Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 21

FEATURE
blocking women's advancement into leadership that often drives their
decision to leave their firms at mid-career.
"Compensation gaps, unconscious bias, and harassment are driving
women from firms," says Hilarie Bass, a former ABA president and founder
and president of the Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion, a nonprofit
advocating for gender parity in law firms and corporations. "This is a
problem that must be solved."

AN ENTREPRENEURIAL ANSWER
The solution to the challenge may come from an unlikely corner, the
enterprise innovation sector. Applying an entrepreneurial knack for inventive thinking and laboratory-style methods to law firm problem solving
could produce new approaches to hiring, work allocation, promotions,
performance reviews, and compensation systems, say observers.

For Stoel Rives, joining the MTN Fund was a natural extension of its
previous collaboration with Diversity Lab. It has participated in the hackathon and the OnRamp Fellowship, a one-year paid position for women
lawyers returning to the workplace. The MTN Fund allows the firm to
focus on an ongoing, critical area of concern.
"We were losing young women and minority lawyers at a rate that was
alarming to us," says Timothy M. Taylor, partner and chair of the firm's
Diversity and Inclusion Committee. "We needed to work on retention, and
it was something we had started independent of Move the Needle. We
had been collecting statistics on departures, and we didn't know how to
use the data.
"The marriage happened at a good point for us with Move the Needle.
We have many years of data, and they have statisticians on their team to
give us insights to know where we're coming from and how to get where
we want to go," Taylor says.
Stoel Rives' goal in the next five years is to raise the retention rate of its
diverse attorneys to at least equal that of its nondiverse attorneys. To
achieve this, the firm needs to reduce the attrition rate of its diverse attorneys by 40 percent.
Working with practice group ambassadors from the five firms, Stacy and
her Diversity Lab team are rolling out a series of "bias interrupters," or
small adjustments that can be used to fine-tune existing business
systems. These solutions generally are not comprehensive reforms but
rather tactical or incremental options.
For example, hiring practices are an ideal target for these types of adjustments, particularly in rethinking how law firms draft job postings. Stacy
suggests that law firms consider using more neutral language in posts,
avoiding masculine-coded words such as "leader" and "competitive,"
which often reduce the number of women who apply for positions.
Another ongoing problem is of firms turning a job post into a wish list.
Research shows that men and women attorneys respond differently to
these appeals. Women will not apply if they don't feel they have enough

"

Stoel Rives LLP

Diversity Lab has sponsored a number of state-of-the-art fellowships
and events, including the 2018 Diversity in Law Hackathon series where
two Shark Tank-style events featured teams pitching ideas to improve
legal workforce diversity and inclusion. These solutions will be developed further, piloted by the firms, and analyzed to determine their
success.

We were losing young women and minority
lawyers at a rate that was alarming to us.
We needed to work on retention, and it was
something we had started independent of
Move the Needle.
TIMOTHY M. TAYLOR
Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair, Stoel Rives

of the requested traits; men generally apply regardless of the number of
requested traits they possess.
"As we put the interrupters in place and measure their success, we will
post the interrupters and the results online for other law firms to review,"
says Stacy. "Small or boutique firms will have everything they need to put
interrupters in place."
Along with interrupters, law firms can implement specific interventions.
Consider a firm's process for making plum assignments. If the firm has a
diverse selection of attorneys but assignments are given unevenly, then
it is encouraged to use a rotation process for cases, to establish a list of
attorneys with essential skills and share that widely with supervisors, and
to monitor managers in their efforts to assign diverse attorneys.
If the pool of attorneys is not diverse enough, law firms should review
their processes for recruiting associates for assignments and assemble
better talent pools. If diversity still doesn't exist, experts say it's time to
expand the pool by developing employees through mentoring, shadowing, and competency building.
"A lot of law firms think that when something is broken you have to
put a huge new process in place, and committees have to approve it,
but that's not true," says Stacy. "Work assignments are one of the most
continued on page 35

JUNE 2020

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WASHINGTON LAWYER

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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
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