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Will a Lack of Diversity Cost You and Your Firm?

May 17, 2016

In two articles in Law360 today, "The High Cost Of BigLaw’s Lack Of Diversity" and "The 5 Ways BigLaw Is Failing Minorities," Hinshaw Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Leslie Richards-Yellen comments that she believes so and experts agree.

As the country and the corporate community become increasingly diverse, law firms that do not make efforts to address their diversity shortcomings will not only fall behind the competition, but may also be less profitable. The reason is that high-performing companies are increasingly making diversity and inclusion a priority and are drawn to law firms that are aligned with their diversity and inclusion strategies.

"In a highly competitive legal space, there is always another firm that can do the work just as well, even at the highest echelons," notes Richards-Yellen in the "High Cost Of BigLaw's Lack Of Diversity" article. She continues "[C]orporations don’t just want to hire a law firm — they want to form a relationship that can add value to the corporation’s brand, and law firms add value when they are more diverse. Making progress on diversity also reflects that a firm is introspective about its strengths and weaknesses."

“Diversity is really interesting for a law firm because to do it well, you have to understand how you operate, how bias operates in your culture, how you can develop talent and how you can develop talent consistently over time,” Richards-Yellen says. “If you understand all of that about your firm, then you’re a stronger competitor because you’ve got to be an organization a company would want to partner with. If you can’t improve, you will become a weaker competitor.”

The case for legal diversity is about outcomes, abilities and the strength of a team.

Read the full article "The High Cost Of BigLaw’s Lack Of Diversity" and more insights from Ms. Richards-Yellen and other diversity experts in the article, "The 5 Ways BigLaw is Failing Minorities" on the Law360 website. Please note, a subscription is required to access the articles.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a national law firm with approximately 500 attorneys providing coordinated legal services across the United States and in London. Hinshaw lawyers partner with businesses, governmental entities and individuals to help them effectively address legal challenges and seize opportunities. Founded in 1934, the firm represents clients in complex litigation and in regulatory and transactional matters.