaw | Legaltech News
Nevin said to ensure that practitioners are truly using data effectively requires “understanding what needs enforcing and to what ends. Are the ends based on logic, or on emotion?” That interpretation, at least for now, is still something that only humans can do. Panelist Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina, reiterated this point in discussing his company’s approach to data, saying that the company prefers actual data to “anec-data,” i.e., data that is anecdotal.
The panel that followed looked at the ways in which human-programmed rules presented a slightly different approach to managing large data sets. Panelists described using “checklists” and “worksheets” that verify compliance with pre-established conditions. Harry Surden, the panel’s contrarian and associate professor of law at University of Colorado Law School, encouraged panelists and audience members to think carefully about how codifying rules in technology can unintentionally codify broader value systems.
Michael Mills, co-founder of Neota Logic, said that despite their vantage points, rules-based and data-driven approaches share an interest in using technology to sharped legal deduction and reasoning. “In the end, all of this is about inference,” he said.
“Most successful systems are indeed a hybrid. The difference is how you create those rules,” he later added, noting that analytics teams use data sets to drive rules while other programmers look to build algorithms in by hand.
data  diversity  robo 
april 2017 by JordanFurlong
HP, Mandating Diversity, Will Withhold Fees From Some Firms | Corporate Counsel
In-house legal departments regularly encourage, and in some cases require, that outside firms have some level of diversity in staffing legal work. Hewlett-Packard Inc. has taken this mandate a step further—saying the company will withhold invoiced fees from firms that do not meet diversity requirements.
diversity  clients 
february 2017 by JordanFurlong
What Will Fix Legal's Diversity Problem Analytics May Be the Start | Legaltech News
"From a law department perspective, not only does it play a strategic role in advancement of the corporate diversity agenda, but diverse talent within law departments and outside counsel helps protect the company, helps mitigate risk, and helps protect the bottom line," Hovanec explained, citing studies showing that increased gender and racial diversity in large companies correlates with greater earnings.
diversity  women  clients  firms 
december 2016 by JordanFurlong
Does Your Firm's Website Repel Women | The American Lawyer
In reality, potential applicants—especially those underrepresented in higher-ranking and leadership roles, including women and minorities—tend to parse the language of firm websites and job postings to assess the attractiveness of the position relative to gender or race. When organizations view candidates, especially women, as individuals shopping for a fair and sustainable work culture, they realize that they need to focus on crafting and leveraging first impressions. For law firms, that means focusing on the firm's website.
women  diversity 
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
Canadian Bar Association - diversity
The benefits of actively working to achieve diversity and inclusion (D&I) seem obvious once they are articulated. Terrie-Lynne Devonish, Chief Compliance Officer, North America at Aon Corporation, pointed out that diverse perspectives lead to diversity of thought and ideas that can mitigate the dysfunction of groupthink and help overcome the negative effects of implicit bias. Seconding the point, Monica Kowal, Acting Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission, noted that a diversity of viewpoints and experiences generate differences of opinion which enhances the quality of debate – an important factor when organizations are making decisions.
diversity  leadership 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
BigLaw’s Gender Diversity Problem Is The Traditional Model Itself
For one thing, it’s a company mandate—the client demands it. Another reason is that business generation, the sine qua non for law firm advancement, compensation, and influence, is not in play. It’s not, of course, that women are not or cannot be rainmakers. But they are far less apt to be encouraged to take on that role at law firms and even less likely to “inherit” business from a retiring firm partner. Also, law firm culture—let’s call it DNA—is built on a business model that enshrines billable hours (regardless of efficiency or outcome), and the more “available” one is, the better. Translation: women have historically been “punished” for maternity leave, childcare, and a host of other work-life balance issues.
ient  diversity  women 
july 2016 by JordanFurlong
Less male, pale and private practice: Surging in-house and female lawyer ranks keep the profession expanding |
A sustained influx of female lawyers has underpinned the expansion of the profession for 20 years, with the Law Society stating that women solicitor ranks have expanded 3.8% annually for the last five years, against 1.3% for male counterparts. The number of female partners is growing at a much slower rate, up 1.4% annually in the latest report.
