Progress proves elusive for diversity in the legal profession

Five years ago this month, Roderick Palmore wrote “A Call to Action” — a pledge signed by the general counsel of some of the country’s largest corporations vowing to make diversity a major consideration in their selection of outside counsel.

Palmore, now the general counsel of General Mills Inc., wanted companies to put more business pressure on law firms to improve the diversity of their attorney ranks, where racial minorities long have been woefully underrepresented.

Diversity efforts across the profession mushroomed after the Call to Action was issued. Nearly every major law firm has created a diversity committee tasked with boosting minority and female representation. More scholarships for minority law students were established, affinity groups were formed and more so-called pipeline programs popped up to encourage minority students to pursue the law. Nary a week passed, it seemed, when a firm wasn’t unveiling a fresh diversity initiative or trumpeting an award received for its efforts.  To read the full story click here.