Biglaw, Minority Issues, Texas

Everything’s Bigger in Texas — Including the Lack of Diversity in Biglaw

Back in July, we brought you some news about the law firms that you should be considering if you’re in search of diversity — the latest Vault rankings for the Best Law Firms for Diversity. In an ideal world, everyone would be able to work at a firm that’s open, inclusive, and welcoming to all.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the world that we’re living in. Now that you’ve seen which Biglaw firms are the biggest on diversity, let’s head down south to the Lone Star state, where it’s anything but a small world after all.

Eighteen of the 20 largest firms in Dallas, Texas, just received failing scores for diversity in a report issued by the Dallas Diversity Task Force. The other two firms received grades of C+. Let’s see which firms made the grade….

We bet you never thought your Biglaw firm would receive such a bad grade (except if you’ve had the pleasure of dining at the formerly buggy Cravatheteria). The Dallas Morning News (reg. req.) has all of the details:

The “2012 Law Firm Diversity Report” found that only 1 percent of the 840 equity partners at the big firms are black and that 13 of those law firms have no African-American partners at all. Nine law firms have no Hispanic partners.

Overall, minority lawyers make up 12 percent of all the attorneys working in the 20 biggest firms, which is an increase from 8 percent just six years ago, according to the study, which is compiled annually by leaders of the Dallas Asian-American Bar Association, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association and the J.L. Turner Legal Association.

In terms of overall scores for diversity, a composite score of at least 70 indicates that a particular firm likely meets the state’s minority attorney percentages, but did not meet the state’s minority resident percentages for each of the minority groups. Only two firms out of 20 were able to achieve a composite score of 70 or above.

That being said, our congratulations go out to Weil Gotshal and K&L Gates for being slightly better than average. Both firms were able to squeak by with composite scores just over 70, for a C+ score.

What about the rest of the 18 Biglaw firms in Dallas? Check out the shockingly abysmal results:

As you know, corporate clients are quite keen on sending their work to firms that show a commitment to diversity. Exxon Mobil’s general counsel noted that the results of this study were “disappointing and unacceptable,” and his colleagues are likely of the same opinion. Keeping that in mind, Patton Boggs and Thompson Coe — both without a single minority equity partner — ought to consider themselves on notice.

Given that these firms have achieved new heights in a lack of diversity, it would appear that the only color Biglaw truly cares about is green.

Law Firm Diversity Report Dallas – 2012 [Dallas Diversity Task Force (PDF)]
18 of Dallas’ 20 biggest law firms get ‘F’ on diversity, task force report says [Dallas Morning News (reg. req.)]
18 of 20 biggest Dallas law firms get ‘F’ for diversity, report says [Dallas Business Journal]

Earlier: The Best Law Firms for Diversity (2013)

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