Filed under: Blogroll
Well, we’re quickly becoming the industry standard for ranking law firms by demographic diversity. We were cited in today’s Associated Press article on the lack of black lawyers appearing before the Supreme Court:
Coming soon to the Supreme Court: a rare appearance by a black lawyer. More than a year has passed since a black lawyer in private practice stood at the lectern in the elegant courtroom and spoke the traditional opening line, “Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court.”
…Several factors account for the dearth of minorities at the court: continuing problems in recruiting and retaining blacks and other minorities at the top law firms; the rise of a small group of lawyers who focus on Supreme Court cases; the decline in civil rights cases that make it to the high court; and the court’s dwindling caseload.
“It breaks my heart. It’s the minority pipeline, the dwindling caseload, all of these things,” Days told The Associated Press.
Days said he, too, has trouble attracting black lawyers to his firm. He recounted how he lost out to a philanthropic foundation over the services of a former clerk for a Supreme Court justice.
Two recent studies point up the trends. Of 46 Washington law offices with more than 100 attorneys, 28 reported that less than 3 percent of their partners are black. Seven firms had no black partners, according to a report by Building a Better Legal Profession, a group of law students who compiled data provided by the firms.
Morrison & Foerster’s Washington office, where Days works, has just two black partners, although that placed the firm fourth in the Washington rankings at 5.6 percent. Blacks are better represented among associates at these firms.
When reporters need information about diversity at firms, they turn to us. We’re glad to be providing a useful service.