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Emerging Trends


NAMWOLF is always aiming to be a resource for our members and affiliates. To aid in that effort, this page is here to keep you aware of the emerging trends in diversity and beyond. 

New content suggestions are always welcome. Please email Jane Kalata with any suggested content.


Roger Goodell: Women Will Interview for Open Executive Jobs 

By Jane McManus, February 4, 2016

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SAN FRANCISCO -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that the league will institute a Rooney Rule for women when it comes to all NFL executive positions.He announced the decision in opening remarks at the NFL Women's Summit, where roughly 250 men and women associated with the league are gathered to listen to a slate of speakers on issues affecting women in sports."Last but not least, it's management, and when I say that, it's about diversity in our management. We believe in diversity," Goodell said. "We believe we're better as an organization when we have good people at the table. We have great people at the table. We're also seeing... [Read more...]


Inclusive Outside Counsel

By Amanda Garcia

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How Barry Parsons promotes legal diversity and reduces spending on outside counsel, all while producing winning results at Freddie Mac. [ Read more...]


Why Diversity and Inclusion Will Be A Top Priority for 2016 

By Josh Bersin, December 6, 2015

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With all the press we read about diversity, inclusion, women in leadership, and the need to be open minded about religious and cultural differences, one might ask "is 2016 going to be the year of diversity in business?"  

I believe the answer is yes: this topic has been raised in the public eye and research now proves that companies with great diversity outperform their peers by a significant margin. If you aren't taking this topic seriously, you should be. [ Read more...]

First-in-the-Nation Statewide Inclusion of LGBT Business Enterprises Enacted by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker with the Guidance of the NGLCC

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Washington, D.C. -- The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is proud to announce the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, under the leadership of Governor Charlie Baker, as the first state in the nation to issue an executive order including certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) in contracting and procurement opportunities alongside women and minority owned businesses. For LGBT citizens in Massachusetts, this policy provides fair and equal access to business contracting opportunities that cultivate innovation, create jobs, and drive economic growth throughout the Commonwealth. [ Read more...]

Report Of The Ninth Annual Survey

By National Association of Women Lawyers

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In 2006, the National Association of Women Lawyers issued its NAWL Challenge: Increase the number of women equity partners, women chief legal officers, and women tenured law professors to at least 30 percent by 2015. [ Read more...]

Large Law Firms Are Failing Women Lawyers


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Picture a typical female attorney and you probably envision a woman who’s empowered. She’s highly educated, trained to argue well and paid to be a self-assured advocate for her clients. Imagine that attorney works at one of the biggest law firms in the country, and your esteem of her probably even grows higher.

Implicit Bias: The Silent Killer Of Diversity In The Legal Profession

By Renwei Chung, Above the Law, February 6, 2015 

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According to the Sentencing Project, “If current trends continue, one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino males — compared to one of every seventeen white males.” Cornell Law School notes, “Race matters in the criminal justice system. Black defendants appear to fare worse than similarly situated white defendants. Why? Implicit bias is one possibility… Judges hold implicit racial biases. These biases can influence their judgment.”        [ Read more...]

Many Black Lawyers Navigate a Rocky, Lonely Road to Partner

By Elizabeth Olson, The New York Times, August 17, 2015

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Jimmie L. McMillian’s path to partnership in an Indianapolis law firm might seem unexceptional — except for a few telling details.

He left behind the South Side of Chicago, where he grew up in a family troubled by domestic violence, went to college in Indiana and then earned his law degree in the state. He joined the law firm, Barnes & Thornburg, and six years ago, was promoted to partner, the legal profession’s brass ring.

But Mr. McMillian, 40, has few counterparts and even fewer role models because he is African-American. Only 5.6 percent of lawyers who hold top leadership positions at law firms are anything other than white, according to a study by the National Association for Law Placement. [ Read more...]

 A Look at Diversity Beyond the United States: Germany

By Dr. Dirk Schwenn

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Diversity initiatives are not just an American concept. Some countries, in fact, have become diversity leaders in ways that the United States has yet to match. An example of this is Germany, where they are not just promoting diversity; they have made it a legal requirement. In January 2015, the Government of Chancellor Angela Merkel passed a law mandating that women make up at least 30% of all corporate boards. The regulations implementing the new law went into effect on May 1, 2015. By next year, all companies trading on Frankfurt’s stock exchange, the DAX, including Germany’s largest and most well-known companies, must begin implementing the 30% quota. Companies subject to co-determination need to agree upon a quota which can be below 30%. [ Read more...]

Assertive or aggressive? The fine line between being viewed as confident and abrasive

By Camille Khodadad, August 2015

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A lawyer friend of mine recently told me about a meeting where she gave a presentation.As she recounted the meeting, she made a comment that went something like this: “I had to walk a very fine line between being viewed as confident and being viewed as aggressive. As women, being labeled as aggressive is the kiss of death.”Without my friend needing to say more, I knew too well what she was talking about. [ Read More...]