women  diversity  clients  demographics 
may 2016 by JordanFurlong
The Legal Whiteboard
In my experience, law firms undervalue the importance of coaching and mentorship. Carter and Sporkin had the power to make these investments on their own. Yet, today’s modern law firm emphasizes the production of revenues. The cost of nonbillable time can be readily calculated; the same cannot be said, however, about the value of nonbillable time. Partners who have given little thought to the power of professional development are most likely to resist large investments. They lack the systems perspective of Paul Cravath. I have studied lawyer development for over a decade. I think these partners are trading dollars for pennies.
firms  diversity  training  mentoring  laterals 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
Law Firms' Diversity Efforts Increasingly Important to Clients
ORLANDO, Fla. — Successful diversity efforts require commitment and follow-through from law firms that want to lift roadblocks to success for women, minority, LGBT and other diverse ability candidates, according to a recent panel, which noted that in some cases this commitment is falling short.
diversity  clients 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
Blind Work Allocation to Achieve Fairness in The Workplace | Blog | Ms. JD | Determined to Rise.
In an effort to increase diversity and fairness in the workplace, Ashurst conducted a trial in July 2015 headed by Dave Cook, resource management consultant. The experiment consisted of shifting the allocation of work distributed to associates from partners to Cook making the assignments pretty much “blind.” These allocations would be based on an associate’s prior experience rather than simply leaving it up to the discretion of the partners. Although a discrepancy in work allocation might not be intentional, the history or familiarity associates have with partners has led to a lack of diversity/equality in mandates.        
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
How Design Thinking Can Improve Diversity in the Legal Industry — Rethink the Practice — Medium
Using design thinking to solve the wicked problem of diversity
If we were to begin a design challenge to improve diversity and inclusion in the law, what should it look like?
First, we should focus on the diverse attorney experience. Through the lens of the “user,” we could include development of experience maps that show the career path for diverse attorneys who wish to pursue certain types of work within the profession. A mapping process of that type could help educate leaders in the profession to understand, in a truly empathetic way, the barriers diverse attorneys face. It could also explain to diverse attorneys how they are progressing along their career path while opening our collective thinking to alternative and lucrative career paths in law th
diversity  design  innovation 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
Women Leaders in the Legal and Startup Worlds Provide Advice for Lawyers | Legaltech News
She noted that one of the challenges she has seen as a lawyer in the tech world has been communicating with engineers and other tech-minded colleagues. She noted that lawyers are used to speaking a certain language, and other team members might have their own languages. Melding the two can be an issue, but the work lies in figuring out how to meet the needs of the team, and how to move forward.
Noha Waibsnaider, Peeled Snacks founder and CEO, spoke on the specific legal needs of a startup and mentioned that one of the key elements she ignored at the beginning of her company’s launch was investing in getting a solid legal team in place. “I made costly mistakes,” she noted. “Since then I have upgraded, and we have a great set of attorneys in our space.” As a company that outsources most everything, she says she has pieced together superb counsel.
women  diversity  startups 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Women overtake men in Scottish profession | News | Law Society Gazette
Christine McLintock, president of the Society, welcomed the fact that so many women in Scotland now see their future in the law. But she warned that it is ‘likely to be many years’ before women approach parity in the most senior roles, with women still significantly under-represented at partner level.
women  diversity 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
How Diversity Makes Us Smarter - Scientific American
Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers show that socially diverse groups (that is, those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups.
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
Cummins GC to Firms: Treat Diverse Lawyers Well or I’ll Steal Them | Big Law Business
“I will bring those people in-house,” she said of frustrated minorities and women. “They will have great careers. They will get great work. They will have great terms of flexibility in their work-life balance.”
november 2015 by JordanFurlong
National law firm hires first diversity director
Ontario-based Laleh Moshiri has been appointed to take on the newly-created role at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) after more than 15 years of experience managing talent for the company.
