Law Practice

'Dismal' Diversity at Big Dallas Firms

More than a decade ago, the men at the helm of the biggest and best-known law firms in Dallas pledged to a major effort to recruit more minorities.

But attorneys of color still represent only a small fraction of those who work there–less than five percent of equity partners, reports the Dallas Morning News. It describes the situation as “pretty dismal.”

In fairness to the firms, minorities account for only about 10 percent of the county’s total lawyers, the newspaper points out. And, says Kim Askew, the only black female partner at one major “Big D” firm, the Dallas BigLaw situation mirrors what is happening in the profession elsewhere in the country, too.

However, in an effort to “publicly hold law firms’ feet to the fire,” the article continues, a coalition task force was formed last year by local minority bar associations to address the issue.

So far, they haven’t had made much headway either–although, with the help of those in charge at 19 of largest 20 firms in Dallas, they have put together a statistical survey. (It is discussed in detail in the Morning News article.)

“The shocking reality is that many lawyers of color still feel like outsiders after spending years in their law firms,” says Askew. “That is why so many leave law firms.”

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