Peer to Peer Magazine

Fall 2019

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 46 of 63

48 W e've been talking about diversity within our law firms for years, but not always following through when it counts. One example of this is when firms present a diverse team to win new business in an effort to meet the client's needs. But lacking tools to easily assess individual lawyer availability and monitor ongoing work allocation, matters end up being staffed more homogeneously. Clients that have not focused on these disparities in the past are now requiring their law firms to provide facts and data about lawyers assigned to their matters, as well as partner and management diversity metrics. To truly make progress on diversity and inclusion, law firms need easy access to data to do everything from benchmarking where they stand now in terms of percent of diverse representation in all matters, to matters for top clients, and top work for top clients. Data can support recruiting, be deployed to backup qualification for the Mansfield Rule, assess the success and failures of programs, help inform strategic objectives, and point to next best steps. Data Makes the Case for Diversity It's easy to lose site of the tangible firm benefits of diversity and inclusion. Soliciting input from those who look like you, with similar backgrounds and experiences, tends to reflect back opinions that are similar to your own. A firm needs everyone involved to see all the angles. And without a diverse team, a firm will never be able to arrive at end results that are truly well-rounded Looking past client requirements and the fact that it's just the right thing to do, diversity programs should be viewed as strategic initiatives that will ultimately improve client service and overall firm performance. Numbers compiled in a recent article on the The World Economic Forum 1 make a clear case that increasing diversity across all ranks is good for an organization on many fronts, including: Innovation: A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more Want to Get Serious About Diversity? Use Data B Y B R E A N N A M . S C H M I D T A N D J A S M I N E C . T R I L L O S - D E C A R I E

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