Posted: February 13, 2024 | See All Events
Brought to you by the CLOC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Council
The legal profession has a diversity problem. Per the ABA, only 38% of lawyers are women and only 19% are racially or ethnically diverse. This lack of diversity has negative consequences, both for the profession and for its clients. Diversity is both good for business and an integral part of corporate ESG goals. A study by McKinsey found that companies with a more diverse workforce are more likely to outperform their competitors financially.
A diverse workforce brings a wider range of perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making. It is also more likely to be innovative and creative and more likely to attract and retain top talent. In addition to being good for business, DEI initiatives help meet corporate ESG goals. These ESG goals will extend into both legal departments and their outside law firms. Legal operations professionals have an opportunity to lead the way with DEI goals for both internal legal departments and outside law firms. A diverse legal department is more likely to be successful and help with risk management and mitigation by including a broad range of perspectives to reduce blind spots.
Externally, it is imperative that corporate legal operations groups hold their majority-owned outside law firms accountable for DEI initiatives and goals. This can be done by requiring law firms to meet certain criteria, such as: implementing a supplier diversity program, utilizing diverse-owned law firms for conflict counsel, requiring diverse timekeepers on matters, providing additional training to diverse associates, and requiring diverse attorneys to inherit client relationships. Increasing DEI in the legal profession is essential for the future of the profession. This panel discussion will provide a valuable opportunity to discuss the importance of DEI and learn tactics that legal operations professionals can use to move the needle on diversity in the legal profession.