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
'The Trouble With Lawyers': Q&A With Stanford's Deborah Rhode | National Law Journal
The upper level of the legal profession in the United States remains predominantly white and male. Underrepresented Americans can’t afford their so-called “equal justice under law.” Law school costs are not going down.
Deborah Rhode explores these and other problems in her new book, “The Trouble With Lawyers,” published this month. Rhode, who clerked for the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, teaches at Stanford Law School and is an occasional contributor to The National Law Journal.
As The American Lawyer reported in May, diversity within law firms has barely increased over the past seven years and gender inequality is still prevalent. A 2013 Pew study found that lawyers ranked last among 10 occupational groups for their contributions to societal well-being.
diversity  women  access  regulation 
july 2015 by JordanFurlong
Good intentions and rhetoric won’t suffice – Slaw
Each of these actions, on its own, won’t likely suffice, and doubtless even more action is required. Whether hiring associates, selecting volunteers for committees or inviting speakers to participate in conferences and panel presentations, what is clear is that good intentions and rhetoric alone won’t help to close the gaps.
october 2014 by JordanFurlong
The Changing Definition of Value: What Matters Most to In-House Counsel
Firms that get it right will earn more business. McDonough confirms that “if a lawyer in a firm has wonderfully served us, we’ll follow that lawyer. Yet, if that lawyer’s colleagues also served us well, and we appreciated the firm on other levels—such as a real service mind-set, a real understanding of higher education, quality and consistency, pleasant people, etc.—we will try to also keep his or her former colleagues, and maybe even the firm in general, specifically in mind as opportunities develop.” McClure-Demers says Nationwide is eager to recognize outside counsel for outstanding efforts. As she indicates, “One of our outside counsel took the initiative to combine their institutional knowledge of our business, information from matters they were working on for us and insights looming on the horizon, and recommended a two-year litigation strategy to address these issues. The result clearly addressed our needs, but it also helped set new law and helped our industry as a whole. Our business management loved it!” The firm earned not only more legal work, but became more involved in legal strategy.
diversity  metrics  firms  clients 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
Do Small Firms Have a Diversity Problem?
A few weeks ago, I asked a local solosmall email list whether small firms have a diversity problem. My question was prompted by a job posting from a small firm made up exclusively of young, white men (except for the secretary, who was a young, white woman).1 On reflection, I could not think of many small firms with any better diversity (including my own, which, at its most-diverse, was three white men and a remote assistant who was a white woman — oh, and a couple of Irish foreign exchange students from a local law school, both men).
diversity  solo 
february 2014 by JordanFurlong
Corporate Law Departments Lead Firms in Diversity Push | The Daily Report
"All of these firms and in-house departments have been doing their own diversity efforts, and we thought a law school would be a good place to engage in a conversation on best practices," said Melba Hughes, a partner at legal recruiter Major, Lindsey & Africa, who is organizing Emory Law's Diversity Speaker Series.
diversity  clients 
january 2014 by JordanFurlong
The Law Trails Other Professions in Ethnic Diversity
Between 2003 and 2012, the percentage of African American and Hispanic attorneys inched up by a mere 0.8 percent, and they now account for just 8.4 percent of attorneys in the country, according to the report, which Microsoft released on Tuesday. ( Download the report here.)
december 2013 by JordanFurlong
We Approach Diversity the Wrong Way - Liz Ryan - Harvard Business Review
If we broke people off into affinity groups because certain categories weren't thriving — not being promoted at the same rates as white men under 40 (who I call WMUFs), for instance — that would be a worthy business topic. That way, the employer's investment in each group should theoretically yield the same returns. And of course it is easy enough to spot when women or African Americans or GLBTQ people aren't being given the assignments that the WMUFs are getting. But things get complicated when we tell a manager, "In general your talent development is great, but you suck at promoting diversity." Can you blame a manager for complaining, "I'm promoting the person who seems most capable — is that wrong?" Wittingly or not, diversity has become a numbers game.
october 2012 by JordanFurlong
Research attests to the value of diversity at law schools
The underlying premise of the U.S. Supreme Court's precedent in Grutter v. Bollinger — which upheld the limited use of affirmative action in college admissions — is that students benefit from being in a racially diverse educational environment.
