Friday, December 29, 2006

Clients Demand Diversity at Law Firms

There's an interesting, angry discussion at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. It seems that some large corporations (examples given -- Walmart and Safeco) are demanding that their outside law firms do better at diversifying their staff of attorneys. The article has generated a storm of responses.

How does celebrating diversity translate into hiring policies? Does diversity of staff increase a firm's collective competence?

I think it does -- given that everyone hired has a baseline competence. A staff that brings a diverse range of experience and perspectives will provide better services -- but only if the organization's leadership makes it safe and welcoming for individuals to share their perspectives. What do you think?

Law Blog - : Clients Demand Diversity at Law Firms: "Clients Demand Diversity at Law Firms
Posted by Peter Lattman
The legal departments of Corporate America continue to pressure their outside law firms to diversify — or else. A Recorder story focuses on Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the subject of an American Lawyer story last year about its struggles with diversity. At the time, Gibson had five minorities among its 256 partners; by mid-January it should have 10."
Photo by Justin Hall

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