Thursday, January 28, 2021
McGeorge Law School And Sacramento Legal Employers Join Forces To Improve Lawyer Diversity
Karen Sloan (Law.com), McGeorge Law and Sacramento Legal Employers Join Forces to Improve Lawyer Diversity:
For University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz, the light bulb went off last year after he formed a diversity board. Carmen-Nicole Cox—a deputy district attorney in the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office and a member of the board—pulled him aside and said, “If you really want to advance diversity in the legal profession, you need to get the legal employers involved.”
That sounded right to Schwartz. Law schools for years have been working harder to recruit minority students, while legal employers have turned an eye toward recruiting and retaining diverse lawyers. But the legal profession is a continuum, and it makes little sense for law schools and legal employers to be tackling diversity and inclusion in their own silos when they could collaborate toward a shared goal. By joining forces, law schools can ensure they are producing not only diverse graduates but graduates with the diversity and inclusion skills employers want. Meanwhile, helping law schools bring in minority students will help legal employers ensure that the pool of law graduates from which they recruit represent the diversity of their area.
That’s the idea behind the Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective, which McGeorge formally launched in December. Schwartz recruited 30 of the largest legal employers in Sacramento—a mix of local, national and international law firms, state agencies and public defender and district attorney offices—for a four-pronged diversity initiative that Schwartz hopes will bear fruit in the coming years. ...
Schwartz said the initiative is in its early days, but he is hopeful that the collective can serve as a model for other law schools to better integrate their diversity efforts with that of their local legal community.
Karen Sloan (Law.com), A Multi-Pronged Approach to Diversity and Inclusion:
This week, I’m chatting with University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz about the Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective—a new initiative between the school and 30 local employers that aims to broaden the pipeline into the legal profession and help firms and legal organizations to recruit and retain diverse attorneys. Schwartz spoke with me about the importance of collaborating with employers to realize diversity gains.