You would have had to have slept through the last eighteen months to not have noticed that racism and division remain a persistent and nefarious societal problem. Our laws and policies are becoming more race and gender-neutral. We are acutely aware, however, that the application of those laws and policies is often far from neutral.
Important progress has been made in “leveling the playing field”, but the job is far from finished. A recent ABA publication (Systemic Bias in Legal Profession Confirmed by New Reports, September 2018) notes:
Despite efforts to reverse the trend, a new study confirms widespread gender and racial bias permeates hiring, promotion, assignments and compensation in the legal industry. Fifty-eight percent of women attorneys of color, and half of white women lawyers surveyed say they have been mistaken for administrative staff or janitors, according to the new study.
Law firms have both the opportunity and the obligation to be at the vanguard of inclusivity. Obviously, inclusive law firm staffing is the right thing to do - legally, morally and ethically. But it is also the right thing to do from a purely profit-driven business strategy. Numerous prestigious management studies conclude inclusivity improves recruiting, decreases attrition, increases job satisfaction and improves productivity. In other words, inclusivity makes sound business sense.
AGA Legal Staffing has been at the forefront of inclusive hiring practices. Over the last decade, more than 70% of our placements have come from diverse populations. We believe in the power of inclusivity and we will proudly continue to stand for it.