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Slow movement on the diversity hiring, ABA study finds

By: Ali Teske//May 17, 2022//

Slow movement on the diversity hiring, ABA study finds

By: Ali Teske//May 17, 2022//

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A surveyed conducted by the American Bar Association found minimal rises in diversity hiring among large law firms in 2020 compared with 2019.

The Model Diversity Survey, the results of which were released Monday, was conducted with 287 firms throughout the country. More than 100,285 attorneys responded, measuring firms’ demographics, hiring, promotions, leadership, highest compensated partners and attrition and diversity initiatives.

Of law firms leaders in 2020, 60-70% were white male attorneys, 20-25% were white female attorneys, and the remaining 5-8% and 2-5% were racially underrepresented males and females, respectively.

According to the study, Black and Hispanic attorneys constituted a higher percentage at the equity partner level when the firm was small (1-20 attorneys) compared to large (101-400) in 2020. However, in larger firms, Asian attorneys often represented the second highest percentages of equity partners at to 2.87-4.01%. The number of Hispanic, Asian, Black and multiracial equity partners rose slightly from 2019.

Findings also showed LGBTQ+ attorneys were substantially less likely to be hired into partnership roles compared to non-LGBTQ+ attorneys.

Among associates, 70-79% were white, 3-11% were Asian and the remaining percentages were made up of Black and Hispanic attorneys ranging from 4-6%.

The full survey and firm measurements can be found here.


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