diversity  schools 
august 2012 by JordanFurlong
Positive Trends for Women and Minority GCs in MCCA Survey
The number of women general counsel at Fortune 500 companies doubled from 1999 to 2008, according to a new survey published by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. The study adds to a growing pile of data finding a correlation between businesses that do well and the number of women and minorities at the highest rank of leadership. But do these studies really create any momentum for change?
diversity  clients 
august 2012 by JordanFurlong
Gender diversity in dispute resolution: The role in-house counsel can play
Reliable data on the percentage of women mediators and arbitrators or the frequency with which they are chosen to serve compared to men is hard to come by. Anecdotally, while women neutrals can maintain steady work handling cases in the employment area, they are less likely than their male colleagues to be chosen for more complex commercial matters or in specialty practice areas that are dominated by men.
diversity  clients 
march 2012 by JordanFurlong
Shoosmiths usurps Linklaters as most diverse firm | News | The Lawyer
Linklaters came first in the overall diversity league table last year, followed by Baker & McKenzie and Norton Rose. This year Linklaters comes in at number two with third place going to O’Melveny & Myers. Shoosmiths topped the first DLT in 2006.
november 2011 by JordanFurlong
Gordons solicitors news - Gordons launches annual legal apprenticeship programme
Five bright youngsters, who might otherwise find it difficult to enter the legal profession, will have the opportunity to become apprentice lawyers thanks to a new annual programme launched by Yorkshire law firm Gordons.
admission  diversity  apprentice 
june 2011 by JordanFurlong
LEGAL FUTURES » The Apprentice – lawyer style
But such is the growing cost of higher education that the idea of apprenticeships is back, both in the wider economy and specifically the legal profession. Yorkshire firm Gordons made news this week with the launch of its legal apprenticeships scheme, in conjunction with ILEX.
training  diversity  schools  apprentice 
june 2011 by JordanFurlong
Law Schools Reward Minority Mock Trial Victors With Tuition Money
Hearing her name announced as a winner of a mock trial competition held in March at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles was a wake-up call for Tannis Watkins. "I didn't think I was good enough," said Watkins, 33, a mother of three of Puerto Rican descent who is working toward an associate's degree in paralegal studies at Riverside, Calif., City College. "To have this unbelievable affirmation was amazing."
schools  diversity 
april 2011 by JordanFurlong - Association of Corporate Counsel to Get New President, CEO
The Association of Corporate Counsel announced Friday that it has tapped Veta Richardson to become its new president and CEO as of July 1, when Frederick Krebs will step down after 20 years as president. The ACC said its search committee was unanimous in choosing Richardson -- who has served as the executive director of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association since 2001 -- for the job.
diversity  clients 
march 2011 by JordanFurlong
Law firm diversity beyond the platitudes
Many law firms talk a good game about diversity within their offices, principally on their student recruitment and community service web pages. A significantly smaller number actually take real measures to improve diversity, which I would define here as increasing the percentage of lawyers who are women, are physically disabled, self-identify as GLBT, or are from racial or ethnic minorities and ensuring these lawyers occupy senior positions within the firm.
jf  diversity 
february 2011 by JordanFurlong - Survey Shows Law Firms' Minority Hiring Is Stagnating
For the first time in seven years, the percentage of minority equity partners remained virtually flat, nudging up from 6.05 percent in 2008 to 6.06 percent in 2009 at the 263 law firms surveyed, according to a report released this week. That finding helped to corroborate fears that diversity efforts have taken a backseat to economic concerns.
october 2010 by JordanFurlong - Dewey Asks Clients to Consider Diversity in the Partner Ranks
For years clients have pressured outside counsel to improve diversity at their law firms. Now some firms are initiating the diversity discussion themselves.
