Thursday, March 24, 2016
William D. Henderson (Indiana), Solving the Legal Profession's Diversity Problem (blogged here):
Among both diverse and white lawyers, there is a widespread perception that the legal profession's lack of diversity is due to a lack of moral resolve. As a result, each successive generation of leadership pledges to deepen its level of commitment. This article argues that the lack of progress is attributable to a systems problem rather than a moral deficit.
A careful examination of relevant data reveal that the biggest areas of bottleneck are hiring, work allocation, and lawyer development systems that are rooted in tradition and past practice and rather than science. The evidence suggests that if we design and implement better systems, out the other side will flow successful diverse lawyers in roughly the same proportion as the number we managed to hire several years earlier.