Law Firm Assessment: Diversity

Diversity brings together people with different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. It creates a workforce that hopefully reflects the true makeup of the population. In recent decades, diversity has been a buzz word bandied about by many employers, including law firms. But how are law firms actually handling diversity? Is it a trendy talking point, or does it actually mean something? FindLaw’s Diversity section covers many important issues related to law firms and diversity, including: responding to the diversity challenge, how to interview without violating the ADA, dealing with sexual harassment, hiring women and minority attorneys, whether diversity programs truly effective, and what to do about feeling tokenized at work.

Law Firm Assessment: Diversity Articles
    • Are Diversity Programs Truly Effective?
      Rafael Nieves, 38, a manager of financial process improvement at Carrier Corp. in Syracuse, N.Y., helped create diversity councils at each of the firm’s business units. Still, Mr.

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    • Tokenized at Work?

      I am on a Diversity Task Force at my job. As a Filipino American, I feel honored to have been asked to serve on this committee, but I feel badly about how I am treated. I am constantly being asked to speak for Asians.

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    • Dreaming of Business Success, Not Dwelling on Color

      Silicon Valley telecommunications executive Robert E. Knowling, Jr.acknowledges he’s hardly a "household word" in mainstream Black America. But given his personal and professional goals, Knowling likes it that way.

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    • Exploring Culturally Specific Styles in the Workplace
      While rules for business attire have changed significantly in the last decade, in both “business” and “business casual” dress environments, few employers have yet dared to raise a crucial question: What about ethnic and religious styles?

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    • Sexual Harassment: What If it Happened at Your Firm?

      “Law firms tend not to take sexual harassment complaints seriously enough,” says Laurel Bellows, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and partner at the Chicago law firm, Bellows & Bellows. “Firms should investigate an employee’s complaint as meticulously as they would a client’s. But it’s the old adage: ‘The shoemaker’s daughter wears no shoes’.”

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    • Defeating Discrimination in the Workplace

      While the U.S. has made huge strides in achieving equal opportunity in employment – and things have gotten better – racial discrimination persists. Many argue that it has simply taken subtler forms. Fortunately, while the racial prejudice endures, the tactics to defeat it are more accessible than ever before.

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    • Hiring Women and Minority Attorneys - One General Counsel's Perspective
      Mr. Ocampo is Chair of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law (2001-02) and is the author of Surfing the Law and Technology Tsunami (American Bar Association 2001) and Negotiating and Drafting Software Consulting Agreements (Glasser LegalWorks 1996).

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    • Responding to the Diversity Challenge
      We are a diverse society. Diversity is an integral part of doing business anywhere, particularly in a global economy. Beyond statistics and definitions, diversity represents one fundamental way we, along with our clients, view and experience the world.

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    • How to Interview Without Violating the ADA
      When the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) first took effect, it applied only to law firms with 25 or more employees. But on July 26, 1994, the ADA began to apply to firms with 15 or more employees.

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