august 2010 by JordanFurlong Career Center - How to Make Law Firms' Compensation Systems More Fair
An extensive study released this week surveyed more than 700 women partners about their views of the compensation gap and analyzed the factors that lead to disparity in pay. The study, "New Millennium, Same Glass Ceiling: The Impact of Law Firm Compensation System on Women," was undertaken in partnership between the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and the Project for Attorney Retention, an arm of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
diversity  compensation  women 
july 2010 by JordanFurlong
Small Firm Business - Small Firm Values Diversity and Embraces Alternative Billing
ets are set on a case-by-case basis. We need to have an understanding of the merits of the case before we can propose the right budget," Meyer said. "We set budgets for different stages of the case. We can set the budgets using hourly rates or by flat fee. Either way, the actual cost to the client is at least 20 percent lower than fees based on standard rates at big firms."

Meyer would not disclose the percentage of cases using alternative fee arrangements or give a range for partners' hourly rates.

Attorneys are compensated based on results and client service, not the hours billed per case or annually, he said.

"The focus is on the value worked and the objectives accomplished during the hour, not about how many hours are needed to meet a minimum billable hour requirement," Lang said. "By eliminating the minimum billable hour requirement, attorneys are focused on client service and getting the best results at or under budget."
diversity  compensation  pricing 
may 2010 by JordanFurlong
Lovells rolls out new diversity initiative at London schools- Legalweek
Lovells has set up a new scheme to encourage young people from a wider socio-economic background to enter the legal profession.

The initiative, dubbed Ladder to Law, has been launched in response to last year's report compiled by former cabinet minister Alan Milburn, which singled out the legal profession as being too socially exclusive.

Lovells has teamed up with not-for-profit organisation The Brokerage CityLink and is working with four London schools in Forest Hill, Rotherhithe, Paddington and Islington.
january 2010 by JordanFurlong Career Center - Minority-Owned Transactional Boutique Lures Big-Firm Refugees
ryant isn't the only big-law refugee to strike out on his own this year. Andrew Sandler, head of Skadden's consumer financial services and enforcement litigation practice, left his longtime firm in March to start a financial services boutique. In May, four Clifford Chance litigators broke off to form an arbitration boutique. That same month three former Irell & Manella partners launched a litigation boutique in Los Angeles.
solo  diversity 
october 2009 by JordanFurlong Career Center - Progress Proves Elusive for Diversity in the Legal Profession
ve years ago this month, Roderick Palmore wrote "A Call to Action" -- a pledge signed by the general counsel of some of the country's largest corporations vowing to
october 2009 by JordanFurlong
Visible minority lawyers
Race-based statistics are hard to come by, but studies by Michael Ornstein, director of the Institute for Social Research at York University, show that visible minorities are under-represented in the legal profession. They are paid less than white lawyers and fewer of them achieve partner status. In fact, Ornstein found the legal profession lags far behind medicine, engineering and other professions in its treatment of immigrants, women and minorities. His 2004 study, “The Changing Face of the Ontario Legal Profession,” was prepared for the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) using figures for 2001, the latest year for which statistics are available. Buahene and the OBA are trying to come up with newer statistics using voluntary disclosure of race, never an easy task. In his report, Ornstein noted that the situation is changing rapidly in Ontario and may eventually reach equality over the next few decades. “The continuation of the trends of the last decade, however, will eventually b
Bookmarks  diversity 
september 2009 by JordanFurlong
Barclays introduces e-billing and asks for diversity policies - Legalweek
lls for new panel firms to sign up to diversity initiatives Barclays has asked all of its newly-appointed panel firms to sign up to a range of diversity initiatives - expanding a pilot introduced for its main general advisory panel three years ago across some 50 firms. General counsel Mark Harding confirmed that he has asked all of the firms on its main panel, as well as those on its 10 specialist panels, to confirm to the bank their diversity and inclusion policies, including details of how they measure and manage diversity. The move expands on Harding's policy, introduced in 2006, to ask main advisers Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Lovells and Simmons & Simmons to supply the information.
