Minority Law Journal’s Diversity Scorecard

The Minority Law Journal has just released this year’s law firm diversity rankings.  The staff decided to change the scoring formula to give more weight to minority partners and less to minority associates (and staff attorneys) which caused quite a shake up.  New York’s Cleary, Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, dropped all the way to number 20 while Palo Alto’s Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati snatched the top spot.   MLJ

All this churn comes courtesy of a new ranking formula adopted after we found ourselves wondering whether our traditional approach to measuring diversity—calculating the overall percentage of minorities within a firm—ignored something significant. Did it really make sense to treat all lawyers of color as essentially equivalent in stature? Should a firm get the same kind of credit for a minority associate as it does for a minority partner? We decided that it was time to start giving more credit to firms that have increased the racial diversity of their partnership ranks. Under our revised formula, we add each responding firm’s percentage of minority lawyers to its percentage of minority partners to come up with a diversity score. This number is a truer gauge, we believe, of what kind of progress a firm is making in hiring lawyers of color at every level, with an emphasis on those at the most senior levels. (Click here for a fuller explanation of our methodology, and a list of firms that did not respond.)

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