Despite Small Gains in the Representation of Women and Minorities Among Equity Partners, Broad Disparities Remain

By NALP Bulletin, June 2015

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Equity partners in multi-tier law firms continue to be disproportionately white men. New figures from NALP show that in 2014, only 17.1% of equity partners were women and only 5.6% were racial/ethnic minorities.

The new NALP findings on women equity partners mirror the most recent findings by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), which reported in February 2014 that "the 200 largest US law firms report only 17% of equity partners are women."

NALP has been compiling its information since 2011, when NALP began asking law firms to report demographic information for equity and non-equity partners through the NALP Directory of Legal Employers. As has been the case since 2011, there is a definite skew among women lawyers and minority lawyers who are partners toward non-equity status. Partners in general continue to be disproportionately both male and white (about three-quarters white and male in 2014), and in multi-tiered firms the skew among equity partners appears to be even greater. [ Read more...]

Female-Owned Firm Has Thrived with Diversity, Inclusion Focus

By Jeremy Nobile, Crain's Cleveland Business, June 27, 2015

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When Karen L. Giffen and Kerin Lyn Kaminski started their own law firm in Cleveland in 2004 — a certified women-owned firm, meaning at least 51% of the firm is controlled by female attorneys — they were breaking into a male-dominated sector, particularly in the concentration of business law.

A dozen years ago, the duo was enjoying success with Cavitch Familo Durkin & Frutkin Co. But a client was looking for a diverse law firm that better mirrored itself, and the two saw an opportunity to hang their shingle. Read more...

GCs Call For Public Shaming Of Firms That Slack On Diversity

By Andrew Strickler                                                                                


SourceLink: campaign=section

Law360, New York (June 8, 2015, 8:42 PM ET) -- Corporate legal leaders should commit "visible hangings" of firms that fail to promote lawyer diversity, and send the rest of BigLaw a message that lip service won't cut it anymore, general counsel said Monday at a New York City Bar Association event.

Besides publicly firing outside counsel, panelists at the bar's inaugural Diversity and Inclusion forum discussed other interventions to push law firms to be more gender and racially mixed, including pressuring managers to pledge that a general counsel’s chosen lawyers will get origination credit or be considered for partnership. [Read More


Texas Lawyers Rates Now Exceeds $1,000 An Hour

By Mark CurridenThe Texas Lawbook, June 3, 2015

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Texas lawyers this year notified hundreds of corporate clients that their hourly rates were going up.

Junior partners at many large law firms now charge $650 an hour. Associates only three years out of law school bill $400 an hour.

And dozens of senior lawyers — those who handle the most complex, bet-the-company legal matters — now charge their business clients in excess of $1,000 an hour.

It’s a rate that was almost unheard of only a few years ago.

Two lawyers — Steve Susman in Houston and Bill Brewer in Dallas — post their hourly rate at $1,400 an hour.

Read More 

Special Report: Big Law Is Failing Women

The American Lawyer, May 28, 2015

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Why aren't there more women at the top of the nation's biggest firms? Consider that at the current growth rate of women equity partners, gender parity will be reached in the year 2181. Our investigation includes firm-by-firm data plus a look at innovative firms that are addressing problems in novel ways. View the full article here.

Law Is The Least Diverse Profession In The Nation. And Lawyers Aren’t Doing Enough...

By Deborah L. Rhode, The Washington Post May 27, 2015

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From the outside, the legal profession seems to be growing ever more diverse. Three women are now on the Supreme Court. Loretta Lynch is the second African American to hold the position of attorney general. The president and first lady are lawyers of color. Yet according to Bureau of Labor statistics, law is one of the least racially diverse professions in the nation. Eighty-eight percent of lawyers are white. Other careers do better — 81 percent of architects and engineers are white; 78 percent of accountants are white; and 72 percent of physicians and surgeons are white.

The legal profession supplies presidents, governors, lawmakers, judges, prosecutors, general counsels, and heads of corporate, government, nonprofit and legal organizations. Its membership needs to be as inclusive as the populations it serves. Read the entire article here.

Directing Next-level Diversity: The Initiatives that Drive Business Value

Inside Counsel Magazine, May 2015

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The business case for diversity and inclusion has been made,” says Alan Bryan, associate general counsel, outside counsel management at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He's not wrong. A 2014 Gallup study of more than 800 business units found that gender-diverse business units increased profits by at least 14 percent over those dominated by one gender. Other studies have resulted in similar findings for racial diversity. Read the full article here.

