Law Practice Magazine
The goal of diversity is easy to describe but hard to achieve. Consider the staggering attrition rates among women and minorities in private practice. Our profession must reflect the society and the principles it serves. But in many cases, diversity initiatives are characterized by lofty programs built on crumbling foundations. The same firm may look like it is excelling when viewed from the top but without hope when viewed from the bottom.
While law firms have been slow to move, clients and others are calling for speedy change. This issue of Law Practice focuses on some of the ways law firms are responding to that call. Issue Editor Karen MacKay invited three corporate counsel and three managing partners to a roundtable discussion of the measures they’ve taken to build -diverse organizations. Steve Taylor interviews top diversity directors about the work they are doing in their law firms, and Kathleen Nalty describes the innovative efforts toward sustainable diversity in Colorado.
All of the programs and progress reports you will read about here demonstrate that any change will be measured broadly, reflecting the fact that diversity itself incorporates different vectors of success. Yet that change will be felt most deeply on a highly personal level. While we call for institutions to change, individually we must personify that change. In her article on the work of law firm leaders, Marty Africa uses powerful terms to describe what it means to be an inclusive leader. Read it, then consider whether, as Marty asks, that inclusive leader could be you.
I thank all of the contributors who’ve worked so hard to bring their perspectives to this special issue.
David J. Bilinsky, Editor-in-Chief