Law Firms

How Nixon Peabody encourages diversity

Nixon Peabody believes it may be the first BigLaw firm to include an hourly commitment in a diversity initiative.

In 2010, the law firm began urging all of its lawyers to give at least 40 hours a year to efforts that encourage diversity, the Washington Post reports. Lawyers document the hours on time sheets so the law firm can take the effort into account when evaluating lawyer pay.

According to the story, the percentage of high-ranking female and minority lawyers in law firms is “stubbornly low.” The Post cites statistics on equity partners in multi-tiered partnerships from NALP, the association for legal career professionals: Last year, 15 percent of equity partners at these firms were women, and just under 5 percent were racial or ethnic minorities.

At Nixon Peabody, the percentage of minority partners is now at about 7 percent, up from 5 percent a few years ago. The story quotes Kendal Tyre, co-chair of Nixon Peabody’s diversity action committee. “Our numbers are not where we want them to be,” he said. “But as far as our programs, we’re headed in the right direction.”

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