Diversity and Inclusion: The Financial Services Sector and Dodd-Frank

American Bar Association 2015

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The financial services sector is not very diverse. This fact is well documented in an April 2013 report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office which noted that from 2007 to 2011 there have been no substantial changes in the number of minorities and women in management in the financial services industry. (The report also notes that there is an increase in both minorities and women in first- and mid-level management positions, which may create a pipeline for increased representation in senior management positions in the future.) According to the report, women represented close to 30 percent of senior management at financial firms and approximately 36 percent of senior management at financial regulators. However, the representation of minorities in senior management level positions is only 11 percent at financial firms and 17 percent at their regulators. Doreen Lilienfeld and Amy Gitilitz Bennett, Will Dodd-Frank’s Diversity Mandates Go Far Enough? Law 360. [Log-in required.] Read the full article here.  

Number Of Women, Minority Partners At Law Firms Still Far Lower Than Counterparts

By Ed Silverstein, Inside Counsel February 24, 2015

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There has been some slight improvement for women and minorities in terms of their representation at law firms. Recently released numbers from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) showed that women and minorities continued to make “small gains” as partners at law firms during 2014. Click here to read the entire article.

U.S. Law Firms Slowly Growing More Diverse, Survey Shows

By , The National Law Journal February 17, 2015

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Women associates expanded their presence at law firms during 2014—the first percentage growth among that demographic group in four years, according to data released Tuesday by the National Association for Law Placement. Click here to read entire article.

NYC Comptroller Targets 20 Large Companies On Supplier-Diversity Program Disclosures

By Barry B. Burr, Pionline April 9, 2014

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Apple Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Qualcomm  Inc. are among 20 companies targeted by the New York City Retirement Systems, calling for disclosure of their supplier-diversity programs on purchasing goods and services from businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and disabled individuals, as well as other types of owners. Click here to entire article.

The Study on White Men Leading Through Diversity & Inclusion

Greatheart Leader Labs January 2013

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Solving Four Challenges

A decade ago, ‘Diversity’ began to evolve into ‘Diversity and Inclusion’.

Now an unforeseen inclusion question rises: what about the white guys? In

response, The Study on White Men Leading Through Diversity & Inclusion

provides the first research. This analysis focuses on white male leaders in

order to diagnose and solve four organizational challenges:


Leadership Development – Globally, 32 million white men hold leadership

positions, with six million in the United States. White men possess more than

40% of the leadership jobs in most companies, and that percentage increases

dramatically by leadership level. The position power and leadership skills that

white men possess need to align with the value that diversity and inclusion

delivers. Click here to read entire article.

For Lawyers of Color Good and Bad News

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist November 3, 2014

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If you squint a bit—and ignore some of the contradictory data—you'll find some optimistic news about minority lawyers.

Two recent reports—Vault/Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) on law firm diversity and Major Lindsey & Africa's report on partner compensation (I wrote about MLA's finding about women a few weeks ago)—offer a fascinating if confusing picture about how minorities are doing in the nation's big firms.

First, the good news from the Vault/MCCA survey:

-Minority lawyers have rebounded since the recession. They make up 14.56 percent of lawyers at end of 2013 v. 13.44 percent at the end of 2009.

- Minority progress is most notable within the partnership ranks. Read more

The Diversity Crisis: Big Firms' Continuing Failure

By Julie Triedman, The American Lawyer May 29, 2014

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For black partners, The Am Law 100 is a lonely place. More than a quarter-century after the first national efforts to boost the presence of black lawyers at large firms, African-American partners remain so rare that at most firms, they can be counted on one hand, even though the average Am Law 100 firm has more than doubled in size in the past two decades.

In 2013, only 1.9 percent of partners—one in 54 at the 223 firms that submitted data for our Diversity Scorecard—were black, a percentage that hasn't changed in five years. For black women partners, the numbers are even worse: They average just one in every 170 partners in our surveyed firms, half the number of black male partners, according to data collected by the National Association for Law Placement. Read entire article here.

Little Diversity Seen in Big Tech's Trial Teams

By , The Recorder September 5, 2014  

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Silicon Valley's diversity problem doesn't stop with the tech engineers: A Recorder analysis of the outside lawyers appearing on behalf of four major tech companies found even less ethnic and racial diversity than within the companies themselves.

Of the 126 lawyers listed as counsel of record for Google Inc. in open Northern District federal court matters, 96 percent are white or Asian-American. And 71 percent are men.

Of the 137 lawyers appearing for Apple Inc., 97 percent are white or Asian-American. And 68 percent are men.  Click here to read full article.

Diversity In the Workplace & Financial Compensation

By Cindy Krischer Goodman, Miami Herald, July 29, 2014

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As a young lawyer, Tiffani Lee found a partner who believed in her ability and helped push her up to the top ranks of Miami’s Holland & Knight. Most often, the opposite is true: Organizational mechanisms at firms push out women and people of color. Those dynamics explain why diversity drops off sharply at the higher levels of law firm management, even though the entry-level workforce at law firms is more diverse than ever before. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Organizations Who Do Not Manage Diversity Effectively - Will They Face Barriers To Advancement?

