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Corporations Want More Than Appearances When It Comes to Diversity at Law Firms

The messsage from Delaware's first Diversity Retreat held last Friday at Widener Law School is clear: When it comes to diversity, law firms must move towards true integration in their ranks and not just superficial changes to win corporate business. This article, Law community's reluctance to diversify subject of retreat (Delaware News Journal, 5/12/07), provides a comprehensive review of the highlights of the retreat and, particularly, corporate frustration at many law firms' glacial steps towards diversity.

According to some of the corporate counsel panelists, law firms often try to portray a diverse image by offering up a handpicked team that includes attorneys of color. But six months later, these attorneys are no longer involved. As a result, many corporations are now skeptical of "beauty pageants."

The Diversity Retreat discussed other impediments, such as the difficulty in luring women and minority attorneys to Wilmington, Del.  With so many corporate clients interested in these attorneys, they're in high demand and are likely to opt for more popular cities. According to the article, the percentage of attorneys of color who are partners at Wilmington's top firms is 2.3 percent, compared with 5 percent nationally.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 14, 2007 at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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