Diversity outcomes sacrificed in tough economic climate

Diversity efforts by US law firms have stalled, according to new data from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and Vault.com. The 2009 summer intake had the lowest percentage of minority students in three years, and the percentage of minorities hired by law firms at all levels in 2009 was 19 per cent, compared to nearly 22 per cent in 2008. There was a small increase in minority non-equity partners, from 8.5 per cent in 2008 to 9 per cent in 2009, while the percentage of minority equity partners remained flat – going from 6.05 per cent in 2008 to 6.06 per cent in 2009. Vault Senior Law Editor Vera Djordjevich said: "It remains to be seen whether these numbers reflect a recessionary anomaly or the start of a trend.” She added: "Nonetheless, given the slow rate at which law firms have been diversifying their ranks and the likelihood that recruiting will not return to pre-recession levels any time soon, there's a danger that even a one-time drop in minority recruitment could have a long-term impact on overall law firm populations."

Diversity outcomes sacrificed in tough economic climate law.com law.com Fri, Oct 1, 2010