Diversity in Law Firms

Experienced Attorneys

Shantel Thompson
Attorney | Vandenack Weaver Truhlsen

Diversity. We have all heard this word used in professional settings. But what does it mean in the legal world? Diversity within a law firm means lawyers of colors, women lawyers, LGBTQ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. This can be achieved by having a course of action where the firm takes a direct, coordinated, and consistent approach to increasing representation of underrepresented groups on all levels of the firm.

How can my firm foster diversity? There are several ways that law firms can foster diversity through education and active recruitment. Firms can educate their associates and staff by bringing in speakers who have firsthand knowledge of what diversity should look like in law firms and providing materials (articles, books, etc.) on diversity to staff. Moreover, firms can actively recruit diverse lawyers by collaborating with law schools’ diversity programs and local organizations dedicated to increasing the number of diverse lawyers within the legal profession.

How can I get involved? Check with your state bar commission and local law schools for information on how to recruit diverse lawyers. In Nebraska, firms can partner with the Nebraska Legal Diversity Council. The council fosters an atmosphere of inclusion to facilitate and encourage the recruitment and retention of diverse lawyers. Please see https://www.nebraskaldc.org/ for more information.