Anti-affirmative action is having a toll

In a recent survey, it’s been shown that fewer attorneys of color and other minorities are going to law school in California. This is because of the impact of Prop. 209 (anti-affirmative action proposition adopted by the voters), according to some.

While large law firms still, however, appear to have the ability to attract and recruit attorneys of color and other minorities, they are having an almost impossible time in retaining them. Most, after only one year, leave the large firm and many leave the practice altogether.

This has become a major challenge for the large law firms. This has resulted in my coordinating two major efforts by large law firms to address this issue and find ways to alter the course of recent failures — they want to retain women and attorneys of color in their ranks, but are having difficulty doing so.

Corporate America is also pressuring law firms to succeed here as witnessed by the recent Wal-Mart action of “firing” law firms who failed to comply with their Diversity directives.

And, with women now making up more than half of the law school graduating classes, and many of these women being attorneys of color, the gender (“glass ceiling”) and attorney of color issues will intersect one another in the near future. The legal profession will have to succeed in dealing with these issues of diversity … Those firms that don’t will fade from the scene as Corporate America continues to diversify.


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