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The Best Law Firms for Diversity (2013)

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We’re entering on-campus interviewing season. If you’re a law student going through OCI, or if you’re a lawyer involved in your firm’s recruiting process, be sure to check out Above the Law’s new law student career center, a repository job search resources, and our law firm directory, where law firms get letter grades in different categories.

One area that interviewees are always interested in is diversity. Diverse attorneys — okay, that’s a bad way of putting it — minority attorneys want to know where they’ll feel welcome. Even lawyers who aren’t minorities want workplaces that are open and inclusive. And corporate clients are increasingly keen on sending their work to firms that show a commitment to diversity.

So which Biglaw firms are the biggest on diversity? Let’s check out the latest rankings….

Here are the top ten firms for diversity, according to the latest Vault rankings (i.e., the 2013 rankings):

1. Carlton Fields
2. Ropes & Gray
3. Littler Mendelson
4. Debevoise & Plimpton
5. Jenner & Block
6. Shook, Hardy & Bacon
7. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
8. Fenwick & West
9. Baker Donelson
10. Foley Hoag

Congratulations to Carlton Fields, which took first place for the fourth year in a row. As one associate at the firm told the Vault Law Blog, “Carlton Fields has a well-earned reputation for inclusion. There is always room to improve, but compared to the industry at large, we are standard bearers — not just in terms of voicing the right policies, but in terms of actually hiring, welcoming, nurturing and promoting diverse, well-qualified individuals at all levels of firm life.”

Carlton Fields wasn’t the only returnee among the top ten. Congrats also to Ropes & Gray, Littler Mendelson, Debevoise & Plimpton, Jenner & Block, Shook Hardy & Bacon, and Paul Weiss, all of which made this year’s top ten list and last year’s top ten list.

The Vault diversity rankings don’t stop at the top ten. Feel free to check out the full list of 25 firms that excel when it comes to diversity. You can also see how firms ranked in various diversity subcategories, namely, LGBT diversity, minority diversity, and diversity for women.

Vault isn’t the only organization keeping track of law firm diversity. Back in May, the American Lawyer issued its latest Diversity Scorecard. Congrats to Lewis Brisbois for taking the #1 spot.

Interestingly enough — and perhaps suggesting that diversity is in the eye of the beholder, or at the very least, that there are many different ways of measuring diversity — the top ten firms for Am Law, which focuses exclusively on the percentage of minority lawyers and partners at a firm, are almost completely different from the top ten firms for Vault, which considers gender and LGBT diversity as well as minority diversity. The only firm to make the top ten in both rankings is Fenwick & West (#8 for Vault, #10 for Am Law).

If you look at the top 25, though, there is considerably more overlap. Here are the firms that made the top 25 on both the Vault and Am Law diversity rankings:

  • Carlton Fields: #1 for Vault, #22 for Am Law
  • Paul Weiss: #7 for Vault, #14 for Am Law
  • Fenwick & West: #8 for Vault, #10 for Am Law
  • Cleary Gottlieb: #11 for Vault, #13 for Am Law
  • Weil Gotshal: #15 for Vault, #18 for Am Law
  • Morrison & Foerster: #17 for Vault, #9 for Am Law
  • Finnegan Henderson: #16 for Vault, #17 for Am Law
  • Munger Tolles: #19 for Vault, #4 for Am Law
  • Hughes Hubbard: #21 for Vault, #12 for Am Law
  • Shearman & Sterling: #24 for Vault, #21 for Am Law
  • Arnold & Porter: #25 for Vault, #24 for Am Law

Congratulations to all of the firms honored for their diversity by Vault and by Am Law. The legal profession has come a long way since the days when minorities and women were absent from Biglaw.

The nation’s top law firms now welcome attorneys of all creeds and colors. Just make sure you can generate the green.

And the Best Law Firms for Diversity Are…. [Vault’s Law Blog]
Law Firm Rankings 2013: The Best Law Firms For Diversity [Vault]
Diversity Scorecard 2012 [American Lawyer]

Earlier: The Best Law Firms To Work For (2013)
2013 Vault Law Firm Rankings: Prestige Can’t Buy You Money
The Best Law Firms for Diversity (2012)

ATL Law Firm Directory
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