IILP Releases Report: "The Business Case for Diversity: Reality or Wishful Thinking?"

12 Apr 2011 10:30 AM | Sandra Yamate (Administrator)

Release:           Immediate

Contact:           Sandra Yamate or Deborah Weixl

Phone:             312/628-5885

E-Mail:             news@theiilp.com 

Online:             http://theiilp.com

RESULTS OF NEW STUDY SHOW THE LEGAL PROFESSION IS FALLING SHORT IN EFFORT TO INCREASE DIVERSITY

Despite a strong business case for diversity, inclusion continues to lag

CHICAGO, April 12, 2011 – Is the business case for diversity making a difference in how corporate legal work is being assigned to outside counsel? Are there meaningful incentives in place to foster diversity and inclusion? Are law firms finding value in building a diverse workplace? Are there real opportunities for diverse lawyers? Why has the legal profession lagged behind in achieving true diversity and what steps can it take to make inclusion a reality?

 

New data resulting from a large study of corporations, law firms and diverse partners in law firms by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession suggest that there is still a long way to go to make the legal profession inclusive through the full integration of diverse lawyers and law firms into the corporate legal marketplace. The report shows that while a business case for diversity has been in place for more than 20 years, it falls short of providing an environment for achieving the economic and social results that reflect career sustainability, viability and success for meaningful numbers of diverse lawyers.

 

“The profession has sought solutions and increasingly focused on diversity and inclusion, and it is important to acknowledge that we have made much progress. Equally important, however, is the fact that we must acknowledge that there is a measurable level of frustration, and even skepticism, about the pace –  and the possibility – of significant change in key areas of measurement,” said Marc S. Firestone, chair of IILP and executive vice president, corporate and legal affairs, and general counsel, Kraft Foods, Inc. “Our findings show that diverse lawyers are disappointed with progress and law firms are finding that their diversity efforts are not a clear priority when dealing with corporate clients.”

   
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