A firm’s culture is largely shaped by its partners and everyone who works there. It is important that a firm’s culture reflects the values and goals that it strives for as a whole. This includes being inclusive and diverse in all areas – including gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, and sexual orientation. That’s why your law firm needs clear diversity standards.
We said that already: diverse teams are more productive and innovative, yes, but we should always focus on the people who make the firm. This means truly fostering an inclusive workplace (no diversity washing, please). And there’s where the diversity standards live.
1. Diversity Standards and Why They Matter
Diversity standards are important for law firms in order to ensure that they are welcoming places for all people. They provide an objective, measurable way to assess how well or poorly an employer is doing in terms of diversity. It can be a written document or a set of principles that governs company policies.
Standards are also helpful for law firms who want to know if they are getting better or worse at diversifying their workforce. They can be used by organizations who want to benchmark themselves against industry standards and see where they need improvement.
The following resources will help your law firm develop a culture of diversity and inclusion:
- Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion in 2022 (natlawreview.com)
- Diversity and Inclusion Center (americanbar.org)
- The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession – Pledge to the Profession (theiilp.com)
- AAJ Member Firm Pledge to Act | AAJ (justice.org)
- Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program | the “Pledge” is a Colorado non-profit organization whose members are law firms, non-profit organizations, and legal departments of various corporate entities that are signatories to the Pledge.
- Diversity & Inclusion Pledge & Plan | Connecticut Bar Association (ctbar.org)
- Law Firm Diversity Program | Microsoft Legal
- Intel’s New Diversity Standards for Outside Counsel | Global IP & Technology Law Blog (iptechblog.com)
- NALP: Member Diversity Fellowships & Scholarships
And, of course, last week’s Live with Lys (broadcasted on February 9, 2022):
Firm Forward can help your law firm create and/or improve your DEI program. Just get in touch.