Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 20

FEATURE
"As part of this joint venture, we articulated bold and ambitious goals
around development, retention, advancement, and leadership that we
know will help us make significant strides in fostering diversity and inclusion within our firm," says David Hashmall, Goodwin's chairman emeritus.
"We look forward to working with Diversity Lab and the Move the Needle
community on achieving our collective goals."

"I think the biggest issue we face is that most attorneys see the benefit
of diversity, and they value diverse opinions and perspectives," says Caren
Ulrich Stacy, chief executive officer of Diversity Lab. "But when it comes
down to hiring and retaining diverse lawyers, they default to the status
quo. They're not sure how to change the status quo because sometimes
they lack ideas or rely on old ideas."

UPENDING THE STATUS QUO

What makes the MTN Fund possible is that law firms realize diversity is
not only the right thing to do, but it also pays dividends. A McKinsey &
Company report found that companies in the top quartile for racial and
ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above
their respective national industry medians; those in the top quartile for
gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to perform better financially.

While there has been progress in recent years to improve diversity and
inclusion in the legal workplace, observers say those efforts haven't gone
far enough in expanding the talent pool inside law firms or in ensuring
that firms regularly promote diverse employees.
The National Association for Law Placement noted in its 2019 Report on
Diversity in U.S. Law Firms that "the overall arc of the storyline for large
law firm diversity remains the same - it is one of slow incremental gains
for women and people of color in both the associate and partnership
ranks . . . but at a rate so slow as to almost seem imperceptible at times."
One in five equity partners in large law firms is a woman, and 7.6 percent
of equity partners are people of color, according to the report. The
numbers are even more dismal for Asian American women (1.46 percent),
Latinx women (0.80 percent), and African American women (0.75 percent).

"Now, it's smart business," says Rekha Chiruvolu, Nixon Peabody's director
of diversity and inclusion. "If you want a long life in your organization, you
need to embrace diversity. It's not siloed off as something nice to have
anymore. It's actually seen as something that's necessary."

AN IMMOVABLE BARRIER?
Despite decades of effort to transform the legal profession, one challenge
remains: Law firms are often governed by tradition, and many of those
customs work against change. Some argue that systemic issues in law
firms - partner compensation arrangements, billable hour business
models, and certain hiring practices - have been significant hurdles
to greater diversity.
"One of the things the whole legal profession struggles with is tradition,"
says Chiruvolu. "So much of the profession is looking to the past for
answers. We're trained to look to the past for future problems. Diversity
and inclusion is one area where that is not going to help us. We need
to break out of that habit."

Nixon Peabody LLP

Breaking the habit shouldn't be as hard as it's been, especially given that
law schools have been graduating droves of diverse classes for more than
a decade. In 2018 women represented 51.4 percent of 2L summer associates at surveyed firms, according to the 2019 Vault/Minority Corporate
Counsel Association (MCCA) Law Firm Diversity Survey Report. Racial and
ethnic minorities accounted for 32.6 percent of summer associates, and
LGBTQ attorneys for 5.6 percent.

"

"Law schools have been graduating 50 percent women for a long
time," says Catherine "Kit" Chaskin, director of gender initiatives at
Northwestern's Pritzker School of Law. "Then law schools sit there
and watch them wither on the vine trying to get to the equity partner
level. Even the judiciary, academia, and law departments are better
than law firms, and they're not that great."

One of the things the whole legal profession
struggles with is tradition. . . . We're trained to
look to the past for future problems. Diversity
and inclusion is one area where that is not going
to help us. We need to break out of that habit.
REKHA CHIRUVOLU
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Nixon Peabody

20 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JUNE 2020

The Vault/MCCA survey confirms Chaskin's assessment. It found that
management committee representation was 26 percent for women
and 11 percent for people of color. The numbers weren't much better for
other law firm leadership positions. Approximately 21.6 percent of equity
partners were women and 9.2 percent were racial and ethnic minorities;
practice group leaders were 25 percent women and 8.5 percent minority;
and office heads were 22 percent women and 10 percent minority.
Last year an American Bar Association report, Walking Out the Door:
The Facts, Figures and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private
Practice, examined the reasons for the high rate of attrition of veteran
female lawyers from law firms. It concluded that there is a hidden ceiling



Washington Lawyer - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2020

YOUR VOICE
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
ON FURTHER REVIEW
THE LEARNING CURVE
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - YOUR VOICE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE LEARNING CURVE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover4
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June/July2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/March2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/February2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/November2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/february2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2016/
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com