Steps to achieve a greater diversity of law firms: adopt the inclusive operating principles of the law department, establish and implement policies, practices, and procedures to identify, retain and incorporate diverse outside lawyers. Organizations can achieve significant impact without a big budget. By harnessing the strengths of employees, organizations can cost-effectively use internal resources to exchange ideas, implement and execute programs focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession. For example, someone may have a large network that they can leverage to raise awareness about the program, find program partners, or raise funds.
An organization's recruitment team can also help find participants for programs. The marketing team can advertise the programs and lawyers can teach programs or advise people. Another possibility is to ask clients to get involved; clients may be as interested and invested in potential programs as the lawyers themselves. Partnering with other organizations in the legal profession can also help achieve broader objectives by combining resources and bandwidth.
Dedicating just one hour a week to diversity initiatives and engaging people who are committed to making initiatives a reality can have a big impact. By Arvin Patel and Jonathan K. Waldrop Law Firm leaders, partners and hiring departments already know how to find the same small number of diverse candidates year after year, say Arvin Patel, of Intellectual Ventures, and Jonathan K., partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. The key to improving business diversity is to dramatically increase diverse hires, implement diverse hiring panels and implement metrics, they say.
Waldrop is a partner and director of the intellectual property group at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. A quick look at the latest NALP report on diversity in the U.S. UU. Law firms show that while there have been small improvements in some areas, there is still a lot of work to be done.
The percentage of color associates is only 26.48%. Black partners just surpassed 5% for the first time in history. Black female associates rank even lower, at 3.04%, and are the sector with the lowest representation among female members, with less than 1%. The objective of this program is to help increase the number of diverse candidates entering the field of patent law, targeting various students in undergraduate or graduate programs in STEM and law schools, lawyers who are just practicing their profession and engineers starting their careers.
Law firms committed to D&I have the opportunity to work together with third parties like these to further encourage minorities to enter and develop their careers in the legal field. First of all, it benefited students by introducing them to the environment of a law firm, what it's like to be in the building, what it's like to interact with people who work in a law firm and listening to the criticisms and expectations of what it means to work in a law firm. Law firm leaders, partners and hiring departments already know how to find the same small number of diverse candidates year after year. Law firm leaders, partners and hiring departments already know how to find the same small number of diverse candidates year after year, say Arvin Patel, of Intellectual Ventures, and Jonathan K., partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.
Progress is being made through the implementation of programs such as internships and mentoring, and regulations such as the Mansfield Rule, which requires law firms to affirmatively consider a minimum of 30% of diverse candidates for positions of responsibility. Known as MFI 2.0, this program is a virtual, summarized version of the original MFI, and focuses on helping several existing minority-owned patent firms succeed through 42 weekly virtual lessons taught by Harrity lawyers, in-house lawyers, law firm partners, and guest speakers. To correct this error, the diversity and inclusion of law firms must be emphasized and new measures taken by the entire legal industry to improve their base. Whether this means rewarding lawyers or law firms with the most beneficial solutions, investing in programs through sponsorships or grants, or creating other applicable incentives, the goal is for organizations to stop focusing on finding diverse lawyers, on the small group of existing professionals or on hiring competing firms, to increasing diversity and achieving a lasting impact on the legal profession.
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