Bookmarks  diversity  pricing  clients 
july 2009 by JordanFurlong
Power Shift
he legal world has been transformed in the last year, and so has our seventh annual A-List. Only four firms held on to the same ranking that they had in 2008. Four firms fell off the list, which means another quartet joined this elite group. One constant, however, is the continuing reign of Munger, Tolles & Olson, which remains our top firm for the second year in a row. The Los Angeles-based firm beat the two second-best firms, Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Latham & Watkins, by a comfortable margin of 34 points. This list, which we launched in 2003, aims to measure and quantify the qualities that define an elite law firm, making an effort to look beyond profits. We examine four factors: revenue per lawyer, commitment to pro bono, diversity among lawyers, and associate training and satisfaction. Our formula gives more weight to the first two factors; we double a firm's scores for revenue per lawyer and pro bono, and then add scores for diversity and associate satisfaction. This year's top
Bookmarks  diversity 
june 2009 by JordanFurlong
Minority Law Journal - Article: Man With a Plan
As of February, 38 percent of those lawyers belonged to a minority group, including 60 Hispanics and 47 African Americans. Taken together, the numbers have made Adorno & Yoss the nation's largest minority-owned firm-a good thing to be at a time when major corporations are increasingly seeking out minority lawyers to do outside legal work. Indeed, Adorno says, the firm's status has helped it capture dozens of big corporate clients, such as E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Eaton Corporation, Bank of America Corporation, AT&T Inc., Johnson Controls, Inc., Shell Oil Company, and The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Firm revenues hit $102 million in 2008, up from $84 million in 2007.
Bookmarks  diversity 
may 2009 by JordanFurlong
Creating Opportunities Through the Diversity Pipeline
Corporate law departments have been leaders in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through their impact and influence over the composition of their own departments and the outside counsel who work on their matters. In addition to such strategies, many law departments are focusing on the need to address the pipeline into the legal profession itself, realizing its importance in effecting fundamental change.
Bookmarks  diversity  schools  clients 
may 2009 by JordanFurlong
Class war still to be fought in the legal profession | The Law Gazette
The law and other professions remain closed shops to many from socially disadvantaged backgrounds (see my story this week on the Cabinet Office report in which this was revealed).
Bookmarks  diversity  ethics 
april 2009 by JordanFurlong
About Us
Canadian in-house corporate counsel are invited to participate in this conference on April 28, 2009 and to sign on to A Call to Action Canada mission statement, pledging their commitment to actively promote diversity in the legal profession
Bookmarks  diversity  clients 
april 2009 by JordanFurlong
Former Covington Staff Attorney Sues Firm for Racial Discrimination
Young, an African American, claims that in March 2006 she complained about being subjected to months of ethnic and racial slurs by white staff attorneys."Immediately thereafter, Covington management set out on a campaign to discredit [Young]," the complaint says. "At a staff meeting, a partner said that plaintiff had overreacted in reporting the use of racial slurs. As punishment, plaintiff was reassigned to an office with no minorities. Covington management further retaliated against plaintiff by subjecting her to increased, unwarranted scrutiny, falsely accusing her of overbilling, and commanding her to work off the clock."
Bookmarks  diversity 
march 2009 by JordanFurlong
Firms, GCs to Develop a 'Best Practices' List for Diversity, Work-Life Balance
Lack of diversity and work-life balance are often treated as two separate problems in the legal profession, but a new initiative headed by the Project for Attorney Retention is seeking to find solutions that address both.
Bookmarks  women  diversity  clients 
january 2009 by JordanFurlong
SRA accused of institutional racism - 20 August 2008
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has laid itself open to the charge of being institutionally racist, an independent report by the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality Lord Ouseley has found. The report found that the regulatory body has been discriminating against black and minority ethnic (BME) lawyers and subjecting them to potentially damaging investigations.
Bookmarks  diversity  Clementi 
august 2008 by JordanFurlong
Recruiters slam Eversheds' demands for diversity - 9 June 2008
An Eversheds plan to launch an alliance forcing recruitment agencies to tackle diversity has ignited a massive row as recruiters argue that the blame for the lack of diversity in the profession lies squarely with law firms.
Bookmarks  laterals  diversity 
june 2008 by JordanFurlong

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