By Rose Mary Wentling

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Demographic change, the global marketplace, greater tolerance for differences, and govern-ment-sponsored programs are increasing the importance of diversity in the workplace. In the near future, more women, minorities, and people with different ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles will enter the workforce. Companies will face the same issues and problems public schools have been facing in understanding and utilizing the full range of human potential in a diverse population. Organizations that do not manage diversity effectively will not be able to utilize the full potential of their workers, nor to survive and grow under increasingly complex and competitive business conditions.

At the NCRVE site at the University of Illinois, we have been studying the status and trends of diversity initiatives in the workplace. This article discusses the major findings from our research, including the barriers to working with diversity, reasons for implementing diversity strategies, and the most effective initiatives. We conclude with an overview of trends in diversity, of special interest to human resource professionals.    READ FULL ARTICLE 

Apple Publishes Their 2014 Diversity Report

Posted by: Jack Purcher on August 12, 2014

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In a newly released report on Apple's diversity in the workplace, Apple's CEO Tim Cook, duly noted that Apple was "committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company.  READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Busting Myths about the Barriers Women and Minority Lawyers Face in the Legal Profession 

By Sheryl L. Axelrod

As a result of bias, women and minorities face great barriers to advancement in the profession. 

          A.      The barriers facing women[1][1] 

• Since the mid-1980’s, more than 40% of law school graduates have been women.  Absent

 bias, one would expect law firms to be promoting women and men at nearly the same rate.  However, among the attorneys law firms promote to equity partner, less than 20% are women.  Thus, law firms are promoting less than half the percentage of women to equity partner that they should.[2][2] 

• Firms laterally hire men into equity partnership positions much more often than women. 

• Women equity partners are paid 85%-89% of what male equity partners are paid. 

• Women are credited for roughly 8% out of every 10% of client billings for which men get credit.

Many people assume that women are promoted and paid less in the profession because they work fewer hours.  That has been proven untrue by an excellent study on the subject, "Compensation in Law Firms: Why Women Equity Partners Are Compensated Less for the Same Billable Hours and Business Origination as Male Equity Partners" by Harry Keshet, PhD. & Angela A. Meyer, PhD., PE. READ FULL POST HERE

2014 Women in the Law (Video)

Published on Jun 5, 2014, FederalBar YouTube Channel

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The Federal Bar Association's inaugural Women in the Law conference will feature vibrant and dynamic discussions of the unique challenges and successes of women in law and leadership from a number of perspectives. Speakers will include judges, academics, and thought leaders from corporate, nonprofit, government, and law firm backgrounds.

The Diversity Crisis: Are Clients Easing Off?

Julie Triedman, The American Lawyer, June 2014

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A decade ago, dissatisfied with the glacial pace of recruitment of minority lawyers at his outside firms, Sara Lee Corporation's then general counsel, Roderick Palmore, convinced 72 U.S. companies to agree to reduce or end ties with firms that showed a lack of commitment to diversity. Sure enough, the diversity dial moved; between 2004 and 2008, Asian and Hispanic lawyer head count jumped by a quarter, to 6.1 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, while African-American head count rose from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent, according to sibling publication The National Law Journal.

But last year, among the 77 Am Law 100 firms for which The American Lawyer has demographic data and equity/nonequity head counts, 31 firms still had either no black equity partners last year, or one. Since the recession, client pressure on diversity appears to have taken a backseat to reducing legal costs. "I think certainly it's dropped down on people's priority list," says E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. general counsel Thomas Sager. 


ABA Publication, GP Solo, 2012, Sept./Oct.: The Changing Face of Law Practice, Vol 29 No. 5

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Almost 50 years ago we enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the watershed piece of legislation that outlaws discrimination 

based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. With our legal system at the forefront of this country’s efforts to achieve equality, one might assume that legal practitioners would, themselves, be at the forefront in their treatment of minorities in the workplace. The stats and anecdotes, however, tell a different story.

The Stats

Twenty-five years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even in one of the most liberal states in the country, California, there was still an enormous disparity between the percentage of minorities in the population and the state’s business lawyers—prompting the foundation of the California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP). And, according to Marci Rubin, executive director of the CMCP, “while strides have been made, and the numbers of minority law firm partners and associates and corporate counsel at all levels has increased, the legal profession is far from reflecting the diversity demographics of those admitted to the Bar, let alone the population as a whole.” A comparison of the 1993 versus the 2010–2011 data from the Directory of Legal Employers Diversity and Demographics Report of the NALP (National Association for Law Placement) fully supports this conclusion. (See the charts at right.)

Clearly, while the percentages of women and minority associates have grown over time, a disproportionately small percentage of these attorneys achieve partner status at their firms. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE















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