Biglaw, Feminism, Gay, Gender, Minority Issues, Racism, Rankings, Vault rankings, Women's Issues

The Best Law Firms for Diversity (2014)

We’ve just entered August, so you know what that means: the start of on-campus interviewing season. If you’re a law student researching firms or a lawyer involved in your firm’s recruiting efforts, check out Above the Law’s law firm directory, where law firms get letter grades in different categories. Law firms might look alike on the surface, but there are very real differences between them, as our grading system reflects.

For example, law firms diverge when it comes to diversity. While every firm gives lip service to diversity, some firms have the goods to back up their claims, while others do not.

Let’s check out the latest diversity rankings, from two different news outlets, to see which firms are truly diverse….

Here are the top ten firms for diversity, according to the latest Vault rankings (i.e., the 2014 rankings):

Not much movement here, as you can see when comparing this list to last year’s top ten. Congratulations to Carlton Fields, which took top honors for the fifth year in a row. Congratulations to Ropes & Gray, Littler Mendelson, Debevoise & Plimpton, Jenner & Block, Shook Hardy & Bacon, and Baker Donelson, all of which remained in the top ten. And congratulations to Schiff Hardin, Cleary Gottlieb, Alston & Bird, and Paul Hastings, who broke into the top ten.

Who fell out of the top ten? Three firms, but they didn’t fall far, and they deserve kudos for remaining in the top 25: Paul Weiss (from #7 to #11), Foley Hoag (from #10 to #12), and Fenwick & West (from #8 to #13). You can check out the full list of top firms for diversity here.

Meanwhile, in June, the American Lawyer issued its latest Diversity Scorecard. The Am Law rankings diverge from the Vault rankings because they focus on different factors, as we’ve explained before: Am Law focuses exclusively on the percentage of minority lawyers and partners at a firm, in terms of racial and ethnic minorities, while Vault looks at diversity as it relates to minorities, women, LGBT individuals, and individuals with disabilities.

Here are the top ten firms from Am Law’s Diversity Scorecard (click to enlarge):

Congratulations to Lewis Brisbois, for taking the #1 spot yet again, and congratulations to the other top 10 firms, all of whom made the top 10 last year too: White & Case, Wilson Sonsini, Curtis Mallet, Fragomen, Munger Tolles, Kenyon & Kenyon, Fenwick & West, Bowman and Brooke, and Morrison & Foerster. You can access the complete Am Law list, which ranks 228 firms, over here.

No firm made both the Vault and Am Law top ten lists, but these ten firms made the top 25 on both:

  • Cleary Gottlieb: #7 for Vault, #13 for Am Law
  • Paul Hastings: #10 for Vault, #18 for Am Law
  • Paul Weiss: #11 for Vault, #21 for Am Law
  • Fenwick & West: #13 for Vault, #8 for Am Law
  • Munger Tolles: #17 for Vault, #6 for Am Law
  • Davis Polk: #19 for Vault, #18 for Am Law
  • Hughes Hubbard: #20 for Vault, #12 for Am Law
  • Irell & Manella: #22 for Vault, #20 for Am Law
  • Finnegan Henderson: #23 for Vault, #15 for Am Law
  • Weil Gotshal: #24 for Vault, #14 for Am Law

Congratulations to all of the firms honored by Vault and by the American Lawyer for their diversity. We’re not quite there yet when it comes to diversity in Biglaw, but thanks to these pioneering firms, we’re getting closer by the day.

Law Firm Rankings 2014: The Best Law Firms For Diversity [Vault]
2013 Diversity Scorecard: Firms Regain Lost Ground [American Lawyer]

Earlier: The Best Law Firms To Work For (2014)
2014 Vault Law Firm Rankings: Which Firm Is The Most Prestigious In The Land?
The Best Law Firms for Diversity (2013)
The Best Law Firms for Diversity (2012)

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