SAVE THE DATE

The 2021 VJLAP Annual Retreat will be held September 17 – 18, 2021 in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Visit the Event Page

The Beacon

After Party Thursday: Focusing on Inclusion

May 20, 2021
After Party Thursday: Focusing on Inclusion

Well-Being Week After Part (May 17-21)

Thursday: Inclusion (Our organizational members feel supported and valued for their unique, individual traits and talents; feel a sense of belonging; and have access to and feel fairly treated by the organization’s structures and processes.)

Diverse lawyers bring diverse opinions, diverse teams make better decisions, and a more diverse and equitable legal industry drives more innovative and creative solutions. Although there are many notable exceptions, women and minorities are often under-represented at law firms and in-house law departments, particularly in leadership positions. Diversity requires greater inclusion in terms of factors like race or ethnicity, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation or identification, age, national origin, and military service. Read more.

Below are suggested activities for Inclusion Thursday:

Benefits of Increasing Law Firm Diversity

Increased law firm diversity can provide many benefits to an in-house law department, its organization, and the legal profession, including:

  • Raising quality
  •  Reducing costs
  • Enhancing the law department’s reputation
  • Improving departmental operations
  • Contributing to organizational initiatives
  • Supporting external D&I efforts

Steps to Achieve Increased Law Firm Diversity

Law departments can use different tools to improve law firm diversity, including:

  • Adopting inclusive law department operating principles
  •  Establishing and implementing policies, practices, and procedures for identifying, retaining, and onboarding diverse outside counsel
  •  Working with third parties, such as bar associations, interest groups, and law departments at industry peers.
  • Give billable-hour credit for DEI work.
  • Hire a chief diversity officer.
  • Implement a robust training regimen that extends beyond onboarding.
  • Consider adding bias interrupters to firm processes that could be affected by unconscious bias.
  • Track compensation and structure compensation systems with diversity in mind.

Resources: 

  • “Increasing Law Firm Diversity.” ABA, 2020. Article.
  • “Concrete Steps Law Firms Can Take to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” LateralLink, 2021. Article.

Visit the Well-Being Week After Party website: Here.

Need Help?
(or know someone who does?)
Call Our 24-Hour Confidential Help Line
1-877-545-4682
Refer a Colleague:
Contact Us