Denver Legal Marketing is excited to be sponsoring this year’s Ball for All Gala, organized by the Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI). The event celebrates efforts by law firms and l businesses to create more inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplaces. The ball will be held virtually on May 1, 2021, at 6:30 pm MT.
The Inclusiveness@Work Awards are one of the most popular features of the ball. The awards celebrate those organizations and individuals in the legal industry who advance diversity, inclusivity, and equity in their workplaces and their communities.
DEI is a Big Issue for Lawyers
Inclusiveness remains a challenge in the legal profession within the U.S. Celebrating trailblazing organizations that have successfully diversified their workforce is an excellent way of recognizing and encouraging those efforts more widely.
According to the American Bar Association, around 85% of lawyers in the U.S. are Caucasian or white. Only 36% identify as female. These numbers are in stark contrast to the statistics of diversity among law students. The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) reports that about 50% of law students have been female for nearly 20 years. However, women only account for a little more than one in five partners at large law firms.
Moreover, female equity partners tend to earn a mere 80% of the compensation offered to their male counterparts in large law firms. Discrepancies are even more noticeable where racial and ethnic minority lawyers are concerned. Consequently, the CLI says that the legal profession is ranked among the worst professions for diversity and inclusiveness in the United States.
Inclusiveness Impacts a Law Firm’s Bottom Line
Celebrating diversity and inclusiveness is important. However, a workforce that truly represents the American public has a larger impact on legal organizations as it also affects profitability.
The CLI has found that diversity helps firms compete for both talent and clients. Any organization wanting to attract the most promising lawyers and lucrative client accounts cannot overlook diversity.
Additionally, law firms demonstrating a focus on diversity and inclusiveness tend to be less likely to face lawsuits based on discrimination.
DEI is More Than Hiring Diverse Lawyers
As the NALP figures have shown, diversity and inclusiveness become a bigger issue as lawyers progress into senior positions and partnerships. Hiring from a vast pool of candidates is a start. However, long-lasting change will require senior management to actively support a diverse workforce and participate in creating development opportunities for lawyers from all backgrounds.
Celebrating efforts like the CLI’s Ball for All is another way of drawing attention to inclusiveness. It is important to give exposure to legal businesses and professionals demonstrating the progress being made within the legal profession.
As a supporting sponsor, Denver Legal Marketing is grateful for this opportunity to play a small part in the advancement of the legal profession as a whole.