Diversity in the law

Every year we ask law firms about their diversity efforts. Then we ask associates how effective they are...

Gail Morse (1)LGBT focus: Why Jenner is blocks ahead of the BigLaw pack

Each year, Jenner & Block has the best LGBT diversity stats of any big law firm in Chambers AssociateHere, we speak to some of Jenner's associates and partners to find out why...



How associates rate their firms for diversity this year...

We asked associates to rate their firm on its efforts to recruit diverse associates, the firm's inclusivity training, the mentoring from diverse role models, how diverse staffing is on teams, and efforts to retain diverse lawyers.  The firms listed here are those demonstrating excellent performance.

... and which firms are leading on the numbers?

Sedgwick leads the female partners table at 32%, and McDermott Will & Emery LLP is the highest BigLaw firm (29.7%)

Cooley LLP leads the tabgle for hiring female associates (56.5%), closely followed by a cluster all at 55% and over: Goulston & StorrsNutter McClennen & Fish LLPCrowell & MoringChoate Hall & Stewart LLP

Baker Botts LLP (23.1%, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (22.5%) and Sterne Kessler (22.2%) lead the market for promoting ethnic minorities to partner.

Linklaters (41%) Orrick (40.4%) White & Case (40%) are the leaders for hiring ethnic minority associates. 

Jenner & Block leads the BigLaw pack for hiring LGBT associates, at 12.7%.


Gender Diversity 2017 in Figures

Ethnic Diversity 2017 in Figures

LGBT Diversity 2017 in Figures

Remember: the figures only tell one part of the story. Our associate interviews reveal the firms' attitudes and efforts to address this profession-wide problem. Many of these initiatives aren't yet reflected in the numbers, but definitely merit some nuanced analysis in the Inside View.

Diversity headlines this year:

The 1,315,000 licensed lawyers in the US are split 64% men and 36% women

Women make up only 18% of law firm equity partners

Lawyers of color make up only 8% of law firm equity partners; ethnic minorities represent 27.6% of the US population

On average, female lawyers make 89.7% of male lawyers’ salary

100% of firms reported that their highest paid US partner was male

On average, women make up 22% of firms’ highest governance committees – 6% higher than in 2006

As of 2010, 88% of all lawyers in the US are white

Representation of Black/African-American attorneys still remains below its 2009 high of 4.66%, now at 4.11%

At partnership level, minority women continue to be the most under-represented at 2.76%

Currently, three out of the eight Justices serving on the Supreme Court are women

The overall percentage of openly LGBT lawyers increased from 2.34% in 2015 to 2.48% in 2016